Supermarket vs farmstand Left, supermarket shelves in Essex Junction, 3/18/20. Right, Jericho Settlers farm stand, a self-serve shop in Jericho, same day.

Now is the time to invest in a local, resilient food system.

Dear friend of NOFA-VT,

Thank you so much for responding to our request for “relief milkers” earlier this week. We received countless thoughtful messages from folks who are stepping up to help and other states are working to replicate the model. We now have a database of over eighty experienced dairy workers (!) who are ready to step in and help as needed. We have also received many generous donations for our Farmer Emergency Fund, a pool of funds that will be used to help our farmers or farm workers if they get sick and can't work. We are inspired by your generosity, sense of interdependence, and willingness to show up for each other. Thank you. 

The COVID-19 crisis makes clear that our current food system is dangerously brittle. As we face empty shelves at grocery stores, it’s clear that we need a food system that is resilient, local, and strongly interwoven. Now is the time to invest directly in the food system for an ecologically sound, regional, just, thriving agriCULTURE.

If you’re wondering what you can do in this moment to invest in a thriving agricultural future now, maintain a viable regional food supply, support local farmers, and ensure food access for all in our communities:

Please reach out to us if you have ideas or concerns that NOFA-VT staff might be able to help with! We are trying to adapt nimbly to address the needs of our producers, members, and community as they emerge. We are eager to be a part of the solution, and to help grow a food system that is local, resilient, and strongly interwoven.

As the wise agricultural activist, Dr. Vandana Shiva said, “The uncertainty of our time is no reason to be certain about hopelessness.” Let us take this moment to affirm our collective path and move boldly towards the food system, and future, we so need. 

With thanks,
The NOFA-VT Team

PS-Our food Co-ops and Natural Food stores do incredible work to support our local farmers all year round. Many are working overtime during this crisis to ensure that their shelves are stocked. We appreciate these crucial front-line workers providing critical community support and are deeply grateful for all the work they do ensuring year-round markets for producers and a wide array of important foods for the community. Keep supporting these very crucial links in the supply chain!