2021 Business of Farming Conference workshops will take place in a virtual conference platform, requiring a computer and internet access. All registrants will have access to the platform and recordings for 30 days post event, so even if you are not able to attend live, you can view recordings on your own schedule.
Know Your Product & Plan: Building Blocks of a Beginning Farm Business
This session will help new and early-stage farms assemble the building blocks necessary to launch a strong business with an easy-to-use checklist, business planning templates, and a resource guide. Ask key questions to determine what kind of operation you want to run and how to set yourself up for success. Explore options for getting started and moving forward on financing, insurance, accounting, and more.
Know Your Numbers: Dig Into Farm Financials and Recordkeeping
Whether you are just getting started or looking to improve existing systems, this session will introduce you to three key financial tools for knowing your numbers: profit and loss reports, balance sheets, and production projections. Learn recordkeeping best practices that can be tailored to serve your farm’s financial management needs during both pre-season planning and in-season cash flow tracking.
Know Your Cash Flow: Planning for Expansion
When a farm business owner has reached their operating capacity, knowing how to interpret cash flow can inform critical decisions around expansion. This workshop is designed for farmers who have a working knowledge of their financials and are looking to set future goals or expand their farm business. Learn how to use your cash flow projections to set goals, make decisions about your business, and grow intelligently in 2021.
21st-Century Legal Issues in 2021: Challenges Facing Agribusinesses
Farming is incredibly rewarding. However, as with most industries, it has its challenges. Join Ward and Smith, P.A. attorneys for an interactive session as they walk through some real-life legal issues affecting North Carolina agribusinesses and learn how to address those challenges and mitigate the risks farmers face on a daily basis.
Zach Lamb, Bill Durr, and Devon Williams of Ward and Smith, P.A. Attorneys at Law
Crafting Your Farm Story
Every farm has a story and you’re the perfect person to tell it. Uncover your farm’s story in this two-part hands-on workshop led by writer and storyteller Jen Nathan Orris. The first session lays the groundwork for good storytelling and establishes why it’s important to know your farm’s story. The second session is a chance to share a draft of your farm story and receive feedback in smaller breakout groups.
Jen Nathan Orris, host of ASAP’s Growing Local
Social Media Marketing for Farmers
Learn how to maximize your time on social media to effectively share your farm story and build a following. Hear from a panel of farming peers who are successfully using social media to reach new customers and form stronger relationships with existing ones.
This workshop is designed for farmers who already using social media. ASAP’s social media 101 webinar is available for free here.
Cultivate Your Brand: Why It’s Important and Where to Start
Whether you are selling direct to consumers or through wholesale accounts, a strong farm brand is critical. In this two-part workshop, learn more about the key elements of an effective brand and hear from a farm that has recently rebranded. Dedicate some time to think deliberately about your branding needs, work through exercises to flesh out ideas and questions, and discuss with marketing professionals to make a plan for your branding strategy.
Danielle Keeter and Mark McDonagh of Mighty Gnome Market Garden and Molly Nicholie of ASAP
Direct Marketing in the Time of COVID
Local food and farm marketing strategies are based on building relationships, sharing stories, and making connections around shared values. But what does that look like during a pandemic? Whether you are a new farm trying to build your customer base or a more established producer finding it hard to stay connected during COVID, this workshop will offer strategies and best practices to consider when planning for 2021.
Molly Nicholie of ASAP
Considerations for Selling Wholesale
From restaurant accounts to grocery stores, wholesale markets vary widely in their requirements and income potential. This workshop offers an overview of wholesale market opportunities and factors to consider when determining which may be a good fit for your farm. Ask questions of local buyers and find out more about the pros and cons of expanding into these markets.
Craig Mauney of NC Cooperative Extension, Molly Nicholie of ASAP, and area wholesale buyers
Increasing Your CSA’s Success: Growth and Efficiency
Consumer interest in CSAs grew significantly in 2020. Was your farm able to meet the demand? This intermediate-level panel discussion, led by three experienced CSA farmers, will explore tips and strategies for increasing the profitability of your CSA. Topics will include: considerations for scaling up, efficiency in packing and distribution, customer retention, CSA management platforms, and much more. Bring your questions and explore how to take your CSA to the next level.
Optimizing Your Online Store
In this session we will explore a variety of online sales platforms and take an in-depth look at farms who have utilized online stores to grow and diversify their businesses. A panel of farmers will share their firsthand experience in utilizing these platforms and strategies for successfully tapping into this market outlet.
Planning for Meat Sales in 2021
What can I expect from meat sales these days? Join NC Choices in this workshop for a comprehensive look at marketing local meats with an eye on current conditions. Learn more about levels of inspection and implications for marketing channels, how to navigate meat sales, the “pandemic consumer,” pricing, and more.
Lee Menius and Matt LeRoux of NC Choices
Introduction to Institutional Markets
Have you ever considered selling to hospitals, schools, colleges, or preschools? These institutional markets require a different approach than wholesale. This session will provide an overview of institutional markets and insight into whether this is a market opportunity for you.
Emily Jackson of ASAP