Crazy Good: A Trade Meeting Lunch to Drool Over

Sustainable ConnectionsSustainable Connections Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting
Tuesday, February 21st
8:00 – 5:00
Bellingham Technical College

The Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting is just 3 weeks away! Register today to save your spot at the biggest food business connections event in NW Washington. REGISTER

Popular Producer/Buyer Consultations – new format this year! Networking is a KEY part of this event, and we’re mixing it up this year with the one-on-one consultation time.
Producers of all kinds (farmers, fishermen, food artisans etc) will be stationed around tables based on the type of products you sell (i.e. mixed vegetables, eggs, chicken, beverages, seafood, etc). Buyers will roam around throughout that hour to sit down and chat with you. We’ll ding a bell every 10 minutes to indicate it’s time to go talk with another business.
What to bring:
• Producers: Bring samples of your products, brochures or photos, crop/product lists, business cards, etc.
• Buyers: Bring business cards and get ready to meet lots of awesome producers!

If you came to the event last year, you know the lunch alone is worth attending!
Once again the BTC Culinary Arts Program is partnering with the NW WA Chefs Collective to create an amazing 7 course lunch. Here’s a little sneak peak of some of the menu items:
• Riccardo’s Winter Slaw: Red and Green Cabbage, kale, carrots, raisins, toasted almonds, blue cheese, white truffle oil
• Bluebird Emmer Farro Risotto with BelleWood apples and greens
• Jack Mountain pork cheeks braised in Cloud Mountain apple cider with pickled apple and mustard choucroute
• Grandmas Carrot Cake: compressed pineapple, candied carrot, brown butter mousse, walnut streusel
• Silky potato leek soup with Cauldron broths and accoutrements
• Winter vegetables with warm Parmesan vinaigrette and herbed Breadfarm crumbs
• Nerka Sea Alder Plank Smoked Salmon

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LAST CALL! Getting Your Products Into the Market Workshop

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
8:45AM to 3:00PM
Skagit Farmers Supply
1833 Park Lane, Burlington, WA 98233

You’re planning a new business or launching a new product. Who will you sell your product to and how do you establish those new relationships? And how will you get your products to your new customers?

At this workshop you will learn some key sales concepts and methods including choosing viable market channels, setting your price, establishing relationships with buyers, preparing a product-offering sheet, and making a sales presentation.

Presenters:
Karen Mauden, Account Manager, NABC
Jeff Voltz, Project Manager, NABC
Kayti Laverne, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, and Grace Lukens, founder, Grace Harbor Farms

This workshop will also feature a panel discussion with industry buyers. Participants will experience a discussion about opportunities and requirements for selling to a variety of markets as well as getting to ask questions directly to these buyers.

Panelists:
Lisa Case, Owner, Avenue Catering Company
Summer Alexander, Interim Produce Mgr, Central Co-op
Joshua Jackson, Merchandising Mgr, Community Food Co-op
Craig Cayton, Director-Retail Division, Crown Pacific Fine Foods
RJ Owen, Executive Chef, Harborview Medical Center

Workshop Registration Fee: $95.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at:       GETTING PRODUCTS TO MARKET

NABC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider
Spanish interpreting services are available at this workshop-Habra traducción al Español disponible llame a Miguel Martinez en: (360) 899-8265

Many thanks to our sponsors:

      

 

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Getting Your Products Into the Market – Feb 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
8:45AM to 3:00PM
Skagit Farmers Supply
1833 Park Lane, Burlington, WA 98233

You’re planning a new business or launching a new product. Who will you sell your product to and how do you establish those new relationships? And how will you get your products to your new customers?

At this workshop you will learn some key sales concepts and methods including choosing viable market channels, setting your price, establishing relationships with buyers, preparing a product-offering sheet, and making a sales presentation.

Presenters:
Karen Mauden, Account Manager, NABC
Jeff Voltz, Project Manager, NABC
Kayti Laverne, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, and Grace Lukens, founder, Grace Harbor Farms

This workshop will also feature a panel discussion with industry buyers. Participants will experience a discussion about opportunities and requirements for selling to a variety of markets as well as getting to ask questions directly to these buyers.

Panelists:
Lisa Case, Owner, Avenue Catering Company
Shelby Jors, Produce Mgr, Central Co-op
Joshua Jackson, Merchandising Mgr, Community Food Co-op
Craig Cayton, Director-Retail Division, Crown Pacific Fine Foods
RJ Owen, Executive Chef, Harborview Medical Center

Workshop Registration Fee: $95.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at:       GETTING PRODUCTS TO MARKET

NABC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider
Spanish interpreting services are available at this workshop-Habra traducción al Español disponible Llame a Miguel Martinez en: (360) 899-8265

Many thanks to our sponsors:

    

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WSU’s Basic- Plus Cheese Making Short Course Feb 7-9

Basic- Plus Cheese Making Short Course
February 7-9, 2017
Mount Vernon, Washington
31st Advanced Cheese Making Short Course
March 7-9, 2017
Pullman, Washington

Pasteurization Workshop
April 19-20, 2017
Pullman, Washington

If you require registration assistance, please contact Cathy Blood, blood@wsu.edu or 509-335-2845.

