Events

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Please note: RSVPs for RAFFL’s workshops and farmer-to-farmer discussions are encouraged but not required.  RSVP to Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096.

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion:  Variety Selection for Storage & Winter Crops 

December 14 – 3:00-5:00 @ Lihigh School, Poultney

Facilitator: Becky Maden, Singing Cedars Farmstead

With limits on both storage and hoophouse space, varietal selection decisions for storage and winter crops tend to be more critical choices than a summer lettuce variety selection (though that is definitely important!).  Join the discussion, share your experiences with your rockstar varieties and those that you now actively avoid, and get some ideas for your upcoming seed order!  

 

Rutland New Farmer Coaching Day

December 19 – 9:00-3:00 @ Speakeasy Cafe, Rutland

A coaching session usually lasts about 1 hour. Generally some time will be spent providing some relevant background about your farm (or the farm you are planning) and your goals.  Then you may use the session to discuss anything you would like about your farm- some aspect of the business you are looking to improve, learn more about, or just need to talk through.  At the end of the coaching session, you can expect support in the form of referrals to resources and an action plan to help you lay out your next steps and be successful in achieving your farm goals.  

Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 to set up an appointment.

 

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion:  Selling to Wholesale Accounts

January 6 – 10:30-12:30 @ Wood’s Market Garden

Facilitator: Jon Satz

While it can be a great complement to the direct marketing of your products, selling wholesale requires a distinct approach and skill set.  Jon Satz will share his experiences selling to wholesale accounts and then facilitate the discussion that follows.  Potential topics could include production planning, tricks of the trade, farmers’ perspectives on the potential of the region’s wholesale markets, and more!  Whether you are a grower who has been in the wholesale market for years or a new farmer thinking about diversifying your markets, this will be a valuable conversation.

 

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion –  NRCS Conservation Programs: Benefits & Drawbacks of Participation

January 15 – 4:00-6:00 @ Lihigh School, Poultney

Facilitators:  Hilary Solomon & Jennifer Alexander, Poultney-Mettowee NRCD

Have you been contemplating applying for a NRCS conservation program but are not sure what to expect?  Have you been enrolled in an NRCS conservation program and are wondering if others had a similar experience?  Join Hilary Solomon and Jennifer Alexander of the Poultney-Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of participating in NRCS programs, learn about funding options that are alternatives to NRCS conservation programs, share your experiences, and get your questions answered. 

Note: RSVPs for this discussion would be especially appreciated so that information presented can be tailored to the expected participant group. 

 

Manchester New Farmer Coaching Day

January 21 – 9:00-3:00 @ Spiral Press Cafe, Manchester

A coaching session usually lasts about 1 hour. Generally some time will be spent providing some relevant background about your farm (or the farm you are planning) and your goals.  Then you may use the session to discuss anything you would like about your farm- some aspect of the business you are looking to improve, learn more about, or just need to talk through.  At the end of the coaching session, you can expect support in the form of referrals to resources and an action plan to help you lay out your next steps and be successful in achieving your farm goals.  

Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 to set up an appointment.

 

RAFFL Workshop:  Enterprise Analysis 

January 27 – 4:00-5:30 @ RAFFL Office, 67 Merchants Row (3rd floor), Rutland

Presenter: Jen Miller, New Farmer Program Coordinator at RAFFL

In order to fully understand your farm business as a whole, it is necessary to assess how well each specific part of your business is performing.  The process of enterprise analysis allows you to do just that.  In this workshop, New Farmer program coordinator Jen Miller will walk through the process of enterprise analysis and provide information on how it can be helpful as a decision making tool. 

Note:  Jen will also be available for 1-1 time after the workshop to answer individual questions.  Contact her at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 to set up a meeting time. 

 

RAFFL Workshop:  Marketing Strategies for Diversified Farms 

February 3 – 3:00-5:00 @ Castleton Community Center

Presenter: Jill Perry Balzano, Little Lake Orchard

In order to make a good living as a farmer, your energy needs to be put into both the growing and the marketing of your products.  This workshop will cover key marketing strategies as they are applied to diversified farms.  Through case studies and using authentic marketing tools, we’ll examine how these key concepts- from market development and diversification to brand identification- are a work on successful farms and discuss how they may be applied to your specific operation.

