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Are You a Farmer Seeking New Markets? Start Selling to Food Hubs, Groceries, Restaurants and Cooperatives

logopictures_verticalAre you looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers market, CSA and farm stand?    Food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants and cooperatives are looking for your products to meet growing consumer demand for local and sustainably-grown food.  Yet, doing successful business with wholesale buyers requires planning and preparation.  Ensure your success by joining us for ‘Baskets to Pallets’, a comprehensive two day introduction to selling wholesale.  The course will take place on Tuesday, January 24th and Tuesday, January 31st from 10:00am – 4:00pm at Templeton Hall in historic Cooperstown, NY.  The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is designed for farmers of all enterprises and will cover building relationships with buyers, customer management and record keeping, pricing, grading and packaging, uniformity and consistency, and food safety, among many other topics!  This fun course includes plenty of hands-on activities and opportunities for peer learning and small group discussion.  The course includes one break-out session for livestock and produce farmers.

The cost of the ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is $35.00 which enables 2 people per farm to attend. The fee also includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day.  Lodging has been reserved at the Inn at Cooperstown (one block from Templeton Hall) at a discounted rate of $105.00 plus tax per room.  To take advantage of this special rate, reserve your room by December 23rd.

To register, click here.

Farmers that complete the two day course will be invited to meet wholesale buyers at a Farmer-Buyer Mixer at Brown’s Brewery in Troy, NY on March 6th from 3:00pm – 6:00pm.  The Mixer will provide a structured space for farmers to begin making new business connections and sales opportunities.  The Mixer is free and complementary appetizers will be provided.

Space is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged.   The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is co-hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties and the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), and funded via Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

Baskets to Pallets Course Agenda: DAY 1: Tuesday January 24th, 2017

Time Topic Instructor
10:00AM-10:15AM Consumer Trends & the Demand for Local Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program
10:15AM-10:45AM Overview: What is Wholesale Marketing? David Ross, Farmers Web
10:45AM –11:45AM Inform Your Buyers, Build Your Brand  David Ross, Farmers Web
11:45AM – 12:45PM Lunch, locally sourced, included  Networking
12:45-2:15PM Building Relationships With Buyers Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program
David Cox, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Sonia Janiszewski, CADE
2:15PM-2:30PM Break
2:30PM-3:00PM Customer Management & Record Keeping David Ross, Farmers Web
3:00PM-4:00PM Basic Financials Mariane Kiraly, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Baskets to Pallets Course Agenda: DAY 2: Tuesday January 31st, 2017

Time Topic Instuctor
10:00AM-11:30AM Uniformity, Consistency And Scheduling
BREAK-OUT for produce and livestock
 Crystal Stewart & Rich Taber, Cornell Cooperative Extension
11:30AM-NOON Labeling, Grading And Packaging  Crystal Stewart, Cornell Cooperative Extension
NOON–1:00PM Lunch, locally sourced, included  Networking
1:00PM-2:00PM Labeling, Grading And Packaging, Cont  Crystal Stewart, Cornell Cooperative Extension
2:00PM-2:30PM Production Records  Crystal Stewart, Cornell Cooperative Extension
2:30PM-2:45PM Break
2:45PM-3:45PM Meeting Your Market’s Produce Safety Requirements  Erik Kocho-Schellenberg (Unconfirmed)
 3:45PM-4:00PM Evaluation and Closing Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program

For more information, please contact:

  • Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program, vws7@cornell.edu or (607) 255-9227
  • David Cox, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties, dgc23@cornell.edu or (518) 234-4303, ext. 119
  • Mariane Kiraly, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, mk129@cornell.edu or (607) 865-6531
  • Sonia Janiszewski, The Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE), sonia@cadefarms.org or (607) 433-2545

Seattle Farmers MarketAre you an agricultural educator or service provider in New York State interested in supporting farmers seeking to enter food hubs, groceries, restaurants or cooperatives?

The Cornell Small Farms Program and Northeast SARE are pleased to announce a new statewide professional development opportunity. ‘Baskets to Pallets: Preparing Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Enter Food Hubs, Groceries, Restaurants and Cooperatives’, will be offered on April 18th-19th, at the Cornell Plantations Visitor Center in Ithaca, NY.

In this two day Training, the authors of the brand new “Baskets to Pallets” Curriculum will introduce a series of lectures, discussions, activities, videos and other teaching resources designed to prepare small and mid-sized farmers in NY to enter new wholesale markets.

