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On March 14 and 15, the Baskets to Pallets project hosted a regional training in Rochester, NY. In this retrospect, Violet Stone shares how the training prioritized a holistic approach to learning about wholesale markets such as food hubs, groceries, schools and cooperatives.

Attendees practiced grading peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers using the newly published Vegetable Grading Tools developed by the Cornell Vegetable Team. Courtesy of Jarmila Hasaler

As project coordinator of the Baskets to Pallets project, much of the work I do is at a desk, coordinating the development of new resources or designing workshops. So, I’m always excited to be in a room resounding with conversation and energy as farmers and food producers meet and learn from one another. This was the happy scene at our Baskets to Pallets training on March 14 and 15 in Rochester, NY.

The Baskets to Pallets training debuted in the Catskills in 2017 and circled up to the Tug Hill Plateau in 2018. I’m passionate about creating a healthy, inviting space conducive to learning, so each time we offer this training I incorporate more comforts I consider essential for success. Our gathering in Rochester took place at the Irondequoit Conference Center, a light-filled room with access to fresh air. We enjoyed plenty of healthy snacks and meals sourced primarily through Headwater Food Hub. Even at the end of winter, we were still able to enjoy a seasonal menu with local meats, cheeses, seeds, mushrooms and fresh microgreens.

Beyond ensuring attendees are comfortable and well-fed, this training incorporates lots of time for discussion and activities. We avoid turning the lights low and flashing a long sequence of slides to lull you into nap-land. Our goal is to present short bursts of useful information and then offer space for you to consider, digest and reflect on how the information presented resonates or applies to your farm or food business.

We also respect the incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the room. This training typically draws 50 farmers of all enterprises from a 100-mile radius. We had dairy and grain farmers sitting at the table with cut flower growers and urban market gardeners. Some had been farming for over 20 years and some were still writing business plans. Ensuring time in each lesson plan for exchange of ideas, successes and failures is an essential part of maintaining energy and engagement.

I always feel as though I’m leaving a new neighborhood at the conclusion of this training. We get to know each other and many go home with a few new friends or professional contacts. I always hope attendees feel that they have increased their knowledge and skills and developed new business goals, but more importantly, I hope they feel taken care of. It’s not easy for a farmer or food producer to leave the business for two days for a long-distance trip. Creating a holistic approach to learning by respecting a person’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs continues to be the highest priority for me as this training evolves.

Many thanks to the team of instructors and buyers for sharing their expertise and perspectives, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County for co-hosting this training. To learn more about the training, visit http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/wholesale/.

The Baskets to Pallets training will be offered in the Hudson Valley region in late 2019 or early 2020. To receive an announcement, please email Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu.

Are you in search of new markets? Have you considered intermediary channels like food hubs, grocery stores, schools and cooperatives? The demand for local food continues to grow…Is your farm business ready for the opportunities?

Ensure your success by joining us for ‘Baskets to Pallets’, a comprehensive two-day introduction to selling wholesale.

Baskets to Pallets Regional Farmer Training. March 14th and 15th

Irondequoit Conference Center, Rochester, NY

This lively course designed for farmers of all enterprises is taught by a talented and diverse instructor team of educators, farmers and buyers. The Baskets to Pallets Training now features 2 course tracks so you can choose the most useful topics for your farm business. Presentations are accompanied by activities and discussion to give you time to react to the course material and relate it to your own business.

Instructor Team: Read about the trainers and presenters here

View the entire Course Schedule here

Cost: $35.00 per person for the entire Training. Includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day.  Bring a second representative from the farm for FREE!!  NYS Military Veterans are eligible for up to $200 reimbursement for this event to cover registration & travel expenses. Contact Dean Koyanagi at (607) 255-9911 for details.

Space is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged.

REGISTER NOW

Baskets to Pallets Training Sponsors
The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe, Wyoming and Wayne Counties for supporting this event.

For more information: Contact Violet Stone at 607-255-9227 or vws7@cornell.edu.

Baskets to Pallets Regional Farmer Training. March 14th and 15th

Irondequoit Conference Center, Rochester, NY

Are you looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers market, CSA and farm stand? Food hubs, grocery stores, schools and cooperatives are looking for your products to meet growing consumer demand for locally produced 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.

Something for everyone...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.

New! Choose the most useful sessions…A second track of workshops lets you can choose topics most suitable for your business needs.

Cost: $35.00 per person for the entire Training. Includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day.  Bring a second representative from the farm for FREE!!  NYS Military Veterans are eligible for up to $200 reimbursement for this event to cover registration & travel expenses. Contact Dean Koyanagi at (607) 255-9911 for details.

