Farming for Wholesale

Workshops & Technical Assistance

FARMING FOR WHOLESALE

Farming for Wholesale offers ongoing farm business planning assistance combined with day-long workshops for farmers. 

Choose from one of two “tracks”, depending on your experience level and farm business goals:

FARMING FOR WHOLESALE 101

This track is for experienced farmers who want to start or expand into wholesale markets.

Participating farmers will join business and farming experts from around the state to examine wholesaling from many different angles.  During the workshops, you’ll have a chance to:

  • Use last year’s actual records to find your most (& least) profitable crops.
  • Learn how to keep and read financial records so that they are useful to you.
  • Create and evaluate different financial scenarios for your farm business.
  • Meet some of the wholesale buyers in the state.
  • Make contact with potential distribution networks.

In addition, farms will receive technical assistance tailored to your farm.

When: Saturday, January 6 AND Sunday, January 7, 9 am – 4 pm

Where: FARMS community space, upstairs from Rising Tide Community Market, 323 Main Street, Damariscotta

Cost: $500.  Upon completion of the session and your successful participation in technical assistance, farms will be awarded $1,000 seed grant. There is a net gain of $500 to your farm!

Scholarships are available! Please do not let upfront cost prevent you from joining us! Contact Alex for details: alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Registration for the 2018 program will open November 1st and close December 29.
Please direct questions to alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org.

FARMING FOR WHOLESALE 201

This track is for experienced farmers who currently serve wholesale accounts and want to increase  wholesale operations. This track will be limited to 2-4 farms.

If selected, you will work with an experienced team of business, production, and marketing advisors over 1-2 years to:

  • Deepen your understanding of your farm’s production costs and financial records.
  • Evaluate possible scenarios for growing your business.
  • Write a business plan based on your most preferable scenario.
  • Pitch your business plan to a group of some of Maine’s prominent farm investors.

Upon completion of the 201 track, you will be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 from Maine Farmland Trust to implement your business plan.

Farms enrolled in the 201 track are welcome, but not required, to attend the workshops offered in the 101 series.

Farming for Wholesale 201 is a highly-selective, competitive application course.

Applications for the 2018 program will open November 1st and are due by November 30th. Please contact Alex: alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org with any questions.

SOURCING LOCAL MADE EASIER: FARMER + BUYER WORKSHOP

Farmers – how could you be marketing your products better for wholesale? Buyers – how could you get more of the local products you want, at the time of year you can sell them? In this workshop, we will tackle these questions together and work to smooth out kinks in the local supply chain.

Participating farmers and wholesale buyers (such as department managers and general managers in retail stores, restaurants, and other Maine-based buyers of local food) will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand pricing strategies (both cost and value based), and to learn how to set prices that will be sustainable for all parties involved.
  • Share tips and experiences on best communication protocols such as winter meetings, growing season updates, and price sheets/availability lists.
  • Coordinate strategy for packaging and promoting local foods.
  • Develop crop-planning methods that produce better consistency and value for all parties.
  • Develop empathy, and a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone else along the supply chain.

Who: Farmers who have participated in Farming for Wholesale (including farmers participating in 2018). Maine-based buyers who source Maine-grown products, or would like to start sourcing local products.

When: Saturday, January 13, 9 am – 4 pm

Where: FARMS community space, upstairs from Rising Tide Community Market, 323 Main Street, Damariscotta

Cost: free to attend

Registration for the Sourcing Local Made Easier Workshop will open November 1st and close December 29.
Please direct questions to alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org.

HERE’S WHAT FARMERS SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

“I’ve put my time with Wholesale 101 on my list of the top ten things I’ve done to ensure Eldertide & Maine Medicinals’ success.”

-Edie Johnston, Eldertide Farm & Maine Medicinals

 

Having you vet and correct my spreadsheets while providing additional thoughts as to which areas of my business I should be concerned with made all the difference to my bottom line this year. We made more income than ever, largely due to this workshop.”

–Chris Cavendish, Fishbowl Farm

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.