The Curriculum, which consists of 15 – 18 hours of instruction, targets farmers of all enterprises who have been primarily direct-marketing, but are exploring new wholesale markets such as a food hub, grocery, restaurant or cooperative.  The Training begins by introducing two Case Study Farms, based on an actual produce and livestock farm currently operating in NY.  Over the course of the Training, the successive Units will examine the two farms from different angles, enabling trainees to deepen their understanding of the farms’ management, production, and promotion strategies through the lens of ‘wholesale’ marketing.

Logos_VerticalThe “Baskets to Pallets” Training will take place at the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center at the heart of Cornell’s Botanical Gardens in Ithaca, NY.  This modern, “green” building has expansive windows and offers wonderful views of the surrounding Plantations.

The Training is open to 25 educators and agricultural service providers in New York State on a first-come, first-served basis.  Trainees should be ready to engage in ‘active learning’ via role-play, small group discussion and activities.  Locally sourced breakfast refreshments and lunch will be provided.  There is no fee to attend, but trainees must cover their own travel and lodging expenses.

Educators that complete the Training will be provided access to the full Curriculum and Online Resources to adapt for delivery to their local agricultural communities.   Additionally, educators who complete the program may apply to join the ‘Baskets to Pallets’ Statewide Training Team and  receive mentorship, administrative and financial support to:

  • Work in teams to deliver the complete “Baskets to Pallets” Curriculum to farmers in their regions in Winter, 2017.
  • Co-sponsor one of three regional Farmer-Buyer Mixers

To register for the ‘Baskets to Pallets’ Training, click here.   For questions, contact Project Coordinator Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu or 607-255-9227.  The Baskets to Pallets Training is supported by Northeast SARE, the Cornell Small Farms Program, and the Local Economies Project.


Basket to Pallets Trainers/ Curriculum Authors

Marketing Module: Laura Biasillo, Broome County CCE; Cheryl Thayer, Harvest NY; Jim Manning, Oneida County CCE; Challey Comer​, NYS Agriculture and Markets

Business Management Module: Steve Hadcock, Albany County CCE; Bob Weybright, ENY Commercial Hort Program; Jesse Strzok, ENY Commercial Hort Program

Production Module: Rich Taber, Chenango County CCE; Crystal Stewart, Extension Vegetable Specialist; Megan Burley, Farm Business Management Educator, Erie County

Food Safety:  Gretchen Wall and Betsy Bihn, Cornell Food Science Dept.

Soft Skills: Bobbie Severson, Cooperative Enterprise Program at Cornell

Fall Webinars Feature Livestock and Produce Farmers

Are you looking to get your farm products into bigger markets?  Local food is in high demand, but with so many possible avenues — grocery stores, food hubs, restaurants, cooperatives — to name a few, it’s not always easy to know which new market will be the best match for your farm business.

To help you better understand how and when to enter new wholesale markets, we’re resuming the popular webinar series Small Farms: New Markets we launched last Spring*.  This October, we’ll hear from a livestock farmer who sells to NYC restaurants via Mosner Family Brands and a vegetable farmer who markets to both upstate food stores and the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, NY. These farmers will share how they entered these bigger markets and the benefits and challenges of selling ‘wholesale’ versus ‘direct’.

All of the webinars are free and open to the public.   Registration is required.  Upon registering, you’ll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the webinar(s) you signed up for. This webinar series is part of a larger training titled Sparking a Wholesale Revolution: Connecting Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Larger Markets sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  Please send inquiries to Project Manager Violet Stone or visit the project website.

*To view archived presentations from the Spring series, please click here.

Monday, October 12th: Noon – 1pm. “Upstate Livestock Farm Reaches NYC Restaurants”  with Stephen Winkler of Lucky 7 Livestock Company and Seth Mosner of Mosner Family Brands

WinklerIn 2000, Stephen Winkler and his family were selling their Lucki 7 Livestock Farm products to neighbors and through local farmers markets, grossing a little over $20,000 annually.  In the years that followed, the rising demand for locally produced food enabled Lucki 7 Farms to start selling to white tablecloth distributors and retailers such as Whole Foods and Wegmans.  Today, the farm’s annual sales include 800-1000 hogs, 35 head of beef, 700 meat chickens, and 7000 dozen eggs a year.  In 2013, Stephen started selling pasture raised hogs and grass fed beef to Mosner Family Brands.  Founded in 1957, Mosner Family Brands is a wholesale meat company based in the Bronx, NY, supplying high quality products to premium food service distributors, distinguished restaurants and high-end retailers. Mosner’s philosophy in partnering with small and mid-sized farmers is to empower them to focus on agriculture and farm management, rather than processing, logistics and other ancillary market-making functions. In doing so, Mosner has helped small family farms scale, become job creators and enhance farm operations through improved and consistent cash flow.  Learn more about how Stephen Winkler and other livestock farmers work with Mosner Family Brands to reach restaurants and retail stores. Register Here.