Space is limited to 40 participants.

REGISTER NOW

Baskets to Pallets Training Sponsors
The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe, Wyoming and Wayne Counties for supporting this event.

For more information: Contact Violet Stone at 607-255-9227 or vws7@cornell.edu.


Training Agenda

Thursday, March 14th

Time Slot Track 1 Instructor Track 2 Instructor
9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments.
10:00am – 10:10am Overview of the Training | Introductions Violet Stone
10:10am – 10:30am Consumer Trends and the Demand for Local Violet Stone
10:30am – 11:00am Choosing and Evaluating Market Channels Laura Biasillo
11:00am – 11:30am Building Relationships with Buyers Violet Stone Getting Started with Schools Omari Washington
11:30am – Noon Perfecting the Pitch and Cold Calling Violet Stone Getting Started with Schools Omari Washington
Noon – 1:00pm Lunch. Enjoy a hearty, hot lunch and socializing.
1:00pm – 2:00pm Voices of Experience: Farmer Stories Paul Loomis
2:00pm – 2:15pm Stretch Break & Snacks
2:15pm – 3:00pm Inform Your Buyer, Build Your Brand Daniel Eggert Cooperative and Collaborative Marketing Laura Biasillo
3:00pm – 3:30pm The Ingredients of Good Marketing | Sell Sheets Violet Stone
3:30pm – 4:00pm Local opportunities & NYS programs Violet Stone & Jarmila Haseler

Friday, March 15th

Time slot Track 1 Instructor Track 2 Instructor
9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments.
10:00am – 10:10am Lessons Learned: Lead Barriers to Wholesaling Robert Hadad Uniformity, Consistency and Grading for Livestock Tanya Moyer
10:10am – 11:00am     Pricing and Profits: Understanding Your Cost of Production Robert Hadad Uniformity, Consistency and Grading for Livestock Tanya Moyer
11:00am – 11:30am Uniformity, Consistency and Scheduling for Produce Robert Hadad Uniformity, Consistency and Grading for Livestock Tanya Moyer
11:30 – Noon Hands-On Grading Robert Hadad Uniformity, Consistency and Grading for Livestock Tanya Moyer
Noon – 1:00pm Lunch. Enjoy a hearty, hot lunch and socializing
1:00pm – 2:00pm Buyer Panel Phil Bianchi, Headwater Food Hub
Dave Walczak, Eden Valley Growers
2:00pm – 2:30pm Labeling Selecting Seed Cultivars for Different Markets Success Daniel Eggert
2:30pm – 2:45pm Stretch Break
2:45pm – 3:15pm Packaging Livestock: Standard Cut Sheets, Packaging and Presentation Tanya Moyer
3:15pm – 3:45pm Keeping Production Records & Food Safety Basics Livestock: Standard Cut Sheets, Packaging and Presentation Tanya Moyer
3:45pm – 4:00pm Farmer Mentor Circles Evaluation & Closing

 

Training Instructors

Violet Stone launched the Baskets to Pallets Project in 2014 in an effort to prepare direct-marketing farmers to successfully connect with new scale-appropriate markets.  Prior to joining the Cornell Small Farms staff, Violet worked as a farmers market manager, local foods educator and farm direct-marketing consultant.  She is also the  New York NESARE (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education State Coordinator. Before joining the Cornell Vegetable Program, Robert Hadad worked as an Extension Educator, developing programs for growers exploring sustainable and organic production practices. The production and marketing of local foods has always been a passion for Robert. He is also the former owner of a small produce farm in Rhode Island. Today, Robert is the team’s food safety, organic, marketing, and fresh market specialist.
Daniel Eggert is the Organic Brand Manager at Harris Seeds. He oversees the organic division which includes expanding the product line, contacting growers to ensure their success, helping with trial varieties, and expanding the brand presence within the organic community. Daniel is passionate about sustainability, becoming self-sufficient, and studying permaculture/biodynamic practices. He loves working at Harris Seeds and helping growers achieve success. Omari Washington is an urbanist with a passion for building strong, equitable communities through inclusive local food projects. Over the past decade, he has been involved in the management of various environmental initiatives in New York City and the Hudson Valley, including MillionTreesNYC, and he has consulted with national organizations, such as National Wildlife Federation and National Urban League. Omari will soon graduate from Pratt Institute with a Master’s degree in Sustainable Environmental Systems.
Tanya Moyer is the owner of Mulligan Creek Acres, a small scale, natural, pasture based farm. Committed to sustainable agriculture and providing the animals a stress free life, Tanya has sought out purebred Berkshire pigs, meat chickens and turkeys for the farm. Tanya’s mission for the farm is to rebuild and conserve the land’s of Mulligan Creek so the animals have the best possible, natural environment thus resulting in the most flavorful, nutritious food. Laura Biasillo is an Agricultural Economic Development Speciailst with CCE-Broome County, in Binghamton NY. In this position she focuses on increasing marketing channels for producers, creating education programs focuses on new skills and technologies and facilitation farmland protection and development initiatives with the county.
Longtime friends Paul Loomis and Chris Flagg started hobby farming many years ago on a heavily wooded flood plain in Hilton with many stories to tell of trial, error, success, and lessons learned. Paul Loomis is now the co-owner of Growing Family Farms, which produces certified organic vegetables, fruits, eggs, and chicken on six sandy acres central to Rochester’s west-side communities of Hilton, Greece, Spencerport, and Parma.

