Monday Intensives

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Monday Intensives are February 19th, 2018 and devote a full day to explore a single topic, with plenty of room for discussion, Q&A, and networking with peers interested in similar fields.

Michael Philips, Orcharding Intensive (2017)

Registration fee of $70 for NOFA Vermont Members and $85 for Non-Members includes a full day of learning and a delicious lunch, catered by Love Local Catering (Skinny Pancake). 

Please note: Monday Intensives are held in the Waterman Building on the UVM campus at 85 S Prospect St, Burlington, VT.

Silvopasture: Integrating Animals, Trees, and Forage in a Farm Ecosystem

Presenter: Steve Gabriel • 9:00am-4:00pm

Silvopasture is a system that combines trees and forage design with livestock management. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and one of the most promising forms of agriculture for fighting climate change. Silvopasture is not, however, as simple as allowing animals into the woodlot. It is and must be intentional, steeped in careful observation skills, and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who is proficient in understanding grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry at once. She or he does not need to be an expert in all of these disciplines, but rather familiar enough to make informed management decisions for the farm ecosystem. During this intensive we will cover the do's and don'ts in the design and management of silvopasture systems using activities,discussion, and case studies from around the Northeast US.

Steve Gabriel, author of Farming the Woods (with Ken Mudge), is an ecologist, educator, and a forest farmer who has lived most of his life in the Finger Lakes region of New York. His personal mission is to reconnect people of all ages with the natural world and to provide the tools for good management of forests and other landscapes. He currently splits his time between working for the Cornell Small Farms Program, and developing the farm he runs with wife Elizabeth, Wellspring Forest Farm, which produces shiitake mushrooms, duck eggs, pastured lamb, nursery trees, and maple syrup.

Developing Industrial Hemp as a Commodity Crop in Vermont, Seed to Policy

Presenters: Joel Bedard & Abha Gupta • 9:00am-3:00pm

During this intensive, we are pleased to continue the dialog surrounding industrial hemp in the state of Vermont.  This extended session will cover the viability of hemp as a commodity agricultural crop; including field practices, input and output expectations, post-harvest processing, the politics and challenges of integrating hemp into rotation and more. Guest speakers include: Bob Escher, Mike Lewis, Rye Matthews & Chad Rosen. This programming is primarily targeted for farmers, processors, and those interested in entering this "new" agribusiness. 

Joel Bedard is a thought leader and advocate for hemp; he created the Vermont Hemp Company with the vision of developing a sustainable, regional commodity industry based upon industrial hemp. Abha Gupta is a Crops and Soils Coordinator with the Northwest Crops and Soils Program of the University of Vermont Extension. She focuses on field research of specialty crops and outreach education to the farming community. Abha has been pursuing industrial hemp research since 2015, navigating legal pathways and field management lessons.

Growing Fresh Cut Flowers: From Start to Sales, Everything You Need to Know

Presenters: Liz Krieg • 9:00am-3:00pm 

Liz Krieg, owner of Maple Flower Farm LLC, has been growing fresh cut flowers in Vermont since 1989. Join Liz in this comprehensive workshop on growing, selling and marketing cut flowers. Liz will discuss scale and market considerations, soil preparation and strategies for growing cut flowers from seed to harvest, handling post harvest, flower varieties from annuals to perennials and marketing strategies. We will also discuss considerations and challenges to certifying organic and which flower varieties are best for growing organic from seed.  This intensive is targeted for growers looking to diversify and add cut flowers to their farm. Homesteaders, gardeners and all interested in learning more about cut flowers are welcome, too!

Liz Krieg, owner of Maple Flower Farm LLC, located in Bethel, is a commercial cut flower farmer who has been growing since 1987. She is a well known horticulture educator and lecturer throughout New England and a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Cutting through the Noise: Successful Marketing Campaigns that Reach Consumers

Presenters: Jean Hamilton & Rose Wilson • 9:00am-3:00pm

Talk to any marketer and you will hear "it's noisy out there." There seem to be more and more opportunities to market our products: e-commerce, social media, institutions, grocers, pop-ups, subscription clubs, FPF...But all these opportunities are complicated to navigate and create a lot of competitive noise for potential customers to sift through. You may find yourself asking: What marketing is best if I just want to increase my sales?

Rose Wilson and Jean Hamilton will lead this hands-on intensive to guide you through the steps of creating a customer-centered marketing campaign. Breaking down the essential components of a marketing plan, we will give you tools to develop a deeper understanding of your market, design goals and metrics to evaluate the success of your campaigns, and prompt you to get your marketing creativity flowing. These tools will include worksheets to: 1) Build campaign goals, budget, and returns; 2) Guide your targeted market research; 3) Inspire creative material for campaigns. This will be a working session, allowing us to practice using these tools and maybe even develop that $1,000,000 campaign you've been waiting for.

Jean Hamilton’s passion for food, agriculture, and community development have taken her on diverse journeys across the food value chain - from farm fields, through kitchens and dining rooms, and out to conference halls and board rooms. Currently, Jean supports farm and food businesses as a consultant with projects ranging from marketing and branding strategies, business planning, financial benchmarking, and grant writing. Rose Wilson has provided business plans, strategic plans, feasibility studies, market research, market development, and marketing plans, and provided grant writing services for over 200 farms, businesses, and organizations since 2004. Rose’s mission is to make a difference on a local level: helping build a strong, sustainable, local economy; encouraging a sense of community; and minimizing our collective impact on the environment.

Questions? Please call NOFA-VT at (802) 434-4122 or email Kyla Bedard if you have questions about these intensive workshops.

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