Monday, October 19th.  Noon – 1pm. “Selling Produce to Groceries” with  Dan Kent of Kent Family Growers

kent-familyDan and Megan Kent, along with a 3-member seasonal crew, rotate organic cash crops with cover crops on 20 acres near the St. Lawrence River in the town of Waddington, NY.  Although they sell some of their produce through direct-marketing channels such as the Canton Farmers Market and a 40 week CSA, they have diversified their marketing mix to include a variety of wholesale outlets as well.  They sell to several local food stores, including the Potsdam Food Coop and Nature’s Storehouse, a natural foods store in Canton.  They also have their produce trucked down to Brooklyn where they have business connections with the Park Slope Food Coop, Perelandra Natural Food Center and Flatbush Food Coop.  In this presentation, Dan Kent will share how he made connections with his wholesale customers, and describe any changes he made in infrastructure, packaging, labeling, invoicing and production to meet the needs of his wholesale clients.  Register Here. 

We’re all hearing the phrase “Farm to Plate” but sometimes marketing isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Many small and mid-sized growers sell product at farmers markets, through CSA’s or at farmstands, but what about restaurants, grocery stores, food hubs, or online marketplaces? What does it take to sell to these bigger markets and are they right for your farm?

You can find out by tuning in to the webinar series Small Farms: New Markets. Upcoming webinars feature farmers that started small but scaled up and transitioned to one or more wholesale markets. Farmers will reflect on the changes needed in production and marketing to get their products to these bigger markets. Each webinar also features one of the farmer’s ‘wholesale’ buyers who will describe how they establish productive relationships with smaller farms, and outline their business models and buying requirements.

All of the webinars are free and open to the public.   This webinar series is part of a larger training titled “Sparking a Wholesale Revolution: Connecting Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Larger Markets” sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  Please send inquiries to Project Manager Violet Stone or visit the project website.

WinklerCancelled: Upstate Livestock Farm Reaches NYC Restaurants

Monday, April 13th. Noon – 1:00pm with Stephen Winkler of Lucky 7 Livestock Company and Seth Mosner of Mosner Family Brands

In 2000, Stephen Winkler and his family were selling their Lucki 7 Livestock Farm products to neighbors and through local farmers markets, grossing a little over $20,000 annually.  In the years that followed, the rising demand for locally produced food enabled Lucki 7 Farms to start selling to white tablecloth distributors and retailers such as Whole Foods and Wegmans.  Today, the farm’s annual sales include 800-1000 hogs, 35 head of beef, 700 meat chickens, and 7000 dozen eggs a year.  In 2013, Stephen started selling heritage hogs and grass fed beef to Mosner Family Brands.  Founded in 1957, Mosner Family Brands is a wholesale meat company based in the Bronx, NY, supplying high quality products to premium food service distributors, distinguished restaurants and high-end retailers. Mosner’s philosophy in partnering with small and mid-sized farmers is to empower them to focus on agriculture and farm management, rather than processing, logistics and other ancillary market-making functions. In doing so, Mosner has helped small family farms scale, become job creators and enhance farm operations through improved and consistent cash flow.  Learn more about how Stephen Winkler and other livestock farmers work with Mosner Family Brands to reach restaurants and retail stores. Due to illness in Stephen Winkler’s family, this webinar has been postponed until further notice.  We are very sorry for the inconvenience and will make an announcement when we are able to reschedule. 