 

 

 


Tug Hill Vineyards

Baskets to Pallets Two Day Training
Tug Hill Vineyards, Lowville, NY

January 29 & January 30, 10:00am – 4:00pm

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. Additionally, the training includes an end-of-day session to start crop-planning for selling to the NNY Food Hub, based out of Jefferson county CCE, during the 2018 growing season.

The training cost is $35.00, which enables 2 people per farm to attend and includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day. Space is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged. Lodging is available at Ridge View Lodge at a discounted rate of $80-90 per night.  Reserve by January 15th!

The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is co-hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County and funded via Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).


REGISTRATION OPEN: CLICK HERE


Training Agenda

DAY 1: Monday, January 29th

9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments
10:00am – 10:15am Overview of the Training | Introductions Violet Stone, Cathy Moore and Melissa Spence
10:15am – 10:30am Consumer Trends and the Demand for Local Violet Stone
10:30am – 11:00am Market Channel Assessment Lindsey Pashow
11:00am – 11:30am Building Relationships with Buyers Violet Stone
11:30am – 12:00pm Perfecting the Pitch and Cold Calling Violet Stone
Noon – 1:00pm  Lunch & Socializing
1:00pm – 1:30pm  Inform Your Buyers, Build Your Brand Lindsey Pashow
1:30pm – 2:30pm  Buyer Q&A Buyer Panel TBA
2:30pm – 3:30pm The Ingredients of Good Marketing | Sell Sheets Violet Stone
3:30pm – 4:00pm Crop Planning for the Food Hub Meeting: for farmers interested
in selling to the Food Hub
Cathy Moore

DAY 2: Tuesday, January 30th

9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments
10:00am – 10:15am Reflecting on Day 1 and Overview of Day 2 Violet Stone
10: 15am – 10:45am Grading Liz Higgins
10:45am – Noon Uniformity, Consistency and Scheduling
BREAK OUT SESSION for Produce and Livestock
Crystal Stewart and Betsy Hodge
Noon – 1:00pm Lunch & Socializing
1:00 – 2:00pm Farmer Stories Farmer Panel TBA
2:00pm – 2:30pm Labeling Liz Higgins
2:30pm – 3:00pm Packaging Liz Higgins
3:00pm – 3:15pm Hands On Pallet Stacking Violet Stone
3:15pm – 3:45pm Keeping Production Records & Food Safety Basics Crystal Stewart
3:45pm – 4:00pm Evaluation Violet Stone

 

Training Instructors

Violet Stone
Violet launched the Baskets to Pallets Project in 2014 in an effort to prepare direct-marketing farmers to successfully connect with new scale-appropriate markets.  Prior to joining the Cornell Small Farms staff, Violet worked as a farmers market manager, local foods educator and farm direct-marketing consultant.  She is also the  New York NESARE (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education State Coordinator.

Robert Hadad
Before joining the Cornell Vegetable Program in 2005, Robert Hadad worked as an Extension Educator both through the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, developing programs for growers exploring sustainable and organic agricultural production practices. The production and marketing of local foods has always been a passion for Robert through his previous Extension work and as a former owner and operator of a small vegetable and fruit farm in Rhode Island. Today, Robert is the team’s food safety, organic, marketing, and fresh market specialist.

Liz Higgins

As a CCE Business Management Specialist, Liz provides research and extension support to growers in ENY in farm business management, business planning and risk management and agricultural economics. She as experience as the director of the Center for Rural Development at Louisiana Tech University and most recently worked with CCE in both Ulster and Sullivan Counties as a program leader in Nutrition and Consumer Programs.

