Business of Farming
This track is for experienced farmers who want to analyze their current business model and use the information for decision making.
Drawing on a panel of business experts from around the state, as well as other growers, we’ll uncover the story your financial records are telling you, and develop your ability to make strategic business decisions that move you in the direction of your goals.
In this program, you will:
- Participate in 7, 2.5 hour live, virtual workshops with other farmers (more information below)
- Work with a service provider for up to 20 hours of business planning assistance, tailored to fit your goals
- Receive a $1,000 seed grant when you complete the program
- Plus, 3 optional live workshop sessions and other bonus materials!
During the program, you’ll have a chance to:
- Use last year’s actual records to find your most (& least) profitable crops.
- Get tips and tricks on bookkeeping best practices and tools.
- Learn how to keep and read financial records so that they are useful to you.
- Identify potential markets and evaluate their fit for your farm or product.
- Practice doing market research and putting marketing tactics together into a strategy for success.
- Update your vision and goals for your business and weave them into your business management decisions.
- Give consideration to your plan for long-term financial success and eventual succession/transition.
Please note: Farming for Wholesale 101 has become the Business of Farming and is open to farmers interested in all markets.
Virtual Learning: Workshops will be online using a video conference platform. Materials for pre-work to the workshops will be available in a web-based learning platform and via email. We can help you get computer and/or reliable internet access if needed – contact Catherine.
Dates: January 4, 6, 11, 13, 25, 27 and February 8 (1-3:30PM)
*Snow date Feb 10
Enhanced learning dates: January 18 & 20, February 1 (1-3:30PM)
*These dates are optional*
Time Commitment: The live workshops will be highly interactive and instructors expect participants to come prepared. You will spend an estimated 2 hrs/wk doing pre-work and 5 hrs/wk in workshops for 4 weeks, spread out in January and February. There are two optional weeks of additional workshops, estimated at 3hrs/wk.
Cost: $500 registration fee. Upon completion of the workshops and your successful participation in technical assistance, you will be awarded a $1,000 seed grant. There is a net gain of $500 to your farm!
Scholarships are available, as well as payment plans. Reimbursements for expenses related to attending workshops are available as well as options for internet access. Please reach out to us – we do not want upfront cost or internet access to keep you from joining us! firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is OPEN! Registration is open until December 14th.
Register below or by phone by calling the MFT office, (207)338.6575.
Farming for Wholesale
This program is for experienced farmers who currently serve wholesale accounts and are ready to scale up significantly. Farming for Wholesale is a highly-selective, competitive application program.
If selected, you will:
- Receive up to 50 hours of individually tailored business planning assistance within the first year of the program. Up to 50 additional hours of technical assistance will also be available during the second year.
- Attend MFT’s Business of Farming (formerly Farming for Wholesale 101) workshops, if you have not yet already participated in Farming for Wholesale 101.
- Participate in workshops for experienced wholesale farmers that put your challenges and questions about scaling up to your farming peers and service providers. Specific topics are chosen by cohort participants.
- Have the opportunity to submit your scaled-up business plan to compete for an Implementation Grant of up to $50,000
During the program, you’ll have a chance to:
- Work with an experienced team of business, production, and marketing advisers over 1-2 years.
- Firm up your understanding of your farm’s production costs.
- Have accurate financial records suitable for a business plan; and know how to record and maintain them going forward.
- Evaluate possible scenarios for scaling up your business.
- Write a business plan based on your most preferable scenario.
- Have the opportunity to submit your business plan to compete for an Implementation Grant of up to $50,000 from MFT.
Please note: You are not required to have participated in Farming for Wholesale 101 or the Business of Farming to apply for Farming for Wholesale (previously called FFW 201). However, if you are accepted into 201, and you have not participated in FFW 101 or BOF, you will be required to attend the workshops series.
Applications are OPEN! Applications are due November 30th.
To have a paper application mailed to you, call (207) 338-6575.
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
“The wholesale program gave me the tools and skills I needed to look at my numbers in ways I never had thought to do previously. It really made me look at my individual enterprises and determine what was making, or losing money. The one-on-one technical assistance I received was invaluable.”
– Christelle McKee, Copper Tail Farm