ShibmuifarmsMushrooms to Dining Rooms: Meet the People Behind the Food Chain

Monday, April 20th. Noon – 1:00pm with  Alan Kaufman of Shibumi Farm, Jennifer Goggin of FarmersWeb, and Anthony Fassio of the Natural Gourmet Institute

Alan Kaufman began growing exotic mushrooms as a hobby in his home basement in 2003.    Today he produces as much as 5000 pounds of mushrooms a week, supplying unusual varieties to highly regarded chefs in New York and New Jersey from his Shibumi Farm in Princeton, NJ. Kaufman’s 35 unique strains of mushrooms are all cultivated indoors in a temperature and humidity controlled fruiting chamber. With ecological health in mind, Kaufman’s growing medium is locally sourced and sustainably harvested wherever possible and he avoids synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Last year, Alan started using FarmersWeb online business management software for farms, food hubs, and local food artisans. FarmersWeb has helped Shibumi farm manage its wholesale business with new and old customers alike. With more time for growing, Shibumi has expanded its wholesale business to include more restaurants, corporate kitchens, and purchasers such as the Natural Gourmet Institute.  CEO Anthony Fassio will speak to how the NGI connects with small farmers like Alan and purchases regional farm products for use in their chef training programs.    Register Here.


Past Webinars

ShannonMason_ChildTurning Milk to Gold (Butter)

Monday, April 6th. Noon – 1:00pm with Shannon Mason of Cowbella and Sonia Janiszewski & Richard Giles of Lucky Dog Food Hub

In 2010, Shannon Mason started turning the fresh Jersey milk from her family’s historic Catskill dairy farm into cheese and butter.  She marketed the new product line, Cowbella, through farmers’ markets, on-farm retail and specialty grocery stores. Today, Cowbella products can be found in 35 locations across NY, including 7 Price Choppers, 6 Tops Markets, and 4 Shop-Rites. Mason’s most recent wholesale market is Lucky Dog Local Food Hub based in Hamden, NY.  Lucky Dog started as an organic vegetable farm in 2000, but owner Richard Giles saw an opportunity to create a ‘hub’ when he had extra space on the refrigerated truck he used to transport his vegetables to New York City markets.  The extra space in the truck is available to other regional small farms who need help transporting and delivering product to NYC buyers.  Learn more about how Shannon Mason and other upstate farmers work together with Lucky Dog Food Hub to reach larger markets in the NYC metropolitan region.   Watch the recording:  https://cornell.webex.com/cornell/lsr.php?RCID=11fdfaa1995454627a8f86b306a82ac7 

Webinar Series Illuminates how Farmers and Buyers Connect

In recent years, a variety of new wholesale opportunities have opened to small and mid-sized farmers.  Whether its a brick and mortar venue such as a food hub, distributor or grocery store, or a virtual venue such as an online marketplace, these new avenues provide countless new ways to get your product out to bigger customers. But how do you decide which wholesale market is the right one to pursue?

You can find out by tuning in to Small Farms: New Markets, an upcoming three-part webinar series.  The webinars feature a dairy, livestock and mushroom farmer that have all transitioned successfully to one or more new wholesale markets.  Farmers will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed to get their products to bigger markets. Each webinar also features one of the farmer’s ‘wholesale’ buyers who will describe how they establish productive relationships with smaller farms, and outline their business models and buying requirements.

All of the webinars are free and open to the public.   Registration is required.  Upon registering, you’ll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the webinar(s) you signed up for. This webinar series is part of a larger training titled “Sparking a Wholesale Revolution: Connecting Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Larger Markets” sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  Please send inquiries to Project Manager Violet Stone or visit the project website.

WinklerCancelled: Upstate Livestock Farm Reaches NYC Restaurants

Monday, April 13th. Noon – 1:00pm with Stephen Winkler of Lucky 7 Livestock Company and Seth Mosner of Mosner Family Brands

In 2000, Stephen Winkler and his family were selling their Lucki 7 Livestock Farm products to neighbors and through local farmers markets, grossing a little over $20,000 annually.  In the years that followed, the rising demand for locally produced food enabled Lucki 7 Farms to start selling to white tablecloth distributors and retailers such as Whole Foods and Wegmans.  Today, the farm’s annual sales include 800-1000 hogs, 35 head of beef, 700 meat chickens, and 7000 dozen eggs a year.  In 2013, Stephen started selling heritage hogs and grass fed beef to Mosner Family Brands.  Founded in 1957, Mosner Family Brands is a wholesale meat company based in the Bronx, NY, supplying high quality products to premium food service distributors, distinguished restaurants and high-end retailers. Mosner’s philosophy in partnering with small and mid-sized farmers is to empower them to focus on agriculture and farm management, rather than processing, logistics and other ancillary market-making functions. In doing so, Mosner has helped small family farms scale, become job creators and enhance farm operations through improved and consistent cash flow.  Learn more about how Stephen Winkler and other livestock farmers work with Mosner Family Brands to reach restaurants and retail stores.  Due to illness in Stephen Winkler’s family, this webinar has been postponed until further notice.  We are very sorry for the inconvenience and will make an announcement when we are able to reschedule. 