Crystal Stewart

Crystal works as an extension vegetable specialist for CCE, focusing on organic horticulture, small and beginning farmers assistance, and basic farm business management. She worked as Regional Extension Educator with the SDSU Cooperative Extension providing horticulture support, and originally joined CCE as the horticulture and agriculture educator in Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Betsy Hodge

Betsy is Regional Livestock Educator for CCE’s NNY Regional Ag Team and is also a local educator for St. Lawrence County. In this dual role, Betsy leads the NNY Livestock Team, a group of Extension Educators from across Northern New York. Betsy is a member of  Farm Bureau and the Empire Sheep Producers Association as well as a member of several advisory boards.

Lindsey Pashow

Lindsey is an Agriculture Business Development and Marketing Specialist for CCE’s Harvest NY Team that is affiliated with the Northern NY Regional Agriculture Program. She serves Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. She has previously worked as a horticulture field technician for CCE, and she owns Adirondack View Vineyard.

 

Are you looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers market, CSA and farm stand? Food hubs, grocery stores, schools and cooperatives are looking for your products to meet growing consumer demand for locally produced 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.

March 14th and March 15th
10:00am – 4:00pm
Irondequoit Conference Center, Rochester NY

Something for everyone...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.

New! Choose the most useful sessions…Day 2 offers all-day break-out sessions so you can choose which topics are most suitable for your business needs.

Cost: $35.00 per person for the entire Training. Includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day.  Bring a second representative from the farm for FREE!! NYS Military Veterans are eligible for up to $200 reimbursement for this event to cover registration & travel expenses. Contact Dean Koyanagi at (607) 255-9911 for details.

Space is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged.

REGISTER NOW

Video (above): Watch farmer Phil Munson describe advantages of selling to Headwater Food Hub.

Baskets to Pallets Training Sponsors
The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe, Wyoming and Wayne Counties for supporting this event.

For more information: Contact Violet Stone at 607-255-9227 or vws7@cornell.edu.

Do you serve refugee farmers?   Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming and the Cornell Small Farms Program are seeking to identify organizations who are working with refugee populations engaged in agriculture in New York State.  If this describes your organization, please take a minute to fill out a short questionnaire describing your work.

Click here for Questionnaire

We will compile a Directory based on the responses and share back with all who provided information to increase networking and resource sharing.  Please complete the questionnaire by June 15th.

Farmers at Groundswell’s Incubator Farm in Ithaca, NY

To learn more about our project, “Advancing Agricultural Support and Training for Refugee Farmers in Central New York”, please contact Adriana Pickett at adriana@groundswellcenter.org.

2 day Training helps farmers develop new relationships with scale-appropriate wholesale buyers

Are 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 produced 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.

January 29th and 30th
10:00am – 4:00pm
Tug Hill Vineyards, Lowville 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. Additionally, the training includes an end-of-day

Tug Hill Vineyards

session to start crop-planning for selling to the NNY Food Hub, based out of Jefferson county CCE, during the 2018 growing season.

The training cost is $35.00, which enables 2 people per farm to attend and includes breakfast refreshments and a delicious locally sourced lunch each day. Space is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged. Lodging is available at Ridge View Lodge at a discounted rate of $80-90 per night.  Reserve by January 15th!

The ‘Baskets to Pallets’ course is co-hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County and funded via Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).


REGISTRATION OPEN: CLICK HERE


Training Agenda

DAY 1: Monday, January 29th

9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments
10:00am – 10:15am Overview of the Training | Introductions Violet Stone, Cathy Moore and Melissa Spence
10:15am – 10:30am Consumer Trends and the Demand for Local Violet Stone
10:30am – 11:00am Market Channel Assessment Lindsey Pashow
11:00am – 11:30am Building Relationships with Buyers Violet Stone
11:30am – 12:00pm Perfecting the Pitch and Cold Calling Violet Stone
Noon – 1:00pm  Lunch & Socializing
1:00pm – 1:30pm  Inform Your Buyers, Build Your Brand Lindsey Pashow
1:30pm – 2:30pm  Buyer Q&A Buyer Panel TBA
2:30pm – 3:30pm The Ingredients of Good Marketing | Sell Sheets Violet Stone
3:30pm – 4:00pm Crop Planning for the Food Hub Meeting: for farmers interested
in selling to the Food Hub
Cathy Moore

