REGISTER NOW! USDA Value Added Producer Grant Boot Camp

USDA Value Added Producer Grant Boot Camp
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
8:45AM to 3:00PM
Skagit Farmers Supply
1833 Park Lane, Burlington, WA 98233

Come learn about the USDA Value Added Producer Grant program this important USDA program has benefited many producers throughout the Puget Sound region with grant amounts ranging from less than $50,000 up to $250,000.
Brandon Hoffman, Business and Loan Specialist for the USDA will make an in-depth presentation of the entire program, how it works, and how to prepare an application.
Jeff Voltz, Project Manager for NABC will present how to prepare a feasibility study based on USDA guidelines, and a business plan model that will support your preparation of a grant application.

This workshop will also provide a panel discussion with local producers who have prepared and won grant awards, and implemented a USDA VAPG project.  Producers include Melissa Moeller, Owner, Misty Meadows Farm, Asche Rider, General Manager, North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative, and Dorcas Young, Owner, Lesedi Farm.

Registration: $25.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Register at:  VAPG BOOTCAMP
NABC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider

MANY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS!

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New, Year-Round Market for Farmers/Producers in Everett

Everett, WA— Farms & Market, a brand-new, year-round market and local foods retail space in downtown Everett is gearing up for a late 2017/early 2018 opening. Currently, the market is seeking farmers, growers, and livestock producers along with their feedback to help make this the best and most unique market in the region. Featuring farm-unique stands filled with fresh and preserved food products grown and produced regionally, Farms & Market will be open year-round, 10-12 hours a day. In addition, their gourmet kitchens will craft a full line of fresh, ready-to eat and made-to-order dishes created from many of the same local farm products.

To help connect with farmers and producers, Farms & Market is holding an information and feedback session Friday, October 20, 2017 from 7:00pm-8:30pm. Location is WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th St SE (inside McCollum Park), Everett, WA.

Unlike traditional markets, Farms & Market won’t require each farm to man/woman their stand. The concept allows each farm to put their products and identity on month-to-month rented stands and refrigerated bins, then simply provide fresh product as needed. Farms & Market staff will take care of sales and restocking.
Hosted by Farms & Market General Manager Alicia Moreno and Kate Ryan of WSU Snohomish County Extension, attendees will be able to view the market layout as well as learn about its unique 7-days a week, year-round system. You’ll see what participation looks like and be able to provide Farms & Market with valuable feedback. Mark your calendar to join us October 20th to learn more and to let us know how we can best work together.

For more information on the meeting and the new market, contact Alicia N. Moreno, General Manager, Farms & Market 425.246.5917, aliciam@farmsandmarket.com.

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REGISTER NOW! HOW COOPERATIVES WORK-The Mutual Benefit of Processing, Marketing, and Distribution Cooperatives

The Mutual Benefit of  Processing, Marketing, and Distribution Cooperatives
Tuesday, November 14, from 9AM to 4:30PM
Northwest Educational Service District 189
1601 R Ave, Anacortes, WA 98221

6 Processing, Marketing and Distribution Cooperatives are coming to Anacortes to share their stories. Come to hear and learn from:
• LINC Foods, Spokane, WA
• North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative
• Okanogan Producers Marketing Association
• Puget Sound Food Hub
• Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Co-op
• Western Montana Growers Co-op
5 Regional food industry buyers are coming to share what they like about accessing locally produced products including:
• Bellingham Food Bank
• Bon Appetit Management Company
• Canlis Restaurant
• Community Food Co-op
• PCC Community Markets
4 Access to Capital presentations by:
• Community Food Co-op Farm Fund
• Industrial Credit Union
• Northwest Farm Credit Services
• Shared Capital Cooperative

Break out workshops will feature:
Group Gap with presentations by Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center and Western Montana Growers Cooperative

Food Hub Crop and Production Planning by LINC Foods and Western Montana Growers Cooperative

Workshop Registration Fee:        $25.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at:  COOPERATIVES MUTUAL  BENEFITS

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NABC Expands Services To Latino Population: Latest Success Story

Late last year NABC announced that it would be expanding its services to help the Latino community. We strive to help provide the opportunity for farmers to increase farm profitability, to evolve, innovate and flourish through value added products, and to advance the legacy of thriving and lucrative agriculture for future generations.  Recently this occurred through a partnership with the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative. The farmer owned cooperative’s purpose is to grow market access and build economic sustainability for northwest Washington farms while increasing access to locally grown food for all.