ShibmuifarmsMushrooms to Dining Rooms: Meet the People Behind the Food Chain

Monday, April 20th. Noon – 1:00pm with  Alan Kaufman of Shibumi Farm, Jennifer Goggin of FarmersWeb, and Anthony Fassio of the Natural Gourmet Institute

Alan Kaufman began growing exotic mushrooms as a hobby in his home basement in 2003.    Today he produces as much as 5000 pounds of mushrooms a week, supplying unusual varieties to highly regarded chefs in New York and New Jersey from his Shibumi Farm in Princeton, NJ. Kaufman’s 35 unique strains of mushrooms are all cultivated indoors in a temperature and humidity controlled fruiting chamber. With ecological health in mind, Kaufman’s growing medium is locally sourced and sustainably harvested wherever possible and he avoids synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Last year, Alan started using FarmersWeb online business management software for farms, food hubs, and local food artisans. FarmersWeb has helped Shibumi farm manage its wholesale business with new and old customers alike. With more time for growing, Shibumi has expanded its wholesale business to include more restaurants, corporate kitchens, and purchasers such as the Natural Gourmet Institute.  CEO Anthony Fassio will speak to how the NGI connects with small farmers like Alan and purchases regional farm products for use in their chef training programs.    Register Here.


Past Webinars

ShannonMason_ChildTurning Milk to Gold (Butter)

Monday, April 6th. Noon – 1:00pm with Shannon Mason of Cowbella and Sonia Janiszewski & Richard Giles of Lucky Dog Food Hub

In 2010, Shannon Mason started turning the fresh Jersey milk from her family’s historic Catskill dairy farm into cheese and butter.  She marketed the new product line, Cowbella, through farmers’ markets, on-farm retail and specialty grocery stores. Today, Cowbella products can be found in 35 locations across NY, including 7 Price Choppers, 6 Tops Markets, and 4 Shop-Rites. Mason’s most recent wholesale market is Lucky Dog Local Food Hub based in Hamden, NY.  Lucky Dog started as an organic vegetable farm in 2000, but owner Richard Giles saw an opportunity to create a ‘hub’ when he had extra space on the refrigerated truck he used to transport his vegetables to New York City markets.  The extra space in the truck is available to other regional small farms who need help transporting and delivering product to NYC buyers.  Learn more about how Shannon Mason and other upstate farmers work together with Lucky Dog Food Hub to reach larger markets in the NYC metropolitan region.   Watch the recording:  https://cornell.webex.com/cornell/lsr.php?RCID=11fdfaa1995454627a8f86b306a82ac7 .

planting a tomato seedlingThe Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to announce that we have been awarded a 3-year grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP) that will enable us to provide new support services for military veterans seeking to farm, and for “advanced beginning” farmers who have 3-9 years of farming experience. Matching funds are provided by our collaborators at the NY Farm Viability Institute and the Local Economies Project. Since 2009 we have operated the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, a vibrant educational and social network that delivers mentoring, information resources, and training to beginning farmers and service providers who support new farm viability. Our long-term goal is to ensure access to resources, education and supportive networks to all who are interested in farming in the Northeast. With these new funds we will create training programs and farmer-to-farmer networks to address the needs of two under-served farmer groups: military/veteran farmers and individuals who have been farming for 3-9 years. Our team of collaborators includes: Cornell Cooperative Extension, National Center for Appropriate Technology, NY Farm Viability Institute, Farmer Veteran Coalition, NY FarmNet, NY Dept of Veterans Affairs, Local Economies Project, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and Heroic Food Farm School. Together we will:

  • Offer annual 5-day intensive entrepreneurial “boot camps” to military veterans seeking to farm
  • Develop approved on-the-job training opportunities on farms, allowing military vets to use GI benefits to get hands-on farm experience
  • Create regional farmer veteran networking groups
  • Provide 40 advanced beginning farmers with intensive support from a “New Farmer Profit Team” of advisers
  • Develop 8 new online courses geared toward advanced beginners seeking to diversify with new enterprises
  • Design intensive trainings on scaling up, including wholesale marketing and equipment decision-making

If you’re a veteran interested in upcoming programs, click here to fill out our short interest form.

