FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 10, 2022
Contact: Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell
Phone: 217-840-2128 x5
Grow Your Farm Business!
Launch your cottage food or value-added farm enterprise.
Farmers know that their margins are tight. That’s why finding ways to increase efficiency, decrease waste, and capture a greater market share are so important. Developing and marketing value-added or cottage food products have the potential to do all three!
Creating meal or recipe kits, processing fruits and veggies into jams or sauces, giving ugly produce new life simply by cutting and packaging it, and even having specialty certifications like Organic or Illinois Product are all ways of adding value to farm products.
Of course, adding any additional enterprise to the farm requires some consideration. That’s why The Land Connection has been hard at work with partners throughout the state to develop a comprehensive course for farmers considering adding a cottage food or value-added enterprise to their farm business. The course will provide participants with the tools to create a detailed plan for their new value-added enterprise, combining sound business practices with particular emphasis on the needs of such an enterprise. Participants will begin the course by assessing why they are choosing to start the new enterprise, and then spend the rest of the course exploring how they will start the new enterprise, learning best practices and then applying them to the relevant portions of their enterprise plan.
The program will consist of weekly interactive online sessions with additional readings and tasks to complete independently. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their enterprise to a panel of local food and business professionals for the chance to win a cash prize to invest in their farm! The course will take place Thursday evenings 4:00-6:00pm CT October through November following the schedule below.
October 6: Local Food Business Basics
October 13: Your Product and Its Market
October 20: Assessing and Mitigating Risk
October 27: Developing Your Marketing Strategy
November 3: Developing Your Sales Plan
November 10: optional office hours
November 17: Pitch Fest!
To enroll in this course, you must be:
- An owner or partner in a farm business registered in the state of Illinois
- Producer of fruits, vegetables, grains, fiber, meat, or dairy
The cost to participate is $150. If this represents a barrier, please reach out to Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for this course was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant #AM200100XXXXG114. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.