January 25, 2015

NOFA/Mass Winter Conference


WHEN: Saturday, January 10th, all day

WHERE: Worcester State University, Worcester, MA


The NOFA/Mass Winter Conference will feature 70 workshops, exhibits, and an all-day seminar and keynote by Greg Judy, rotational grazier and carbon sequestration advocate.

2015 workshop topics include crop production, farm management, health, homesteading, livestock, beekeeping, food justice, policy, skill building, infrastructure, soil, urban/backyard gardening, land access, and organic land care. The conference will be followed by a post-conference dinner with Greg Judy.

For more information and to register, visit: www.nofamass.org/events/wc


Webinar: Basic Accounting for Farmers



WHEN: Thursday, January 8th, 12:00-1:00pm

The Carrot Project will be hosting Julia Shanks of Julia Shanks Food Consulting for a webinar on Basic Accounting for Farmers.  Participants will gain an overview of basic financial record keeping. There will be ample time for questions. The slides and recording will also be posted on The Carrot Project’s website the following day, for those who are unable to listen in.

To register follow the link from The Carrot Project homepage: http://thecarrotproject.org/home

Cornell’s NE Beginning Farmers Online Courses

Cornel NEBFP banner


Winter is the time for courses, conferences, and building new skills.  Cornell University’s Northeast Beginning Farmers Project offers a series of courses every Fall, Winter and Spring on topics of interest and necessity to beginning (and experienced) farmers.  There’s still time to register for Winter and Spring courses, which cover a myriad of topics, including, Financial Record Keeping, Markets & Profits, Small-Scale Organic Grain Production, Holistic Financial Planning and more.  Check out the course descriptions and the calendar of offerings and get your learning on this Winter!

2015 Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria Conference

MFC-Conference-Web-3Nov (1)

WHEN: Tuesday, January 13th, 8:30am-4:30pm

WHERE: The Hogan Center, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Join over 300 other enthusiastic farm to cafeteria advocates from the preschool, K-12, and college sectors for a full day of workshops, networking, cooking demonstrations, and fun from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project. The conference will include a Buyer Tradeshow and Networking Session for Farmers and Distributors and over 20 different workshops including:

    • Farm to School Policy and Advocacy
    • Funding Farm to School Programs
    • On Campus Farming
    • Farm to Preschool 101
    • Farm Based Education Initiatives – Urban and Rural Farm Field Trips
    • Sea to School: Incorporating Local Seafood in School Meals


Registration and additional information: Farm to Cafeteria Conference


NOFA-NY Winter Conference

2015 Winter Conference logo crop


WHEN: January 23-25

WHERE: Saratoga Hilton and City Center, Saratoga, NY


The NOFA-NY Winter Conference will feature several days of workshops and keynote speaker Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute.  The Land Institute works to address the issues of soil loss and degradation, ecosystem destruction and high energy use associated with agriculture.


Pre-registration ends January 16th.

Additional info and registration: http://www.nofany.org/events/winter-conference

2015 NOFA/Mass Beginning Farmer Mentorship Program


The NOFA/Mass Beginning Farmer Mentoring Program is a 12-month program that aims to help fill the education gap between apprentice and independent farmer. By pairing mentees with experienced growers who are not their employers, the program enables aspiring farmers to gain farming experiences, skills, and perspectives that they otherwise wouldn’t get in their day-to-day work.  If accepted, the program begins on February 1st and lasts for 1 year.


The deadline for the 2015 mentorship program is JANUARY 20, 2015.

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CISA Winter Workshop Series: Branding & Communication Strategies

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), our colleagues in the Pioneer Valley, are holding a seven-workshop series on Branding & Communication Strategies from January-March 2015. This series will provide farmers and business owners with effective communication strategies and one-on-one support to implement and improve direct marketing communications. Although examples in the workshop will be farm related, the skills and methodology will be relevant to all businesses. Participation in the whole series is encouraged, and to be eligible for free one-on-one support, you must attend a minimum of four workshops. Dinner will be served at each session. The cost to attend the series is $80 for CISA’s Local Hero members, or $15 each for individual workshops. The non-member fee is $100 for the series, or $18 each for individual workshops. Register online at buylocalfood.org or contact Devon Whitney-Deal at devon@buylocalfood.org or (413) 665-7100 ext. 22 .

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CISA Advanced Marketing Workshops

Join Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), our colleagues in the Pioneer Valley, for 3 Advanced Marketing Workshops this winter:

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Free Legal Services for Farmers/Food Entrepreneurs

The Legal Services Food Hub is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide pro bono legal assistance to farmers, food entrepreneurs, and related organizations in order to foster a sustainable, resilient, and just food system.  They are offering an upcoming info session in Western Mass where you will have the opportunity to learn how the Hub works, meet lawyers and farmers who have benefited from its services, and find out how you might be able to get assistance.

Legal Services Food Hub Info Session

Springfield, MA

January 28th, 6-8pm

(venue details coming soon)

Please contact Molly Norton at mnorton@clf.org or (617) 850-1771 with questions and RSVP.

USDA Microloans

MicroLoans LogoThe USDA Microloan was developed to serve the financial needs of beginning farmers and ranchers, niche and small family farms. Farmers and ranchers can apply for loans up to $35,000 and the program features a simpler application process.