A solar powered remote pumping system in Pultney, NY

A solar powered remote pumping system in Pultney, NY

Are you looking to stabilize rising fuel and energy costs on your farm or homestead?  Are you seeking more sustainable sources of energy?  In this upcoming four-part webinar series, you’ll meet an organic vegetable farmer, grape grower & winemaker, sunflower & biodiesel producer, and pastured livestock farmer who will lead you through a virtual tour of their sustainable farm energy systems and ecological production techniques.

This lunchtime webinar series will run from noon-1:00pm every Friday from April 4th through April 25th.  All of the webinars are free and open to the public.   Registration is required.  Upon registering, you’ll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the series.

This webinar series is sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  Please send inquiries tosmallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu. To learn about funding opportunities available from NE SARE, visit www.nesare.org. To learn more about small farm resources and support, visit www.smallfarms.cornell.edu.

April 4th: Organic Vegetable Farm Cools with the Earth: Warms with the Sun
Noon – 1:00pm with Jay Armour of Four Winds Farm, Gardiner, NY
Is it possible to operate a 24 acre diversified vegetable farm with minimal energy use?  Yes!  Jay Armour will take us on a virtual tour of his passive-solar heated and earth-cooled straw-bale vegetable barn with attached greenhouse. At one end of the barn are two root cellars built into a hillside that store root crops throughout the winter with minimal energy use.  A 14-kw grid-intertied PV electric system is situated on the barn roof, which is being financed by a combination of a NYSERDA grant and a low-interest loan. A permanent raised bed system in the vegetable garden requires very little tractor time and hence very minimal fuel use. The Armours also transport vegetables to market in a diesel van converted to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO).  The farm raises produce, heirloom seedlings, grass-fed beef, pasture raised turkeys, and intermittently pasture-raised pork. Register Here  | Visit Farm Website 

April 11th: Family Vineyard Shrinks Carbon Footprint by 40%
Noon – 1:00pm with Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport, NY
Since 2007, Hunt Country Vineyards has reduced total energy costs on their vineyard by 30% and their carbon footprint by more than 40%.  How have they gone about it?  Art Hunt will lead us on a virtual tour of their energy efficient winery, newly insulated warehouse, geothermal heating and cooling system, and vertical wind turbine.  In 2012 the Hunts launched a Locavore Room which celebrates the bounty of local foods and beverages in the Finger Lakes.  The Hunts are proud to say that all food & beverage items (other than wine) they offer for sale on the farm travel an average Distance-from-Source (DfS) of just 162 miles.  Art will also share a variety of ecological production techniques. For example, in 2005, the Hunt family began mixing grape pomace with animal manure and then composting the mix before applying it to the vineyard.  The compost adds vital minerals and nutrients to the soil that help produce outstanding grapes for winemaking and reduce the use of other fertilizers. Register Here | Visit Farm Website

April 18th: Sunflowers & Canola to Fuel: Dairy Becomes Biodiesel Production Facility
Noon – 1:00pm with Roger Rainville of Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vermont
Interested in making biodiesel on your farm or in cooperation with other farmers?  Roger Rainville will take us on a virtual tour of his former dairy-turned-energy farm in Alburgh, Vermont.  In 2008, when diesel prices rose from $4 to $5 per gallon, Roger began planting sunflowers and canola on a portion of his 214 acres and installing biodiesel processing equipment. He harvests the oilseed with a combine, and uses a seed cleaner and grain dryer to prepare the seed for storage in a 60-ton grain bin prior to processing.  He’ll show us how he presses the seed to get two products: oil for biodiesel and pelletized meal for feed or to burn in a pellet stove.  He then sends the oil through a BioPro 190 automated biodiesel processor which can process 100 gallons of oil to fuel per day.  Learn more about his equipment and the seed to fuel process by tuning in to this video. Cosponsored by the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative. Register Here | Visit the VBI Website

April 25th: Thirsty Livestock?  Use Sun or Wind to Power a Remote Watering System
Noon – 1:00pm with Jonathan Barter of Barter Farm, Branchport NY
Are you getting tired of hauling water to livestock in remote pastures?   Jonathan Barter will show us the renewable energy powered watering system on his 210 acre livestock farm (40 Angus cattle and 130 Cheviot and Dorset sheep). In 2010, Jonathan installed a combination wind and solar pumping system which supplies water to 58 acres of pasture. The pumping system consists of a 350 watt turbine, 400 watt solar panels, back up batteries and a deep well pump. Partial funding for this project was provided by USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovative Grants program.  Register Here

Shannon Mason of Cowbella will speak about transitioning to Lucky Dog Food Hub

Shannon Mason of Cowbella will speak about transitioning to Lucky Dog Food Hub

Statewide meeting March 24th features farmers’ perspectives on food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants & more….

