So you're ready to take your farm to the next level, but what does that mean? Where exactly is the next level and is it different for your farm than it is for your neighbor's? Sometimes the next level means diversifying the product mix to maximize production, other times it means growing the entire operation to capture more market share. The sessions in this track will explore different approaches to determining the right scale as a farm matures.
SESSION I - 2:30 – 3:45 pm
Challenges and Opportunities for Institutional Sales
Jon Berger, Washington, DC - Real Food Challenge
Are you a farmer interested in learning more about institutional sales, and finding out if it could be right for your business? Come hear from growers, distributors, and purchasers about their experience with the institutional market. Topics discussed will include food safety requirements, packing, delivery, and pros and cons of working with a distributor.
SESSION II - 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Labor - Why You Need It, Two Models for Discussion
Joan Norman, White Hall, MD - One Straw Farm
Chip Planck, Purcellville, VA - Wheatland Vegetable Farms
Figuring out how much hired labor is needed to make your farm efficient and profitable is a difficult decision, but as you'll hear from our two panelists, one you need to consider seriously and carefully. Two models will be discussed - working with local hired workers and working with immigrant labor. Both situations provide on-farm housing and fair compensation, which will be discussed as well.
Saturday, January 18
SESSION III - 8:30 - 9:45 am
Growing Produce for Wholesale
Tom McDougall, Washington, DC - Blue Ridge Produce
Food Hubs (aggregator) provide a much needed addition to our local food supply chain. Many small and medium size growers also have to find the time to be truck drivers and salespeople and accountants and lawyers and marketing agencies and, the list goes on. Selling to institutional and wholesale buyers requires a lot of smaller growers. Simultaneously, those buyers meet logistical challenges when buying directly from growers: on time deliveries, consistency, quantities needed, timing, payments, and the like.
SESSION IV - 10:00 - 11:15 am
High Tunnels for Season Extension
Chris Lent, Forty Fort, PA - NCAT/ATTRA
This workshop will focus on the use of high tunnels and hoop houses to extend the growing season. Topics that will be addressed include: the economics of hoop house production, design and installation of low energy use high tunnels and hoop houses, and production methods inside these structures. Farms that have incorporated high tunnel production into their business will be highlighted. Come and see what season extension in high tunnels can add to your operation.
SESSION V - 3:30 - 4:45 pm
Growing the Family Farm Business
|Track 2 - Scaling Up|