Baskets to Pallets Farmer Training: Rochester, NY

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

Irondequoit Conference Center, Rochester, NY

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Do you farm? Courtesy of Violet Stone.

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.

Untitled 2 22su9uaBaskets 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

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 1brp1x6Violet 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. Robert zxpbqfBefore 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 wncl8lDaniel 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 20yqmnaOmari 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 1oyueybTanya 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 1ib11o6Laura 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.
Paul 2gtrsbeLongtime 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.



Violet Stone

Violet's work focuses on creating retreats, workshops and programs for the agricultural community centered on themes of connection, wellness, purpose, integrity and courage. She sees this work as contributing to a more inclusive ‘culture’ of agriculture where all voices are warmly welcomed, honored and celebrated, including the voices of our ‘inner teachers’, sometimes referred to as 'spirit' or 'soul'. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
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