In a collaborative effort between Kate Smith, Northwest Small and Latino Farms Educator from WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources/Skagit County Extension, Jade Vantreese, Sales & Marketing Coordinator from PSFH and Alex Perez, Project Manager from NABC the Cabrera’s family were assisted to join the PSFH. Cabrera Farm will provide a great variety of organic produce through PSFH. Their operation produces a variety of high-quality, organic vegetables including zucchini, winter and summer squash, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, and lettuce.

We are proud that because of this program we can share stories like this which are happening across Western Washington.

For more information about our bi-lingual agribusiness development program, please contact Alex Perez at Alex@agbizcenter.org or (360) 770-4072.

Se habla Español, para mas infomación sobre nuestros servicios, contactar a Alex Perez: Alex@agbizcenter.org (360) 770-4072.

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Farmers Cooperative Day at the Skagit County Fair

Working with Skagit Farmers Supply, North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative, and the Puget Sound Food Hub Farmers Cooperative, NABC organized the second annual Farmers Cooperative Day at the Skagit County Fair on Saturday, August 12. Many fun activities were shared including NABC’s Cooperative and Agriculture Jeopardy, Skagit Farmers Supply’s Wheel of Prizes, and samples of Bow Hill Blueberries ice cream and Myshan Dairy’s fabulous Guernsey milk.

NABC and the North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative provided revolving slideshows sharing stories of cooperative development and how farmers working together are able to access new markets. NABC also had its Mobile Poultry Processing Unit on site and conducted more than a dozen tours and provided product samples of Scratch and Peck Feeds fine poultry feed products.  A fun time was had by all!

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Farmers Learn How to Wholesale at NABC Post-Harvest Farm Tour

While every farmer knows that time during the summer months slips by in a flurry of picking and packing, an overcast Wednesday at the end of June pulled a group of farmers from their fields for the first segment of NABC’s Wholesale Farming Success workshop series. Farmers came out from Nash’s Organic Produce, Boldly Grown Farm, Silva Family Farm, Sumas River Farm, Hunters Moon Farm, Blanchard Mountain Farm, and Red Shed Farm, in addition to representatives from Sustainable Connections and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. During the three-hour tour in the peak season, these attendees got a look into three established wholesale operations: The Puget Sound Food Hub, Ralph’s Greenhouse, and Skagit Flats Farm.

As farmers gathered outside the food hub warehouse, they were greeted by Operations Manager Scott Morris, who spoke from his 20+ years in food service as he explained food hub best practices and gave advice on cultivating relationships with buyers. As he underscored the importance of quality packaging, farmers shared from their own experiences how best to operate a post-harvest operation by efficiently packing, learning the market standards, and maintaining close communication with buyers and distributors.

The second leg of the farm tour brought the group to the driveway of Ralph’s Greenhouse, where farm manager Tim Terpstra loaded everyone into one of the farm’s signature school buses for a bumpy ride through the fields before a tour of the farm’s pack and wash station and cooling facility. With attendees gathered amongst the light spray of washing lines, Tim explained how the farm manages various types of produce, how and to whom it sells, and how it has standardized its post-harvest process for high efficiency.

From Ralph’s, the group carpooled down the road to Skagit Flats Farm to gather amidst tables of budding flats and ask farmer Andy Ross how he manages his tight, wholesale-only operation. After Andy fielded questions about selling to Charlie’s, packing in the field, compost, and crop planning, the group wrapped up the morning and farmers headed back to their own fields for the afternoon.

June’s post-harvest farm tour was the first segment of NABC’s Wholesale Farming Success workshop series, with further classes coming in October and November 2017. Workshops will cover topics such as wholesale economics, building relationships with buyers, risk management and food safety, and a follow-up on packing and distribution.

 

 

 

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Farmers and Hobbyists Learn Techniques And Requirements Of Poultry Processing

Chickens and other poultry can be a great addition to a farming enterprise, whether commercial or hobby level.  Processing itself can be a mystery to the newcomer however, and regulations and food safety can be daunting.  To encourage more farmers to try their hand at poultry, NABC set out to offer a straight-forward, practical master class in processing birds for consumption, and explain the rules and best practices in simple terms.

Whidbey Island was the first to host a class, thanks to the Organic Farm School and support from WSU – San Juan County.  On a sunny July day following a slideshow primer, 17 students sourced from the Farm School and open registration gathered around NABC’s Mobile Poultry Processing Unit to observe MPPU Supervisor Miguel Martinez and crew members Cristina Guerrero-Cisneros and Juana Torrez-Jimenez demonstrate how to dispatch, de-feather, clean out and package chickens to the highest humane and sanitary standards.  Students then received one-on-one coaching, and successfully performed all steps in the process.  The lunchtime lecture included a summary of regulations guiding commercial production, basic sanitation, and food safety. At day’s end everyone joined in learning packaging tips, and took a sample of their work home to enjoy.