DAY 2: Tuesday, January 30th

9:00am – 10:00am Arrival. Enjoy breakfast refreshments
10:00am – 10:15am Reflecting on Day 1 and Overview of Day 2 Violet Stone
10: 15am – 10:45am Grading Liz Higgins
10:45am – Noon Uniformity, Consistency and Scheduling
BREAK OUT SESSION for Produce and Livestock
Crystal Stewart and Betsy Hodge
Noon – 1:00pm Lunch & Socializing
1:00 – 2:00pm Farmer Stories Farmer Panel TBA
2:00pm – 2:30pm Labeling Liz Higgins
2:30pm – 3:00pm Packaging Liz Higgins
3:00pm – 3:15pm Hands On Pallet Stacking Violet Stone
3:15pm – 3:45pm Keeping Production Records & Food Safety Basics Crystal Stewart
3:45pm – 4:00pm Evaluation Violet Stone

Training Instructors

Violet Stone

Violet launched the Baskets to Pallets Project in 2014 in an effort to prepare direct-marketing farmers to successfully connect with new scale-appropriate markets.  Prior to joining the Cornell Small Farms staff  in 2007, Violet worked as a farmers market manager, local foods educator and farm direct-marketing consultant. She has a Certificate in Agroecology from the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.  She is also the  New York NESARE (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education State Coordinator.

Cathy Moore
Catherine Moore is the Agriculture, Natural Resources & Fort Drum Issue Leader at Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Cathy is the coordinator of the NNY Food Hub, a regional initiative to help local producers expand their production and become more competitive in the marketplace. The hub serves an area that includes Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties.

Liz Higgins

As a CCE Business Management Specialist, Liz provides research and extension support to growers in ENY in farm business management, business planning and risk management and agricultural economics. She as experience as the director of the Center for Rural Development at Louisiana Tech University and most recently worked with CCE in both Ulster and Sullivan Counties as a program leader in Nutrition and Consumer Programs.

Crystal Stewart

Crystal works as an extension vegetable specialist for CCE, focusing on organic horticulture, small and beginning farmers assistance, and basic farm business management. She worked as Regional Extension Educator with the SDSU Cooperative Extension providing horticulture support, and originally joined CCE as the horticulture and agriculture educator in Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Betsy Hodge

Betsy is Regional Livestock Educator for CCE’s NNY Regional Ag Team and is also a local educator for St. Lawrence County. In this dual role, Betsy leads the NNY Livestock Team, a group of Extension Educators from across Northern New York. Betsy is a member of  Farm Bureau and the Empire Sheep Producers Association as well as a member of several advisory boards.

Lindsey Pashow

Lindsey is an Agriculture Business Development and Marketing Specialist for CCE’s Harvest NY Team that is affiliated with the Northern NY Regional Agriculture Program. She serves Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. She has previously worked as a horticulture field technician for CCE, and she owns Adirondack View Vineyard.

 

Have you noticed our new look? Yes, we’ve merged our sister site, the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project, with the Small Farms Program website. You can now find all the great features of both sites in one place, but excuse some broken links. We’re working to address them as soon as possible! If you need help finding a favorite spot, head over to our contact page and send us an email.

Please note, our ‘Who Can Help Map’ of agricultural service providers across the Northeast is not currently available.  We’re working to get it back up and running as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, if you’re in New York, visit our ‘Local Contacts Map‘ to find the Cornell Cooperative Extension agent closest to you or check out the CCE Regional Teams directory.

Increasing production on the farm can often require investments in equipment to improve labor efficiency, productivity and profitability.  Are you a farmer who is interested in scaling up farm production through investment in your first tractor or upgrading to a bigger piece of equipment?  Are you a beginning or experienced farmer who wants to understand tractors better and to use them and care for them more safely and efficiently? The Cornell Small Farms Program will be hosting several upcoming workshops on the basics of tractor operation, safety and routine maintenance. 

This two-day, intensive workshop will be led by Shane LaBrake, who provides an unusual and holistic approach to tractor operation, safety and  routine maintenance.  The class is designed to de-mystify tractors and equipment, empower and inspire, and inform “scale-appropriate” equipment choices and purchase decisions.

Sunday, April 23rd and Monday, April 24th at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County in Belmont, NY. Click here to register.  This class is full.  Contact Laura Hunsberger at lkh47@cornell.edu to be added to the waiting list

OR
Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County in Canton, NY. Click here to register.

Classes run 9 am – 5 pm each day.  Lunch and snacks are included. Cost is $75.00 total for both days.  Scholarships are available for military veterans upon completion of the training (reimbursement for registration and partial travel expenses).  For more information about scholarships, please contact Dean Koyanagi at drk5@cornell.edu. Participation in each workshop is limited to 12. 

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

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