Find presentations, handouts, and additional resources from the 2019 Business of Farming Conference in the links below.
Workshop Block 1
Farmers Market Summit (Part 1)
Join your fellow managers and market leaders to share questions, information, insights, and best practices. The summit will be the first step of a networking initiative designed to bring together the experience and expertise of market managers in forming an ongoing learning community. There will also be an interactive presentation on effective market promotions, increasing sales, and forming community partnerships.
Mike McCreary and David Smiley of ASAP
Navigating Farm Programs, Resources, and Support
With a wide range of resources and support available for new and beginning farmers, it is often difficult to know where to start. This workshop is designed to offer an overview of regulatory and planning pieces to consider in building a farm business. Join agricultural and small business professionals to learn about the variety of programs and resources available to farms in our region and where to go for additional support.
Presentation: Navigating Farm Programs, Resources, and Support
Legal Tools for Protecting Your Farm
Attorneys from Ward and Smith, P.A., will offer insight on legal topics of interest to North Carolina agribusinesses, including entity formation, estate planning, and labor/employment. Learn about the legal tools available to protect your farm through this interactive session.
Zac Lamb, Bill Durr, and Devon Williams of Ward and Smith, P.A. Attorneys at Law
Presentation: Legal Tools for Protecting Your Farm
Financial Record Keeping
Whether you are just getting started or looking to improve your existing systems, this session will look at the elements of financial record keeping through the lens of a crop grower selling through multiple distribution channels. Designed to offer insight in structuring financial records and monitoring transactions, best practices will be shared that can be tailored to serve your farm’s financial management needs during both pre-season planning and in-season tracking of cash flows.
Lauren Rayburn of Rayburn Farms
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Options and Opportunities
This workshop provides an overview of CSA challenges and strategies. A panel of established CSA farmers will offer information and insights on CSA program options, promotions, and coordination. Workshop participants will be encouraged to ask questions and share challenges. Note: content is designed to focus on coordination and promotion rather than on growing or production topics.
Presentation: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Options and Opportunities
Resource: CSA Toolkit (ASAP)
Introduction to Niche Meats
Join NC Choices’ Technical Coordinator, Lee Menius, to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of niche meat production. The discussion will include an overview of the market for small to large producers, how to develop a pricing strategy, tips for working with processors, and helpful resources.
Lee Menius of NC Choices
Workshop Block 2
Farmers Market Summit (Part 2)
The second block of the Farmers Market Summit will look at how to promote your farmers market. Learn how to attract more customers and increase your market sales through effective marketing, outreach, promotion, and social media strategies. This session will cover specific examples based on practical marketing and promotional efforts. Attention will be given to options that are simple, direct, and low-cost.
Mike McCreary and David Smiley of ASAP
Farm Business Planning Strategies
Together we will look at your farm business or idea from an aerial perspective. Join farmers who have been through the process to examine key areas of business planning, including locating and retaining good staff, research and development, and new market expansion and growth. This will be a great opportunity to set goals for 2019.
Taxes for Farmers
Navigating tax decisions can be a daunting process for small diversified farmers. In this session, participants will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with state and federal tax documents and explore options for specific agricultural tax scenarios. We will discuss how equipment, depreciation, labor, losses, and income should be reflected in basic tax documents, including Form 1040 and the Schedules A (deductions), C (business gain or loss), and F (farm income). This workshop will offer something for everyone, from beginner to experienced farmers.
Developing Your Farm Brand
Your brand is the voice of your farm story. Discuss how to develop or expand the elements of your brand (farm name, mission, tagline, and logo) to effectively communicate the values and story you want to share with your customers. Through discussion and group exercises begin making a plan to move forward with your branding strategy.
Selling to Restaurants
Selling to restaurants can be a great opportunity to diversify your farm business, but it can also be a huge commitment of time and energy. Learn from three farms with a depth of experience in selling to restaurants, and gain strategies for building and maintaining restaurant sales and relationships. Walk away better prepared to meet with buyers during the lunchtime Grower-Buyer Meeting..
Presentation: Selling to Restaurants
Photography Composition and Techniques
It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. We live in a visual world and composing photographs that engage your audience is critical in sharing your farm story. This workshop offers the opportunity to learn basic composition tools and tricks that will take your brand’s photography to the next level (even with just your cell phone).
Sarah Jones Decker of Root Bottom Farm
Workshop Block 3
Farm Business Financials
Financial success in business rarely comes by accident. This session focuses on basic financial planning and analysis techniques that are vital in creating profitability for your farm enterprises. Featuring methods in place at Bluebird Farm as examples, this session will also look at important financial information you can glean through determining your cost structure, evaluating revenue streams, and creating break-even analysis.
William Lyons of Bluebird Farm
Hosting Events and Dinners on Your Farm
Interested in diversifying your farm income by hosting special events or on-farm dinners, but want to know if the time and investment is worth your efforts? Hear from local farmers and an agritourism insurance professional about what to consider when exploring this type of farm venture, and what resources are available to guide your decisions.
Direct Marketing Strategies: Connecting with Your Customer Base
Whether you are a new farm trying be noticed or a more established producer looking to expand your customer base, targeted marketing strategies will make better use of your time and money. Join this workshop to learn more about engaging customers and learn practical steps to creating and implementing a marketing plan.
Molly Nicholie of ASAP
Presentation: Direct Marketing Strategies: Connecting with Your Customer Base
Handout: Targeting Your Market
Social Media Marketing
Gain practical tools for growing your social media presence without getting overwhelmed or spending a penny. Learn how to maximize your time on social media to effectively share your products and story and turn followers into farm fans and customers. Learn simple tricks for improving your storytelling, customer engagement, and imagery. This workshop is designed for farmers who already have a basic understanding of using social media.
Presentation: Social Media Marketing
Handout: Social Media Marketing Practice, Goal Setting & Quick Tips
Resource: A Social Media Guide for Farmers (ASAP)
Sell More! Improving Sales at Your Farmers Market
How can you improve your sales at market? This workshop will share best practices for selling at farmers markets and offer practical tips, recommendations, and resources for increasing sales. Content will focus on three key elements of sales: presentation, information, and invitation.
Mike McCreary and David Smiley of ASAP