You sharpen the blades on your hand tools. You change the oil in your tractor. You check your fencing and water systems regularly to ensure your livestock is safe and cared for while out in the pasture. This is all considered good management -- after all, these are your farm assets and without them you will be out of business. So what are you doing to protect your farm's most valuable asset?
Food Safety Workshops with Londa Nwadike of UVM Extension, June 11, RAFFL office, Rutland
Food Safety Regulations for Food Producers and Processors including Canned Foods 10-12, $10/participant
Introduction to HACCP, 1-4, $15/participant
Register by June 9, click here for details
Integrated Pest Management with Ann Hazelrigg of UVM Extension, date TBA, Merck Forest and Farmland Center, Rupert, VT
Hone your plant disease and insect ID skills and learn how to promote beneficial bugs and address pest and disease issues for fruits and vegetables, more details to come! $10/participant
Increase Your Sales with nationally-recognized marketing expert Bruce Baker, 10 am August 31, RAFFL office & Depot Park, Rutland
Learn how to maximize your farmers market and farmstand sales. Learn what works and what doesn’t from one of the best! Bruce will discuss the importance of strategic booth design and how to attract more customers into your booth or farmstand through your display and merchandising. After the classroom session we’ll take a tour of the Rutland Farmers Market to evaluate what we’ve just learned.
Producers will have an opportunity to have Bruce give an analysis of their booth with suggestions for improvement in a 15 minute session. These slots are limited and fill up fast so sign up today to ensure you’re spot. Booths can set up at the market in Depot Park, farmstand and winter market growers can bring photos or create a mock-display indoors in the RAFFL conference room. $15 registration for the classroom and farmers market session, there is an additional $15 charge for the one-on-one display evaluation. Sign-up today!
Movement for a Healthy Farming Body, with farmers/yoga instructors Stephanie Jones, Galen Miller and farmer/massage therapist Lindsay Arbuckle, 6 pm 9/23, Rutland Public Library Fox Room, Rutland
Learn techniques and simple movements that can help increase your comfort and flexibility in everyday tasks. Learn how to relax your body after a long day of hard work and to let go of tension and stress. Practice self-massage and movements to address acute issues common to farmers. This workshop is for any farmer or aspiring farmer who wants to keep their body healthy and moving ! More details to come! $10/participant
Land Use Planning, details to be announced!
The Central New York RC&D Council and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education PDP Holistic Planned grazing project in cooperation with the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Endless Mountains RC&D Council are pleased to offer 2 one-day workshops with high density grazier, Ian Mitchell-Innes, who is internationally known for his ideas and practical application on how planned grazing systems make more profit and heal the land.
Ian is an HMI Certified Educator, giving talks and training in many environmentally different areas. The ranch is 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) and the home portion has been in the family since 1863. Since leaving school, Ian has been ranching, having tried many different crops and management styles on the ranch until learning about Holistic Management. High Density, Ultra-High Density Grazing and Planned Grazing are practiced on the Ranch so as to obtain improvement in soil life, which enables livestock to have good performance with minimal inputs.
He will inspire you to change your focus to create what you want by implementing rotational grazing systems that increase the health of animals, land and soil, and improve water and land conservation efforts — ultimately leading to improved profitability in your operation. This workshop is ideal for both dairy and livestock operations, and for experienced practitioners as well as those who are new to mob grazing.
We will survey the ecology of the pastures and read the land. You’ll be introduced to proper herd management strategies to improve ecosystem processes and animal performance and learn the importance of grazing planning and farm goal setting.
Unique to these workshops are the two host farms who have been using some of Ian’s strategies and you can see first-hand the successes and challenges.
On Monday June 10th, 2013 from 9 am to 4:30 pm, dairy and beef farmers Rich and Cynthia Larson from Larson Farm, Wells, VT will host Ian and 30 farmers.
Cost: $50 per person includes lunch provided by the NOFA pizza oven, featuring local products from the Larson Farm and others. This program has been made possible through the generous support of a SARE PDP-funded project focused on holistic planned grazing.
On Wednesday June 12th, 2013 from 9 am to 4:30pm, Drew Lewis from Brothers Ridge Farm at 1446 Howard Hill Road in Newark Valley, NY 13811 who finishes 60 yearlings for grass fed beef annually and maintains a flock of 400 ewes for lamb production using rotational and mob grazing techniques will host Ian and 30 farmers.
The event will be limited to 30 farmers at a cost of $80 per person. Please RSVP to Brian Reaser at 607-687-3553 or firstname.lastname@example.org . All money will be collected at the door and must be in cash or check.
These workshops are sized for maximum participation so call to reserve your spot ASAP.
Have an idea for a business but need help with the details? Searching for the right-sized space to get things started? Looking for ways to develop your entrepreneurial skills? A soon-to-be held public meeting is about to shed light on these and countless other concerns for high energy individuals seeking to put their imaginations to work.
On June 5th from 6:00 to 8:00PM at “Building J” in Park Village, an exciting new opportunity for those in Rutland and Addison Counties will be presented. It’s the Brandon Venture Center Incubator, to be headquartered in this building. A panel of experts will show how to take advantage of this golden opportunity to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams.
The panelists include Jamie Stewart, Rutland Economic Development Corporation, Steve Beck, Economic Development Director for Brandon, Kevin Birchmore, President of the McKernon Group, Ed Bratton, owner of the Vermont Fiber Mill, Kevin McNaught, Trevin Farms and Kim Crosby of Vermont Roots. Topics explored will be establishing a commercial kitchen, how to use innovative new distribution methods; how to do up-to-date marketing, do you have a business plan and how to incorporate the growing Vermont Brand in your product or service. While a good bit of the focus will be on food products, the discussion will cover all sorts of small-scale manufacturing. Participants in farmers’ markets, start-up businesses, established producers looking to grow – all will find the evening not only interesting, but potentially highly profitable.
Chances like this don’t come around often, so be sure to attend and become part of the Brandon region’s exciting business future.
Directions to Building J: North from Brandon on Route 7, left on Arnold District Road, left on Mulcahy Drive into Park Village, follow signs to “Building J.”
All Vermont taxpayers must follow both federal and state rules when filing income taxes. Vermont taxpayers may be audited by either federal (IRS) or state (VT Dept of Taxes) auditors. Following are some issues that emerged in early 2013.
- The Vermont Department of Tax may dis-allow federal Schedule F losses if it’s determined that the losses are not justified. For instance, the state may determine that a farm is a ‘hobby,’ and recompute income tax.
Here’s a great video by Rebecca Bloomfield a beginning farmer hoping to get her farm financed through crowd sourcing. Read more about Rebecca’s story here.
This story reminded me a bit of some entrepreneurial farmers in our area, Josh and Meadow of Breezy Meadows Orchards & Nursery, who financed a new rice growing enterprise on their farm with help from Kickstarter.