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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

VSJF General News Jan 6 2011

VSJF General News & Updates January 6, 2011

Farm to Plate Executive Summary To Be Released

We are pleased to announce that the Executive Summary of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan will be released on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at the Vermont Statehouse. Please join us for this exciting event!

  1. Press Conference in the Cedar Creek Reception Room from 11am - 11:45am (Legislative leadership and Governor Shumlin have been invited to attend and speak)
  2. Joint briefing for Senate and House committees in Room 11 from 12:15 - 1:30pm
  3. Local foods celebration to thank all those involved in the Statehouse cafeteria from 3 - 5pm

Contact Heather if you would like to provide a tasting/sampling of your products at the local food celebration. We want to showcase as much of our amazing local food as possible that afternoon!

When will the rest of the plan be available?

On January 12th we will release the Executive Summary of the plan in hard copy (it's the only part of the plan that will be available in hard copy). There will be over 30 separate documents released over the course of January and February - based on when we have final layout versions available to us. The Executive Summary and all the parts of the Plan will be available in pdf form on our website.

What's the 2011 Roll-Out Plan?

January: Release the executive summary on January 12 and begin to make presentations to legislative committees; meet with new Agency officials and their staff to brief them on the plan's goals and action plan; continue to release chapters and sections of the plan as they are available - hopefully all will be out no later than mid-February.

February - December: Presentations to interested organizations, Boards of stakeholder groups, workshops at conferences, etc. to discuss and get moving on implementing the Strategic Plan. Please contact Heather to schedule a presentation to your organization. Kit and Ellen will do their best to be available - but we ask for your patience; there are hundreds of individuals and groups who will need to be involved in ironing out the implementation details. We also expect to be meeting with Legislative committees and Agency officials throughout the legislative session.

Grant Funds Available for Grass Energy Pelletization & Market Development

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs (VSJF) has just released an RFP for competitively awarded grant funds totaling $100,000 for the research and development of a mobile or stationary pelletizing system capable of processing grass fibers into fuel. Applicants should submit a business plan with their proposal that identifies steps leading to the commercial application of pelletized grass as a heating fuel in Vermont.

VSJF is seeking proposals that will lead to the design, fabrication, demonstration and use of a pelletizing system capable of converting at least 1 ton of grass biomass per hour into densified fuel for commercial purposes. Projects must be able to identify at least one in-state source of grass biomass that will be pelletized and at least one in-state end-user of the pelletized fuel.

Any organization, farm, individual or business that maintains an active and physical presence within Vermont may submit an application. The deadline for proposal submission is February 28, 2011. The full RFP, application, and instructions are available on the VSJF website.

Visit the VSJF website for more information on the Vermont Energy Partnership.

Flexible Capital Fund Launched

After 3 years in the making, the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund L3C (the "Flex Fund") will begin operations during the first quarter of 2011.

The Flex Fund will offer risk capital to growth companies in Vermont's natural resource sectors including value-added agricultural and food production, forest products, renewable energy and environmental technology and waste management.

In a time when risk capital is scarce and access to networks is critical, the Fund will offer a new kind of flexible risk capital - royalty financing - at a Vermont scale, bringing with it instant access to our peer networks, mentoring and technical assistance. Unlike equity financing, royalty financing is based on selling a piece of the revenue stream instead of selling ownership in the company. In exchange for a loan, a company shares a percentage of its revenues with the Flex Fund until the Flex Fund has received back its principal plus the additional return that it negotiated with the company. Royalty financing is best suited for growth stage companies with margins sufficient to support a revenue share payment.

The Flex Fund has already raised $1.6 million towards its $4 million capitalization goal, and will continue to raise additional capital until we have reached this goal. To learn more about the Flex Fund, please contact Janice St. Onge, President, at 802-828-0398 or email Janice, or visit our website for more information.

Sustainable Development Job Announcements

Search for VADP Program Director

VSJF and Farm Viability Enhancement Program at VHCB are pleased to announce the launch of a new joint venture - the Vermont Agriculture Development Program (VADP). A full-time Program Director is being sought! Interested applicants should send a letter of interest describing relevant experiences, resume, three references, and 3-year salary history to Ellen Kahler, Executive Director. Position will be open until filled. For a full description of the position, list of qualifications, and application instructions, visit the VSJF website.

Search for Food Venture Center Executive Director & Operations Manager

The Vermont Food Venture Center is launching a national search for two key staff positions of Executive Director and Operations Manager. For more information, including the full job posting, visit the Food Venture Center's website.