Farmer & Producer Winter Workshops 2023

Posted on November 30, 2022 // view all News // Workshops

Registration for the 2023 Farmer & Producer Winter Workshops is open! Featuring four different and informative topics. All virtual workshops will be presented on the Zoom platform. Grazing School, held in April and an all day workshop, led by Sarah Flack will be in person.

Advance registration required.  Zoom links to the workshops will be emailed the day before for each workshop. For more information, contact Jordan Archey, Program Manager for Business Members, at

Not a Member? Join Berkshire Grown Business Membership and receive discounts on these workshops, as well as receiving other great benefits aimed to help your farm or food business grow. Click here for more information.

Effectively Managing Diseases of Vegetables
Best Practices for Plant Disease Management Strategy
Wednesday, January 18th 6:00-8:00pm

$10 Members/$15 Non-members

General tips will be presented that form the foundation of both organic and conventional disease management. Recommendations based on research results will be covered for cucurbit diseases (powdery and downy mildews, Phytophthora blight) and basil downy mildew. Additional diseases will be discussed based on grower input.
Presented by:
Meg McGrath
Meg McGrath is an Associate Professor with Cornell University located at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center since 1988.  She conducts research and extension activities on optimizing management of diseases affecting vegetable crops and herbs within organic as well as conventional production systems.  Research topics include investigating fungicide resistance in the cucurbit powdery and downy mildew pathogens, monitoring occurrence of diseases, and evaluating management practices: fungicides, biopesticides and other organic fungicides, resistant varieties, cultural practices including reduced tillage and mustard biofumigation.

Making Spreadsheets Work For Your Farm
Crop Planning & Record Keeping For Direct Sale Vegetable Farmers
Tuesday, February 7th 6:00-8:00pm

$10 Members/$15 Non-members

How do you grow over 50 different crops for 500 shareholders who are coming to coming to your farm to pick up 13lb of vegetables for 24 weeks? Explore the answer to this puzzle in this workshop, where Dan will present and review the spreadsheets that has kept his farm running over the years.

Presented by: Dan Kaplan
After seven years of working on farms in New England, California, and Europe, Dan Kaplan became the farm manager at Brookfield Farm in 1994 and stayed there until retiring at the end of the 2020 season. By 2006, Brookfield Farm annually grew 30 acres of vegetables which supplied a 500-share CSA for 10 months of distribution.

Profitable Meat Marketing
Pricing for Increased Profit & Sales
Tuesday, March 7th 6:00-8:00pm

$10 Members/$15 Non-members

You are raising and selling local meat, but are you making a profit? 
Learn marketing techniques and how to use the NEW Cornell Meat Pricing Tool to develop prices that deliver a profit in every channel.

Presented by: Matt LeRoux, Extension Associate, Cornell University
Matt has over 20 years of experience serving farms through Cornell Cooperative Extension, non-profits, and consulting. Specializing in market strategy, Matt works with a diverse mix of produce and livestock farmers and food businesses. Career highlights include developing the Marketing Channel Assessment Tool for produce growers and the Cornell Meat Price Calculator.

Grazing School at Gould Farm
Best Practices for Pasture Management
Thursday, April 13th 9:00am-4:00pm

$40 Members/$50 Non-members
Presented in partnership with Berkshire Agricultural Ventures

In this all-day workshop we will discuss the basics of how set up a new grazing system, and how to troubleshoot and improve an existing one. We start the day from the perspective of pasture plants, and then shift to look at grazing from the perspective of the livestock. This will provide a solid understanding of how to meet the needs of the plants and livestock from the soil up. Topics will include how to use the “Graziers Toolbox” including varied stock densities, trampling and different regrowth periods, pre & post grazing heights to use livestock to improve the pastures as well as fertility inputs, soil testing and reseeding strategies. We will cover “Pasture Pitfalls” as we look at common problems and how to identify the cause and come up with low cost solutions. We will do the “Pasture Math” to calculate paddock sizes, acreage needs and stocking rates. We will look at how to maximize pasture intake for the livestock to lower feed costs and improve livestock wellbeing and productivity. We will also discuss how to observe and monitor the soils, plants and livestock so that we can better understand if our grazing systems are working the way we want them to, and what we can do to make them better.

Presented by: Sarah Flack
Sarah is an author, consultant, and speaker who specializing in grass-based livestock farming systems.  She takes a practical approach in applying the science of agronomy and grazing, combined with farm business planning, to allow farmers to make well informed decisions.  Her goal is to help create more farms with successful grass-based management systems, empowering farmers to create positive change for pastures, soils, livestock, and farmers quality of life.  Sarah is author of The Art and Science of Grazing,  Organic Dairy Production and co author of The Organic Dairy Handbook, Vermont Grass-Based Beef Profitability: Lessons and Budgets, and Transitioning to Organic Dairy as well as many articles.

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