Are you a beginning, experienced or seasoned farmer looking for fresh marketing tips to increase your customer sales? If so, save the date for a day-long conference on March 16 from 9 a.m. until 3: 30 p.m. at the Brunswick Community Center at 18 Keyes Lane in Troy.
The conference will feature presentations on:
- ♦ Using Social Media to Promote Your Farm
- ♦ Expanding Sales Beyond Farmers’ Markets
- ♦ Local Wholesale Marketing Opportunities and Market Intelligence
- ♦ Learning More About your Markets.
In addition, a panel of farmers will discuss how they increase their income using the Internet.
Participants will have the opportunity to network with other farmers, learn something new and get out of the house after a long cold winter.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, upon a recent visit to Cornell University, touted the 2017 executive budget proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying one priority will be to make it easier for new farmers to connect with information and resources needed to start and sustain a successful business. His department is building an online resource that will provide nascent farmers with tools and resources, giving them access to valuable information, including resources from Cornell’s Small Farms Program, which provides expertise in small-farm business development.
At the State Assembly hearing on Environmental Conservation, New York Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy Jon William called the proposed budget “a good start,” but pointed to the state’s dairy industry, which has been losing money for three consecutive years. A major state vendor estimated that the dairy industry lost $1 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year alone. Williams advocated for increased funding for research as well as promotion.
Current state funding opportunities for farmers include $5 million for county and youth fairs across the State through the Agricultural Fairgrounds Infrastructure Improvement Program and $14 million to protect soil and water resources on farms, funded through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program and procured through the Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District. $6.3 million has already been awarded to nine projects in the Capital Region to help protect at-risk farmland — the Agricultural Stewardship Association was awarded more than $2.4 million for three projects in Rensselaer County and one project in Washington County, the Columbia Land Conservancy was awarded nearly $2.4 million for three projects in Columbia County and Saratoga PLAN was awarded more than $1.5 million for two projects in Saratoga County. State grants are typically awarded to projects with a clear objective and high probability of commercial and environmentally sustainable success. More information on available funding can be found here.
The conference is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital Area Agricultural and Horticultural Program and Hudson Mohawk Resource Conservation and Development Council.
Cornell Cooperative Extension, located at 24 Martin Rd. in Voorheesville, is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.