Vera DuMont

Founder and former Executive Director
Foodshed Alliance
Purpose Prize Fellow 2007

Building a self-sustaining foodshed based on the production and sale of local foods.

While growing up in New York City, working and raising a family in the suburbs, DuMont dreamed of living on a farm. Right after retiring 8 years ago, she headed into northwest New Jersey, still a land of woods and streams and family farms. There she attended an earth literacy program at Genesis Farm, where she became acutely aware of the intense development and market pressures threatening survival of the farms. Working with other concerned residents, she launched the Foodshed Alliance, a grassroots nonprofit devoted to fostering a profitable, self-sustaining “foodshed” based on the production and sale of local foods.The Alliance presents Farmers’ Forums demonstrating successful small farm strategies, Buy Fresh Buy Local campaigns to raise public appreciation of the many benefits of buying fresh, local foods and supporting neighbor farmers, a Farm-to-Chef program to bring local foods into local restaurants, and a Farm-to-School program to engage children early about good food. Generous support from Whole Foods and other local businesses and collaboration with such groups as FoodRoutes and the NJ Audubon Society have helped the Foodshed Alliance bring a new spirit of hope about the agricultural future of this area. DuMont still doesn’t live on a farm, but she does live near farms — and dreams of keeping them here.