The practice of direct-marketing — selling products face-to-face via farmers markets, CSA’s or farm stands — has traditionally been attractive to small farmers because it cuts out the ‘middle man’, leaving all the revenue in the farmers’ pocket.  It can also offer the satisfaction of a personal relationship with the customer and the fulfillment of feeding the local community. But wearing the ‘marketing hat’ has the disadvantage of consuming significant amounts of time and energy.

Recently, a flurry of new marketing avenues that combine advantages of both direct-marketing and wholesaling have come available.  Options such as food hubs, grocery stores, online marketplaces, or restaurants invite the farmer to hand marketing responsibilities over to a third party, but still sell food to their community or region and in some cases, retain their unique marketing identity.

Are these emerging market avenues right for you?  Trying a new marketing strategy requires investment of time, money, and infrastructure, so you want to make an informed choice.  But with each new marketing option offering something different, what decision aids do you need to choose with confidence?

You can find out at the upcoming Small Farms Summit on March 24th, 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm. The full day program, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, features small farmers’ perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale.

In the morning, we’ll hear from vegetable farmer Darren Maum of Salvere Farm, inMarietta, NY.  Darren has recently joined Farmshed, a Central NY company that has enabled Darren to sell a larger volume of product by handling transportation and relationship building efforts with customers, saving Darren valuable time and resources.  Next, Shannon Mason of Cowbella in Jefferson, NY, will describe how a shift to wholesaling through Lucky Dog Local Food Hub has enabled her to invest in new production and processing strategies for her value added dairy products.  Finally, Stephen Winkler of Lucki7 Livestock Co. in Rodman, NY will reflect on how a transition to Wegmans, Whole Foods and a White Tablecloth Distributor has transformed his product mix and marketing strategy.

All speakers will address their decision making process in switching to a new wholesale market, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed.  Farmer speakers will also address how well the new market meets their goals, values or other lifestyle preferences.

After sharing lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to join fellow farmers from your region to swap ideas about specific wholesale marketing opportunities in your area. This interactive ‘wholesale market mapping’ activity will result in generating regional needs for projects that the Cornell Small Farms Program may fund over the next few years.

To register for the 2014 Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, select the nearest meeting location from the list below and then register online. If you prefer, you may also register via phone. The meeting is free to attend and lunch will be provided.  An agenda is available here.  General questions about the Summit should be directed to smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu.


Choose from 7 meeting locations across NYS

Choose from 7 meeting locations across NYS

Small Farms Summit Regional Host Sites

Fingerlakes Region: Wayne County,  Cornell Cooperative Extension office

Address:  1581 Rte 88N, Newark, NY 14513
Contact:  Elizabeth Claypoole at wayne@cornell.edu  or 315-331-8415

Central NY: Mann Library, Agriculture Quad, Cornell University Campus
Address: Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
Contact: Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu or 607-255-9227

Eastern NY: Albany County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address:  24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186
Contact: Gale Kohler at gek4@cornell.edu or 518-765-3500

Hudson Valley: Ulster County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address:  232 Plaza Road, Kingston NY 12401
Contact: Carrie Anne Doyle at cad266@cornell.edu or 845-340-3990

Northern NY: St. Lawrence County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: Extension Learning Farm Classroom at 2043 SH 68, Canton, NY  13617
Contact: Brent Buchanan at bab22@cornell.edu or 315-379-9192 Ext 231

Western NY: Cattaraugus County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address: 28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Contact: Lynn Bliven at lao3@cornell.edu or 585-268-7644

Long Island: Suffolk County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address:  423 Griffing Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901
Contact:  Sandy Menasha at srm45@cornell.edu or 631-727-7850

 

Due to heavy snow and freezing rain forecast across upstate New York, the 2014 NY Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, is rescheduled for March 24th. If you were previously registered for this event and still plan to attend, please complete a new registration form.

Are you currently selling through a farmers’ market, csa, u-pick, or road-side stand? How well is it working? Direct-marketing can offer the satisfaction of a personal relationship with the customer, but wearing the ‘marketing hat’ has the disadvantage of consuming lots of time and energy.

In recent years, a variety of new wholesale markets such as food hubs, online marketplaces, restaurants, and grocery stores have begun recruiting regional products from small to mid-sized farms.  Could these emerging wholesale markets be right for you?