For more information and online registration please visit our website:   REGISTER

If you have questions about content, please contact John Haugen, jfhaugen@wsu.edu or 509-335-5737.

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Business Feasibility Workshop Jan 31

BUSINESS FEASIBILILTY WORKSHOP
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
8:45AM to 4:00PM
Skagit Farmers Supply
1833 Park Lane, Burlington, WA 98233

You believe you have a great concept for a new business or business expansion, and know you have the passion to make it happen.
What are the best steps to take to minimize financial risk and increase the potential for success?
This workshop will provide and review the steps necessary to assess the market, management, financial, technological, and economic feasibility of your proposed new business or business expansion.

Presenters:
Jeff Voltz, Project Manager, NABC
Tony Salas, Certified Business Advisor, Economic Development Association of Skagit County

Through a panel discussion you will also get to learn directly from successful small business owners who have taken the steps to conduct feasibility analyses.
Panelists:
Jack Lamb, owner, Aslan Brewing Company
Lindsay Slevin, owner, Twin Sisters Creamery
Larry Stap, owner, Twin Brook Creamery

Workshop Registration Fee:     $95.00
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at:  BUSINESS FEASIBILITY

NABC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider
Spanish interpreting services are available at this workshop-Habra traducción al Español disponible Llame a Miguel Martinez en: (360) 899-8265

Many thanks to our sponsors:

    

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WSU’s Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool Jan. 28, 2017

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool  is Jan. 28, 2017 and offering 180  classes from raising livestock to edible wild plants of NW Washington, home orchard pruning & pest control, a taste of permaculture, hiking the Chuckanut Mountains, bees, pole building construction,  gardening, sheep dairying, cider making, bread baking, dehydrating foods and cooking with cast iron.

The full-day expo will be at Stanwood High School in Stanwood, Wash., and will include a trade show with more than 65 vendors and a Fiber Palooza. To register and view classes, visit Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool

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NABC Business Development Support Projects Benefit Beginning and Minority Agriculture Enterprises

Beginning and minority farmers and food producers in Northwest Washington stand to benefit from three new projects undertaken by the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, supported by two USDA grant programs. The Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) was created to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. NABC is partnering on two projects funded through that program: one that benefits neighboring counties Island and San Juan, and another that supports new farmers in Skagit County.  The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) provides support to cooperatives and Cooperative Development Business Centers like NABC seeking to grow their technical business assistance and outreach to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas.

Whidbey, Camano, and the Islands in the San Juans are geographically isolated, with limited access to regional markets and regional agricultural support services such as those provided by USDA.  The BFRDP effort led by NABC will provide critical production and business development training and technical assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers, expand the capacity of the Organic Farm School on Whidbey Island to deliver farming-based production and curriculum, facilitate access to farmland, and provide a link to experienced local farmers through a mentoring program.

The Skagit County BFRDP project is overseen by Viva Farms. Other partners include NABC, the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC), Skagit Valley College, WSU Skagit County Extension, and Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland. Similar to the “Islands” project, the diverse program will include land-based practicum training in English and Spanish, business planning support and classes with some dedicated to pastured poultry enterprises, a farmland mapping project to improve access to land, a Farmer-to-Farmer mentorship program, a Farm-to-School program, and a host of educational workshops. Translation and interpretation services will be available for many of the programs as needed.

The SDGG project will impact farmer participants of all levels of experience. NABC will provide one-on-one and group enterprise evaluation, needs assessment, business development support and training workshops to socially disadvantaged farmers throughout NABC’s six-county service area (Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom counties). Viva Farms will partner to provide some of the workshops, and the land-based practicum. Assistance will be targeted towards individual and cooperative Latino farming and food enterprises, and also build a framework for providing support to Native American and Hmong farming projects. NABC will hire a new Bi-Lingual Project Manager to recruit and work directly with clients from the Latino farming community.

Miguel Martinez, Supervisor on NABC’s Mobile Poultry Processing Unit, has been recruiting Latino poultry students for the program through radio spots, flyer distribution, and word-of-mouth. The beginning farmers he has spoken to have expressed specific information needs that will be addressed through the program.

“These farmers need guidance in working with wholesale customers, how to find them in the first place, and how to ensure they will have enough sales,” said Miguel. “They are concerned about how to obtain business loans to get started, and how to re-pay the loans plus interest.”

Information gathered before and during the project period will be used to shape the curriculum and services offered in order to address such knowledge gaps, help program participants create sounder business plans, and increase NABC’s future capacity to offer business development services to underserved populations.

