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Educators: Register Now for ‘Baskets to Pallets’ Statewide Training

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.

The Training is Full.  Join the Market Watch mailing list to learn about future opportunities.   For questions, contact Project Coordinator Violet Stone at 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


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