Value-Added Producer Grant Q & A Sessions – REGISTER TODAY!

THIS EVENT HAS FOUR DATE & LOCATION CHOICES – PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS.  SEE THE NABC CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS HOMEPAGE IF YOU WISH TO REGISTER FOR ONE OF THE FOUR SESSIONS, OR CLICK ON THE LINKS AT BOTTOM.

Are you planning on applying for the USDA Value-Added Producer grant?  Have you started your application and run into a roadblock, or are unsure about one of the many specific requirements? Or, are you planning ahead for a future application?

You are invited to set aside a couple of hours for an intensive group Q & A session with Brandon Hoffman from USDA Rural Development and NABC staff to help you prepare your application.  You’ll have four opportunities to meet with our experts – pick the location nearest you and reserve your seat today!

Attendees are encouraged to bring their started application, and will have the opportunity to share challenges and solutions with fellow participants. The group size is limited, so be sure to register early.  The grant deadline is January 24th for online applications,  or January 31st for paper applications – take advantage of this short focused session while there is still time to improve your submission.

This format will be presented across four counties during the 2nd full week in December – see the main NABC Classes and Workshops page for all event listings.  This event is being offered at no charge, thanks to USDA Rural Development, and our other our funders and supporters!

• King County (Duvall):  December 11th, 10am to noon
• Whatcom County (Bellingham)): December 12th, 10am to noon
• San Juan County (Friday Harbor): December 13th, 11am to 1pm
• Skagit County (Mount Vernon): December 15th, 10am to noon

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WSU’s Basic- Plus Cheese Making Short Course Jan 30- Feb 1, 2018

2018 WSU Creamery Training – Registration Open

Basic- Plus Cheese Making Short Course
January 30 – February 1, 2018
Mount Vernon, Washington

Registration available now:
http://creamery.wsu.edu/about-us/upcoming-events/

The program generally includes:
• Opportunities and challenges for the Small Scale Cheese Maker
• Milk sources, composition and quality
• Steps of the cheese making process
• Acidity testing and measurements
• Cheese cultures and enzymes
• Cheese evaluation
• Hands on cheese making activity
• Sanitation
• Field trip to licensed cheese making facilities

If you require registration assistance, please contact Cathy Blood, blood@wsu.edu or 509-335-2845. If you have questions about content, please contact John Haugen, jfhaugen@wsu.edu or 509-335-5737 or Marc Bates, cheeseguy@charter.net or 509-595-8652.

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NABC’s Selling Into Wholesale Markets – 1/2 day workshop Dec 7, 2017

Selling Into Wholesale Markets
December 7, 2017
8:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Community Food Coop Connections Building
405 E. Holly Street, (Room 103), Bellingham

Producers!

Learn how to sell into wholesale markets – a great workshop for you and your employees, and anyone who produces & prepares products for sale.

Tour Downtown Community Food Coop and speak with Dave Sands, Produce Manager. Dave will demonstrate how to meet retailer expectations.

Engage with Aslan Brewing Company Executive Chef Dave Reera about meeting the needs of a foodservice operator.

Listen as Jade Vantreese, PSFHC Sales & Marketing Coordinator explains how the PSFHC prepares you for these new markets.

Learn from career sales specialist & NABC Account Manager Karen Mauden about the things no one tells you when selling into Wholesale Markets.
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Registration is $30  –   Includes beverages & snacks

Click this LINK to register

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NABC’s Business Feasibility Workshop Dec 5, 2017

CSA….FARMERS MARKET….WHOLESALE

Which market channel is best for you?

Come to our workshop to learn how to access consumer and product category trends, demographic data, and conduct a market feasibility analysis.  This workshop will also cover the areas and provide tools to analyze the technical, economic, management, and financial feasibility of your new business launch or expansion.

Joining us for a panel discussion about business feasibility analyses are:
• Erin Baker, owner, Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods
• Jack Lamb, owner, Aslan Brewing Company
• Larry Stap, owner, Twin Brook Creamery

BUSINESS FEASIBILILTY WORKSHOP
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
9:00AM to 4:30PM
Skagit Farmers Supply
1833 Park Lane, Burlington, WA 98233

Workshop Registration Fee:            $50.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at:  BUSINESS FEASIBILITY

Habra traducción al Español disponible
Llame a Alex Perez en (360)  336-3727

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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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