For more information, please contact the NABC office: 360-336-3727 or info@agbizcenter.org

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NABC Transition to Value Added Workshops Announced; Sign Up Now

The essence of NABC’s purpose and mission is to support agricultural producers with the development of their farm businesses. This could be a start-up of a new farm business, the

expansion of an existing farm business, or developing a value-added product or business strategy.

NABC’s Transition to Value Added Workshop Series for 2017 will provide practical and useful information, education, and ongoing resources to help agricultural producers gain the tools they need to move their farm businesses forward. The workshops will be presented by NABC staff and collaborative partners who have a depth of experience with backgrounds in the retail supermarket industry, institutional wholesale sales, business planning and development, value-added food product development, food safety and facility development, risk management, and access to capital.

So why do you need these value added workshops? Because farming and the business of farming is multi-faceted. It’s helpful to use the three-legged stool analogy or concept. If we imagine a farm business as the seat of the stool, it will take three sturdy legs to support the seat, or farm business. The three sturdy legs for any business start-up or expansion include:
The ability to conduct competent business feasibility analyses, prepare realistic and thorough market and business plans, and in the case of value-added foods, resources for product and/or facility development.
Access to capital to finance and fuel the business development
Access to new or expanded markets to drive revenue

Each workshop will provide the learnings needed for helping you build those “sturdy legs” to the stool of your farming business.

NABC has been fortunate to develop great relationships with many successful farms and food businesses and we know that our workshops are greatly enhanced by the involvement of these experienced entrepreneurs. Presentations and panel discussions will include Aslan Brewing Company, Avenue Catering, Bow Hill Blueberries, Central Co-op, Community Food Co-op, Crown Pacific Fine Foods, Harborview Medical Center Food Services, Grace Harbor Farms, Lesedi Farm, Misty Meadows Farm, Twin Brook Creamery, and Twin Sisters Creamery.

TRANSITION TO VALUE ADDED WORKSHOPS
USDA Value Added Producer Grant Boot Camp January 10, 2017
Starting Your Business January 18, 2017
Access to Capital January 24, 2017
Business Enterprise Feasibility January 31, 2017
Getting Your Products Into The Market February 7, 2017
Building A Business Plan February 14, 2017
Product Development for Value-Added Foods February 28, 2017

Costs vary for each workshop. To sign up go to the NABC website.

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Pasture-Raised Poultry and Egg Cooperative Start Up

Charles Goudy, owner of Nelli Farm, with the Cascade Cooperative Farms’ National Poultry Equipment egg washer.

NABC is providing technical assistance and financial support for the formation of Cascade Cooperative Farms (CCF) and its effort to become a 521 designated agricultural co-op.

Thanks to generous grant funding from the King Conservation District (KCD) CCF will
begin washing, grading, sorting, packing, and selling eggs aggregated from its members in King and South Snohomish Counties in Spring 2017. In year two the cooperative’s goal is to begin aggregating and marketing pastured poultry.

The KCD funds allowed the cooperative to purchase an industrial egg washer, sorter, and packer manufactured by National Poultry Equipment. The remaining funds will go towards a refrigerated truck for both delivery and pickup of unwashed eggs from farmer members whose flocks meet the minimum size requirements.

Currently there is a huge demand for sustainably-raised eggs and poultry that is not being met by the individual producers in King and Snohomish Counties. CCF will increase the market share of its individual farmer members and provide incentive for start-up poultry enterprises.

NABC will provide assistance with developing a bulk feed purchasing program, with the goal of improving logistical efficiencies and reducing feed costs for CFF members.

For more information, please contact NABC Project Manager Luke Woodward at luke@agbizcenter.org.

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2016 Processing Season Comes to a Close

With Thanksgiving now behind us, the 2016 processing season for NABC’s Mobile Poultry Processing Unit is now complete. The Unit processed almost 8,200 poultry, including chickens, turkeys and our first full day of ducks, and serviced 11 farmers over the course of
the year. With procedural improvements devised by MPPU Supervisor Miguel Martinez, our crew was able to reach processing speeds of up to 200 birds a day. We want to congratulate our crew on how much they learned since coming on board, and thank them for their professionalism and dedication to producing quality product.

Con el dia de acción de grácias detras de nosotros, la temporada para la unidad procesadora movil de NABC de el 2016 fué terminada. La únidad procesó casi 8,200 aves incluyendo pollos, pavos,y nuestro primer dia completo de patos, y servimos a 11 granjeros durante el transcurso de el año. Con el proceso de mejoramientos hechos por el Supervisor de la unidad movil Miguel Martinez, nuestro grupo fué capaz de alcanzar velocidades de procesamiento de hasta 200 pollos por dia. Nosotros querémos felicitar a nuéstro grupo por lo mucho que éllos aprendiéron desde que comenzáron con nosotros,y gracias a ellas por su profecionalísmo y dedicasión para producir un producto de calidad.

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