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JA slide show
Track 6 - The Business of Farming

Program - Sponsors - Registration - Lodging - Rideshare

Track Sponsor

The lifestyle of living close to the land draws many to farming, but in order for small farms to thrive they have to be successful businesses as well. Understanding business basics as well as the unique business challenges of agricultural enterprises can make the difference between a profitable farm and one that barely makes it or goes under.


Friday, January 17

SESSION I - 2:30 – 3:45 pm

Accounting for Sunnyside Farm: Making It Work

Dru Peters, Dover, PA - Sunnyside Farm

Many ways can be used to calculate, monitor and report business expenses. Dru Peters of Sunnyside Farm had intensive training in managing budgets while employed by both Disney and Prentice Hall. The separate revenue and expense streams are monitored online, credit card processing with a smart phone, simple excel spreadsheets too. The year of financial planning and budget will be covered.

SESSION II - 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Using Meadow to Meal Mythos to Give a Sense of Place to Add Value

Gabriel Key, Alexandria, VA - Food For The Rest of Us

As more and more local or heritage breed farmers seek to sell to consumers, and commercially produced animals marketed 'artisanal', local, or heritage, effectively telling the "gate to plate story" to consumers can mean the difference between increased consumer loyalty and sales, or becoming "another farmer at the market." This presentation will discuss how famers can use information they know as a part of their day-to-day operations to tell the "gate to plate" story, via consumer focused and friendly tools in order to increase the value and visibility of their product, while also increasing consumer loyalty and trust, two principle values when attempting to stand out in a competitive market.

Saturday, January 18

SESSION III - 8:30 - 9:45 am

Season-by-Season Guide to Farmers Market Sales Success

Keith Stewart, Westtown, NY - Keith's Farm

Keith Stewart will cover what you need to set up and run an effective farmers market stand, including vehicle and canopy choices; stand design, layout and display; signage and pricing; bunching and selling by the unit versus selling by weight; and numerous other market essentials. Keith will also discuss the ebb-and-flow of the seasons at a farmers' market, and how to ensure you have the right offerings, in the right quantities, at the right times, in order to satisfy your customer's needs and maximize your profits.

SESSION IV - 10:00 - 11:15 am

How to Put SARE Grants to Best Use

Jason Challandes, Newark, DE - Northeast SARE
Panel: Tanya Tolchin, Washington, DC - Israeli Harvest

Northeast SARE programs and grant opportunities will be described in detail by this Regional SARE Educator. Additionally, a panel of three farmers who were recipients of SARE farmer grants will share their experiences and answer any questions that participants have. Participants will be taught about Northeast SARE and its Farmer and Partnership grants in detail, including the application process and requirements for a successful proposal.

SESSION V - 3:30 - 4:45 pm

Farm the Sun Every Day of the Year!

Tim Beiler, Gap, PA - Paradise Energy Solutions

Tim Beiler will begin his presentation by looking at the facts of solar energy. The discussion will then turn towards looking at the financial incentives and benefits, as well as case studies of harnessing solar power. Tim will also explain Paradise Energy Solutions' commitment to making solar affordable for everyone.