With lessons learned from the first event, WSU-San Juan helped NABC bring the workshop to Friday Harbor. Using NABC’s rental equipment (providing a more affordable transport option), the team presented a second version of the workshop geared more to homestead flocks. Participants hailed from San Juan and Orcas Islands. There was a last-minute scramble when the original venue fell through, but a local firefighter came to the rescue, graciously offering his property and home. In gratitude, the homeowner was gifted one of the bagged pasture-raised chickens. The informal atmosphere created a low-stress learning environment for students new to butchering activities, and an easy pace.

Feedback from the two classes have been very positive. From the Whidbey Island class evaluations, “This is a perfect starting point. I now have enough knowledge to research further,” and “Great hands on workshop.”  The possibility of a second class in the San Juans is being explored for October.

Please contact Sera Hartman at the NABC office if you are interested in scheduling a poultry processing workshop in your area: sera@agbizcenter.org or 360-336-3727.

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Marketing and Branding Workshops Added This Fall

This summer NABC’s Jeff Voltz presented two 3-hours marketing and branding workshops for students attending Whidbey Island’s Organic Farm School.
Topics covered included:
• Market Feasibility and Choosing Viable Market Channels
• Brand Development Marketing and Outreach
• Pricing Concepts-Understanding Business Costs, Gross Margin, and Establishing Sales Projections
• Marketing Plan Concepts
In case you missed these classes you have two additional chances to participate this fall. Jeff will be teaching a marketing track on October 5th and a business planning and access to capital track on October 18th.
Classes will be held at WSU San Juan County Extension (221 Weber Way, Friday Harbor, WA 98250) from 8:30AM to 5:00PM.
For more information, and to sign up, go to the links below:
Marketing track: October 5, 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Business Planning and Access To Capital track: October 18, 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Note: These workshops are free. San Juan County WSU Extension will provide coffee and tea. Participants will need to bring a brown bag lunch.

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Festival Of Farmers October 2017

NABC will be present at the Festival of Farmers being held at Viva Farms in Burlington, WA October 7 and 8th. The weekend will include a hands-on experience on what it takes to run a farm. The NABC’s Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU) will be available for a demonstration and tours. Miguel Martinez will be on site to answer any questions about processing chickens and other poultry. Come by and say “hi.”

Also Alex Perez will be there to answer any question about all programs NABC offers. If you have any questions feel free to contact Miguel Martinez at (360) 899-8265 or go to their website http://www.festivaloffamilyfarms.com.

Festival De Agricultores Octubre 2017 
Nos gustaría informarles que NABC va a estar presente en el Festival de los Agricultores que se llevará acabo en Viva Farms en Burlington WA, la Unidad Móvil Procesadora estará disponible durante el evento para demostraciónes y excursiónes de la unidad.
Miguel Martinez estará presente para contestar cualquier pregunta relacionada con el procesamiento de aves.

También estará Alex Perez para responder cualquier pregunta relacionada con todos los programas que NABC ofrece.

Si tiene alguna pregunta favor de comunicarse con Miguel Martinez, al teléfono (360) 899-8265 o visite la página web  http://www.festivaloffamilyfarms.com.

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Bounty Week: A Celebration of Snoqualmie Valley-Grown Food

NABC is partnering in an effort calling all chefs to join the Bounty Week celebration! For the week of October 13-19, we are asking chefs to produce special dishes made from Snoqualmie Valley-grown ingredients. Bounty Week showcases both local farms and farmers as well as our local cafés, pubs, and eateries.

Bounty Week is brought to you by NABC and a coalition of local cities, Chambers of Commerce, non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals working to promote the local farms. Distribution for Bounty Week is coordinated through the Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative.

The Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative (SVFC) is an organization of more than 20 small, local farms working together to deliver fresh produce. Farmers run the show! Member farms initiated and built the co-op so that they could spend less time on logistics and more time growing food. In exchange, customers gets more diversity of food while supporting the entire, local food-shed, not just one farm. All member farms use responsible, and environmentally sound food production practices. The SVFC makes it possible for chefs to support and order from multiple farms, but with one delivery and one invoice. The ordering experience will be streamline and easy!
Please contact Hannah at snovalleycoop@gmail.com to get a Bounty Week fresh-sheet and put in your order!
Contacts for Bounty Week:
Luke Woodward, NABC Project Manager
206-819-5312, luke@agbizcenter.org

Hannah Cavendish-Palmer, SVFC Manager
360-305-6078 snovalleycoop@gmail.com

Jennifer McKeown, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Snoqualmie Program Manager
206-373-1601 jennifer.mckeown@mtsgreenway.org

For more information: http://snovalleycoop.com/bounty-week/

 

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