 

UVM Extension: Intro to Ag Finance Class

February 4, 11, & 18 (snow date 2/25) – 1:00-4:00 @ RAFFL Office, 67 Merchants Row (3rd floor), Rutland

Presenter: UVM Extension Staff 

For all farmers interested in farm financial basics.  Learn the basics of budgeting and skills to anticipate the financial needs of your operation. Participants will complete balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.

More course information and registration materials available at: http://www.uvm.edu/newfarmer/?Page=classes/classes.html&SM=classes/sub-menu.html

 

NOFA-VT WINTER CONFERENCE

FEBRUARY 14 & 15 @ University of Vermont, Burlington

Join NOFA-VT for 75+ workshops, keynote speakers, roundtables, & celebration for commercial growers, gardeners, homesteaders, and food lovers!  Registration begins in January. Visit http://nofavt.org/annual-events/winter-conference/ for more information.  

 

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion:  Record-keeping Systems

February 19 – 3:00-5:00 @ Castleton Community Center

Facilitator: Becky Maden, Singing Cedars Farmstead

What information do you record on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?  How do you decide what to track?  Are you using Excel or Quickbooks?  What could be done to make your record-keeping systems more efficient and useful?  Learn about the record-keeping systems that farmer Becky Maden developed and used while co-managing Intervale Community Farm and then join the discussion to share what systems have worked for you. 

 

Middlebury New Farmer Coaching Day

February 25 – 9:00-3:00 @ Carol’s Hungry Mind, Middlebury

A coaching session usually lasts about 1 hour. Generally some time will be spent providing some relevant background about your farm (or the farm you are planning) and your goals.  Then you may use the session to discuss anything you would like about your farm- some aspect of the business you are looking to improve, learn more about, or just need to talk through.  At the end of the coaching session, you can expect support in the form of referrals to resources and an action plan to help you lay out your next steps and be successful in achieving your farm goals.  

Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 to set up an appointment.

 

RAFFL Workshop: The How, When, & Why of Accessing Business Capital

March 4 – 1:00-2:30 @ RAFFL Office, 67 Merchants Row (3rd floor), Rutland

Presenter: Benneth Phelps, The Carrot Project

Every farmer or food entrepreneur needs to understand financing as a business tool—even if it’s not needed now. This workshop will offer insight on the specific lending options available for farm and food businesses and what lenders are looking for, as well as help you consider when and why to seek financing.  The Carrot Project offers financing and practical assistance to farms and food enterprises in the Northeast.  Benneth Phelps is the Loan and Business Assistance Coordinator.

Note:  Benneth will also be available for 1-1 consulting to answer individual questions after this workshop.  Please contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 for more information or to schedule a 1-1 session. 

 

Poultney New Farmer Coaching Day

March 12 – 9:30-3:00 @ Cafe Pazienza, Poultney

A coaching session usually lasts about 1 hour. Generally some time will be spent providing some relevant background about your farm (or the farm you are planning) and your goals.  Then you may use the session to discuss anything you would like about your farm- some aspect of the business you are looking to improve, learn more about, or just need to talk through.  At the end of the coaching session, you can expect support in the form of referrals to resources and an action plan to help you lay out your next steps and be successful in achieving your farm goals.  

Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096 to set up an appointment.

 

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion –  Deciding on Scale: What size farm is right for me?

March 16 – 5:00-7:30 @ Evening Song Farm, Shrewsbury

Facilitators:  Kara Fitzgerald & Ryan Wood Beauchamp, Evening Song Farm; Lisa MacDougall, Mighty Food Farm; Adam Stevenson & Kristin Jacoby-Stevenson, Old Gates Farm

Many factors go into the decision of desired farm size and what makes sense given the specific situation of each individual farmer.  Each of the farmers facilitating this discussion operates at a different scale and will share their stories of how their farm has evolved to the size at which it currently operates.  Join us to discuss how you decided on farm size and the questions you have about what size farm is right for you. 

This gathering will include a potluck dinner so bring a dish to share if you’d like!

 

RAFFL Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion:  Animal Slaughter & Processing

April 6 – 4:00-6:00 @ Smokey House Center, Danby

Facilitators:  Mara Hearst & Eben Proft, Someday Farm; BJ Hathaway, Hathaway Farm

Farmers have a diversity of approaches to the slaughtering and processing of their animals and poultry.   Hear from these farmers about their choices and systems for slaughtering and processing. Come ready to discuss what works for you, where you have encountered challenges, what policies and regulations you would like to see changed, and whatever else is on your mind.