Farm & Food Business Incubator Offers Training & Processing Opportunities

ONEONTA, NY – July 12, 2016 – CADE (the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship) and SUNY Cobleskill are currently seeking participants for the Farm & Food Business Incubator, which provides business training and value-added product development facilities for new and expanding farm and food entrepreneurs. Whether looking to establish or expand, the Incubator provides access to invaluable services and resources through educational programming with local and national experts; access to customized support and mentoring; and for value-added producers, the ability to process without on-farm infrastructure.

“CADE works with producers of all scales making a wide variety of farm and food products,” said CADE’s Program Manager, Sonia Janiszewski. “Each entrepreneur has a unique set of skills coupled with a list of needs to succeed. The Incubator combines individualized services to address needs such as access to capital, markets and business skills, while building community engagement through networking opportunities.”

By entering the Incubator, participants are fast-tracked into services and support designed to grow the strength and sustainability of our farm and food community. Those interested should visit www.cadefarms.org/ffbi to learn more about the services and to complete an application. All applicants will be interviewed and an individualized services plan will be developed to meet their specific needs.

The Farm & Food Business Incubator offers on-farm and in-depth workshops, in addition to an intensive business planning course. On-farm workshops are demonstrations focused on a specific agricultural sector or process and led by local and national experts. The next on-farm workshop will be held on July 28th at Slope Farms and will focus on grazing and pasture management. The August on-farm workshop will be held on August 16th at Black Willow Pond Farm and will focus on poultry raising and processing.

In-depth workshops delve into specific business topics, giving farm and food entrepreneurs invaluable insight and tools for developing and growing their business. Topics include legal and labor issues, marketing, funding, food safety and other relevant topics. A full schedule is available at www.cadefarms.org/ffbi.

A three-day business planning course will take place in January and February of 2017. Participants that complete this course will receive mentoring for spring grant applications and other funding access.

Participants may also utilize SUNY Cobleskill’s processing facilities. The commercial kitchen, red meat processing and poultry processing facilities will be available beginning in August, and the campus creamery is under construction with an anticipated spring 2017 opening.

“The perfect storm is upon us,” explained CADE’s Executive Director, Rebecca Morgan. “With increased market maturation in regional foods, continued drought in the West and Southeast, new distribution models to connect producers to northeast consumers, this is the right time to grow our regional farm businesses.”

For more information about the Farm & Food Business Incubator, please contact Sonia Janiszewski, Program Manager, at sonia@cadefarms.org or 607-433-2545.

(Photo credit: CADE)

 

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