VFFC's Heart of Vermont Agriculture development project will address the region's need for agricultural infrastructure to support local farmers and value added food businesses to reach larger markets and innovate new products. We will construct a new facility for centralized aggregation, storage, and distribution, as well as rehabilitate an existing historic structure for commercial kitchen space and processing facility for culinary education and value added food products. The project will turn VFFC into a truly regional food hub while providing more business opportunities and jobs for the Rutland area.
We will construct a Produce Packing Center and Commercial Kitchen on our 2.93 acre campus, at 251 West Street in Rutland, Vermont. Located on a former industrial site with four existing buildings, these two facilities will form the Heart of Vermont Agriculture Food Hub within an Opportunity Zone adjacent to downtown Rutland.
Our Food Hub’s goal over the next five years is to help over 50 farm business and local food entrepreneurs generate $2 million dollars in annual sales by increasing profit margins and/or decreasing per unit costs and prepare 25 students for the culinary job market.
Other site facilities:
Farmers Hall, approximately 15,000 square feet, includes a large multi-use event space, which hosts the Rutland Winter Farmers Market and which can seat 500 individuals and 1,100 individuals standing; a Community Learning Kitchen, available not only for VFFC's Farmacy and other cooking classes, but also for events which take place in the Hall.
Rotary Educational Greenhouse, home to our FABEL and other hands-on gardening programs.