Upcoming Events



The 2016 Summit:

Food & Ag Entrepreneurship

How to Succeed in Business by Slowing Down

Thurs.-Sat., April 28-30, 2016 — Downtown Brattleboro, Vermont



The sixth annual Summit focuses on entrepreneurship. 

Join us for in-depth explorations of key topics in food and agriculture entrepreneurship: business planning, funding sources, refining and pitching ideas, ownership structures, social impact, collaboration, food & ag business case studies.

Food & Ag Entrepreneurship:

How to Succeed in Business by Slowing Down

Yes, you read that correctly, your eyes are not deceiving you. In the age of “accelerators” and “start ups” we want you to know that doing well and good includes taking a moment to slow down.

The 2016 Summit will be focused on explorations of key topics in food and agriculture entrepreneurship, including business planning, funding sources, refining and pitching ideas, ownership structures, social impact, collaboration, food & ag business case studies. While exploring these and many other related topics, the Summit is focused on the concept of Slow Business which means: reflecting upon failure for future success, taking care of yourself as key for business, and deepening community relationships as a part of good business.

Specifically, we invite attendees to:

  • Embrace Failure as Your Teacher in Business: In our fast culture, everyone is competing for the top spot to be seen as the most successful. We invite you to think differently about success and its risks in regards to doing well within your food or ag business. Additionally, we want to share with you stories of success gained from failure.
  • Connect Slowing Living & Being Present with Good Business: It is very common for entrepreneurs to forget about themselves in the middle of their business planning. While thinking about planning a sustainable food or ag business, we want to help you make the connection between giving back to yourself, your neighbors and your community as a key part of your business model. If you are not going well, how can your business do well?
  • Re-think Doing Business as Community & Relationship Building: We are not just talking partnership but good business and doing well requires a community. This is the very essence of Slow Living because there is no business without community.

As always, the Summit takes the Slow approach to entrepreneurship. “Slow Living” embodies cooperation, celebration, respect, purpose, sustainability, gratitude, mindfulness, and resilience. 

Who should come: farmers, entrepreneurs, students, funders, educators, consultants, concerned citizens.

Register today!  Join our Facebook event


Click here for speaker bios


Cairn Cross

Co-Founder and Managing Director, FreshTracks Capital

Paul and Barbi Schulick, New Chapter Founders

Paul & Barbi Schulick

Founders, New Chapter


Ashley Stanley

Founder & Executive Director, Lovin’ Spoonfuls


Fred “Chico” Lager

Ex-CEO, Ben & Jerry’s 


Will Raap

Founder, Gardener’s Supply

BobWellington (1)

Bob Wellington

Sr. VP, Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative 


Matt Dunne

V.P. Community Affairs, Google

 Tanya Fields

Founder & Executive Director, the BLK Projek

Leah Fury

 Leah Fury

Loan officer, Community Capital of Vermont

 Anna Dawson

Founder, Hometown Foods LLC

 Shanta Lee Evans-Crowley

Summit Coordinator & Mistress of Ceremonies

 Matthew Cropp

Vermont Employee Ownership Center

 Orly Munzing

Founder & Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers

Jess Collen

Partner, Collen IP

Gabriel Cole

Founder, Fare Resources

 Tamara Stenn

Author, Teacher, Entrepreneur

 CS Wurzberger

The Greenup Girl

 Martin Langeveld

Marketing Director, Strolling of the Heifers

 Jim Verzino

Social entrepreneur

 Clark Wolf

President & Founder, The Clark Wolf Company

Natalie Holder

Founder & CEO, Quest Diversity

 Shel Horowitz

Author, Guerilla Marketing Goes Green


 Maggie Donin

Beginning Farmer Specialist, The Intervale Center

 Michele Risa

President, Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce

 Erbin Crowell

Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

 John Steven Bianucci

Director of Impact, Iroquois Valley Farms

 Daniel Kornguth

Plastic artist

 Mark Morey

Founder & CEO, A Connected Leader

Don Kreis

Senior Law Fellow, Vermont Law School

Dr. Michael Finkelstein

The Slow Medicine Doctor



Alternative Business Models and Shared Ownership

Workshops will focus on funding options for new businesses, how to identify useful business models, and the needs of the budding food or ag new business. How does one create a business model that supports being socially responsible?


Financing Outside of the Box

Workshops will focus on various methods for business financing.  What are some of the pros and cons of various financing models?  What is gained or lost in matching funding goals, business structure, and being a socially responsible food & ag entrepreneur.



Re-Thinking Your Business Model

If you are a current food or ag entrepreneur, your challenge is trying to stay in the game and make decisions about ways to improve your business.



Diversity within the Food & Ag Business  

In addition to starting and maintaining a business, what are some of the challenges to access to the food & ag business sectors.


2015 Summit videos


The Opening Plenary, Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Plenary 2 — Thursday morning, June 4, 2015

Plenary 3 — Thursday afternoon, June 4, 2015

Plenary 4 — Friday morning, June 5, 2015

Plenary 5 — Friday afternoon, June 5, 2015





Past Events

Speaking Engagements & Healthcare Conference