You can find out at the upcoming Small Farms Summit on March 24th, 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm. The program, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, features small farmers’ perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale.  Farmers that have made a successful switch to a new wholesale market will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed.  Farmer speakers will also address how well the new market meets their goals, values or other lifestyle preferences. Click to download a copy of the 2014 Summit Agenda.

After sharing lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to join fellow farmers from your region to swap ideas about specific wholesale marketing opportunities in your area. This interactive ‘wholesale market mapping’ activity will result in generating regional needs for projects that the Cornell Small Farms Program may fund over the next few years.

To register for the Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, locate your nearest host location from the list below and then  register online. If you prefer, you may also register via phone. The meeting is free to attend and lunch will be provided.  General questions about the Summit should be directed to smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu.

Small Farms Summit Regional Host Sites

Fingerlakes Region: Wayne County,  Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address:  
1581 Rte 88N, Newark, NY 14513
Contact:  
Elizabeth Claypoole at wayne@cornell.edu  or 315-331-8415

Central NY: Mann Library, Agriculture Quad, Cornell University Campus
Address: Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
Contact: Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu or 607-255-9227

Eastern NY: Albany County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address:  24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186
Contact: Gale Kohler at gek4@cornell.edu or 518-765-3500

Hudson Valley: Ulster County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address:  232 Plaza Road, Kingston NY 12401
Contact: Carrie Anne Doyle at cad266@cornell.edu or 845-340-3990

Northern NY: St. Lawrence County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: Extension Learning Farm Classroom at 2043 SH 68, Canton, NY  13617
Contact: Brent Buchanan at bab22@cornell.edu or 315-379-9192 Ext 231

Western NY: Cattaraugus County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address: 28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Contact: Lynn Bliven at lao3@cornell.edu or 585-268-7644

Long Island: Suffolk County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address:  423 Griffing Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901
Contact:  Sandy Menasha at srm45@cornell.edu or 631-727-7850

Register Online  

Chicks_Higher_ResWe are pleased to announce a new host site location for the 2014 NY Small Farms Summit. If you are located in the Fingerlakes Region, you can now attend the program, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, at the Wayne County Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Newark, NY.

Are you currently selling through a farmers’ market, csa, u-pick, or road-side stand? How well is it working? Direct-marketing usually provides a higher return on your dollar and the satisfaction of a personal relationship with the customer, but wearing the ‘marketing hat’ has the disadvantage of consuming lots of time and energy.

In recent years, a variety of new wholesale markets such as food hubs, online marketplaces, restaurants, and grocery stores have begun recruiting regional products from small to mid-sized farms. Could these emerging wholesale markets be right for you?

You can find out at the upcoming Small Farms Summit on March 12th, 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm. The program, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, features small farmers’ perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale. Farmers that have made a successful switch to a new wholesale market will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed. Farmer speakers will also address how well the new market meets their goals, values or other lifestyle preferences.

After sharing lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to join fellow farmers from your region to swap ideas about specific wholesale marketing opportunities in your area. This interactive ‘wholesale market mapping’ activity will result in generating regional needs for projects that the Cornell Small Farms Program may fund over the next few years.

To register for the Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, locate your nearest host location from the list below and then register online. If you prefer, you may also register via phone. The meeting is free to attend and lunch will be provided. General questions about the Summit should be directed to smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu


NewYorkSummitMapSmall Farms Summit Regional Host Sites

New! Fingerlakes Region: Wayne County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: 1581 Rte 88N, Newark, NY 14513
Contact: Elizabeth Claypoole at wayne@cornell.edu or 315-331-8415

Central NY: Mann Library, Agriculture Quad, Cornell University Campus
Address: Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
Contact: Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu or 607-255-9227

Eastern NY: Albany County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186
Contact: Gale Kohler at gek4@cornell.edu or 518-765-3500

Hudson Valley: Ulster County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: 232 Plaza Road, Kingston NY 12401
Contact: Carrie Anne Doyle at cad266@cornell.edu or 845-340-3990

Northern NY: St. Lawrence County, Cornell Cooperative Extension office
Address: Extension Learning Farm Classroom at 2043 SH 68, Canton, NY 13617
Contact: Brent Buchanan at bab22@cornell.edu or 315-379-9192 Ext 231

Western NY: Cattaraugus County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address: 28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Contact: Lynn Bliven at lao3@cornell.edu or 585-268-7644

Long Island: Suffolk County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
Address: 423 Griffing Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901
Contact: Sandy Menasha at srm45@cornell.edu or 631-727-7850

Register Online

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