Berkshire Grown 2018 Winter Workshops

Posted on December 21, 2017 // view all News // Workshops

The winter workshop season is upon us! Check out our line-up of workshops and farmer events and sign up today!

Unless noted otherwise, all workshops will take place at the Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA from 5:30-8:30pm. Supper will be provided at all evening workshops.

Please note: the cost for each workshop is $10 for Berkshire Grown members and $20 for non-members. Attend all six farmer workshops for $60. A limited number of scholarships are available; please email to request a scholarship.

Click Here to Register for Workshops!


Berkshire Grown’s Annual Networking Event

Monday, January 29, 3:00-6:00 PM
Colonial Theater, 111 South Street, Pittsfield MA
Free attendance; Berkshire Grown membership required
New theme this year: get to know your local beverage producers! Additional details to come!
Register here for the Networking Event.


Free Money? Tips on Grant Writing and Financial Incentive Programs for Farmers

Tuesday, February 13, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

Are you a farmer looking for grants that could support your farm business? An important part of success is choosing a funding source that complements your business. Join three presenters who will: discuss how to assess if a grant program is a good fit for your farm business; cover alternative financial incentives for farmers such as cost-share programs, tax incentives and low-interest loans; share details about the application processes for NRCS and MDAR funding; and provide advice on successful grant writing.

Panel presenters include Melissa Adams (MDAR), Liz Higgens (Cornell Cooperative Extension), and Dan Tighe (USDA/NRCS).
Learn more.

Websites 101: Designing & Maintaining a Website for your Business

Thursday, February 22, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

Join a panel of local website designers to learn about the options for an affordable, manageable website for your business, whatever your size and capacity. We’ll layout your options for an online presence, cover the basics you need to know, breakdown the advantages and disadvantages of various arrangements, and get expert advice for an effective site. There will be plenty of time for questions.

Panel presenters include Caroline Alexander, Alexander Design Works and Glenn Geiger, Geiger Computers.
Learn more.

The Business of Wholesaling

Tuesday, March 6,  5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

The decision to sell to local retailers, restaurants, and distributors isn’t just about maximizing your gross sales. It’s also a decision about what you want your farm business to look like, what kind of relationships you want to have, and how your farm fits into the needs of larger buyers. This workshop will help you answer the questions: “Am I the right person to be marketing my product wholesale?” and, if so, “How do I succeed?” Join our panel for insights into the business of wholesaling and best practices for working with local retailers.

Panel presenters include Brian Zweig, Business Opportunities Management Consulting, and managers from Guido’s Fresh Marketplace and the Berkshire Co-op Market.
Learn more.

Social Media Strategy Basics for Farms & Farm Stores

Thursday, March 15, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

For modern businesses, having a strong presence on social media is an essential part of any marketing plan. In this workshop, we’ll demystify some of the largest and most popular social networks to help you decide which ones to use, and how to leverage them to forge ongoing relationships, communicate your unique story, and expand your reach. We’ll also cover your 4-step strategy for posting frequency, types of content, creating an editorial calendar, and setting goals and measuring success.

Presented by Robin Catalano, creative content consultant.
Learn more.

Costs of Production & Enterprise Analysis: Predicting Your Position Using Enterprise Budgets

Tuesday, March 20, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

Do you have a good handle on which products are your most profitable? How do you determine what to prices to use to sell the products you grow? Are they based in part on the expenses you have to produce them? Steve Hadcock with Cornell Cooperative Extension will demystify the process of preparing an enterprise budget and lead participants through a “hands on” exercise to prepare you to go home and prepare an enterprise budget for the products you produce.

Presented by Steve Hadcock, Beginning Farmer and Market Development specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Learn more.

Co-sponsored with UMass Extension and MDAR:

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training for FSMA Readiness

NEW DATE: Tuesday, March 27, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Lenox Town Hall Auditorium, 6 Walker St, Lenox MA
$40; PSA Manual, AFDO Certificate, lunch, and refreshments included.

RSVPs required. Register here.

In this full-day workshop, participants will learn about produce safety best practices for farms of all sizes, how to develop a farm food safety plan, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and an overview of how these requirements will be enforced in MA through MDAR’s Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP).

The workshop will cover: Introduction to Produce Safety; Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training; Soil Amendments; Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use; Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water); Postharvest Handling and Sanitation; How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and will satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement that ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

Instructors: Lisa McKeag, UMass Extension Educator & Michael Botelho, MDAR Commonwealth Quality Program Director
Learn more.

Implementing a Strategic Marketing Plan

NEW DATE: Thursday, March 29, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St,Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members; $20 for non-members.

Take your marketing to the next level. Learn how a focused strategy and specific efforts can reduce your marketing labor needs and make every effort count. Matt LeRoux from Cornell Cooperative Extension will take you through the basics of developing a marketing strategy targeting your core customers and how to take that strategy from plan to implementation. Walk away with the beginnings of a marketing plan and clear next steps to up your marketing game. This workshop will build upon last year’s workshop with Matt, and is appropriate both for new and returning attendees who are looking to build on the basics and take what they’ve learned and put it into action.

Presented by Matt LeRoux, Ag Marketing Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Learn more.

Click Here to Register for Workshops!

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