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Community Event

5th Annual Farm to Market Conference

Sunday, March 30, 2014
09:10 to 16:30

103 Mitteer Road Hurleyville, NY 12747

The Michael Ritche Big Barn Center at the Center for Discovery
103 Mitteer Road, Hurleyville NY
Pure Catskills and the Council host this gathering of farmers, buyers, distributors and food system supporters to make connections to move products from the farm out into the market. Tracks for new farmers, on expanding markets and scaling up round out the day,
Register by March 23 at
Cost: $35 includes a local foods lunch
For more information contact Beth McKellips (607) 865-7090, ext. 217

Full Program:

Program Overview:


Jennifer Grossman, Jennifer K. Grossman Consulting LLC/NRDC, and Rebecca Morgan, Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship

Last year, Jennifer and Rebecca shared with us the challenges and hopes that Catskills farmers and farming were facing. If you missed their 2013 address, view the video here. This year, the ladies of regional agriculture return to update us on what as improved, what hasn’t and the pace of things to come. Be it growing, raising, distributing or collaborating, Catskills agriculture is alive and well in 2014 with some innovative solutions to long-term problems. Next-gen farmers have shoulders to stand on as we share the tricks of the trade to small farm profitability.


FEATURE PANEL: Connecting the Catskills:  Featuring members of the Catskill Family Farms and Catskills Family Creameries. 

As we look to build the regional food system, this panel will take a look back and forward by covering two very different ways of working together. Topics covered will include best practices for both cooperative marketing and production, identifying sources of capital and when it’s right to take on debt, successful marketing practices for both niche and commodity markets and more. Speakers include:

-Richard Giles, Lucky Dog Farm

-John Janiszewski, Wild Flower Farm

-Shannon Mason, Cowbella Creamery

-Linda Smith, Sherman Hill Farmstead

-Cyndy Wright, Dirty Girl Farm


Lunch details coming soon! 

Visit the Pure Catskills table, sign up to be a vendor on the Pure Catskills Marketplace online store, pick up your free Pure Catskills membership sign and event/promotional tool kits at the Pure Catskills table.

Get a free headshot from photographer Andy Ryan; you know his work from the Pure Catskills Guide 2012!


BREAK OUT SESSIONS: 1:45-3 pm & 3:15- 4:30 pm

Beginning Farmer Track:

If I Knew Then What I Know Now.

Hear key words of wisdom from farmers that have found innovative and tried and true ways to making farming work for them. 

Patrick Rider (Greenane Farms), Patrick Hennebery (Berry Brook Farm), Cheyenne Miller (Root ‘N Roost Farm)

Tianna Kennedy, Moderator. 

Business Planning 101: Why You Should Love Writing This 

Business plans are much more than a piece of paper you give your bank and landlord! Come to this workshop to hear from a business plan veteran how to create a business plan that works for you, gets others excited about your business and sets you up to be profitable. 

Ben Reilly, Owner, Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Co.

Scaling UP Breakout Track:

1:45- 3 PM: Stealing Supermarket Savvy

Making it to the farmers’ market is only half the battle – now that you’re there, how do you sell the most product possible? And how do you keep on top of changes in the local food marketplace? This presentation will help the small farmer leverage valuable research by the multi-million dollar supermarket industry and apply it to their farmers’ market selling experience. Expect to learn valuable tips on how to appeal to a customer’s behavioral habits, how to break down your market segmentation, and how your business might appeal to a wider range of shoppers. Chris will offer examples of marketing approaches used by market vendors, including suggestions on how to measure the impact of time spent on sales efforts including at-market display, promotions to new customers, branding and publicity.

Chris Wayne, GrowNYC Greenmarket

3:15-4:30PM: Find Your Niche: How to maximize your profits and quality of life!

The Marketing Channel Assessment Tool is a data-based decision making tool for small-scale, diverse fruit and vegetable growers.  Market channel performance is measured for 5 factors during a “snapshot” data collecting week.  The resulting changes made on the farm can result in reduced marketing risk and labor as well as increased sales and profitability.

Matt LeRoux, Ag Marketing specialist, South Central NY Ag team, Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

New Markets Track:

Money DOES grow on Trees! 

Why leave money in the woods? Come hear from Cornell’s NYS Maple Specialist on the following topics:

  1. How to assess the potential for maple on your farm
  2. Basic start up costs
  3. Basic steps to starting a maple operation
  4. Market opportunities- recap, ie who can you sell sap to and what are the average prices?
  5. Resources for getting started-CCE team and otherwise

Stephen Childs, NYS Maple Specialist

Insider Secrets of Raising High Quality Beef on Grass

Full description coming soon.

Rich Winter, Adirondack Grazing Cooperative

Profitability Breakout Track: Double Session!

Profitability on a Small Farm Through Season Extension, High Tunnels, Winter Growing & Crop Storage

Paul and Sandy Arnold, Pleasant Valley Farm

Part 1: Production of Crops for Season Extension with Storage, Root Cellaring, and Field Houses (Low Tunnels):  

To market year-round, crop availability is critical; the Arnolds will show through the seasons how many crops are harvested, cured and stored in various facilities, including a root cellar with modern cooling/humidity controlled equipment.   

Part 2:  High Tunnel Fall, Winter and Spring Production for Profitable Season Extension 

Paul and Sandy have been working with year-round production in high tunnels since 2006 and will go through each month of detailed production systems. Using various row-cover and hoop techniques, their 3 unheated tunnels yield over $1700 per week in produce for the winter weekly farmers’ markets.  Varieties, as well as organic insect and disease controls, will be discussed. 

Part 3: Year-round Farmers’ Market Success:  Tips and Tricks 

Displays, products, presentation, workers at their tables, and the variety of products all need managing for details to keep customers happy and coming back.  However, beyond the actual displays, record keeping is an important tool to know what to bring each week and also what crops have higher values to increase profitability, so they will go over their farm’s simple but valuable system of record-keeping which can show how some crops can earn them over $200,000 per acre.