Upcoming Events

Food and Farm Business Development Webinar Series

The Business of Marketing: NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Taking Food Businesses to the Next Level | April 26, 2018 | 12 – 1 pm | Virtual

Presented by the North Carolina Growing Together Project at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems &  the CCCC Small Business Center

What you’ll learn: Learn about the marketing resources of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). The Marketing Division assists farmers and food businesses with phase two of their business venture. Once established, how can your business venture grow?  How can NCDA&CS branding, marketing outreach and promotion help increase exposure, demand, and profits?  Annette will share some compelling case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the NCDA&CS marketing program.

Speaker:  Annette Dunlap is an Agribusiness Developer in the Marketing Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She works with economic developers to help them with food processing projects and provides one-on-one assistance to food businesses that are ready to scale up. Prior to joining NCDA&CS in 2008, Annette worked at NC State University, where she assisted Cooperative Extension agents with providing business development expertise for value-added agriculture.

Space is limited.  REGISTER HERE: https://goo.gl/yW9gG1

Missed a webinar?  Don’t worry!  View all the recorded NCGT Food and Farm Business Development Webinars on our YouTube channel.

 

On-Farm Post-Harvest Handling Infrastructure Workshops

NC Growing Together and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are sponsoring four On-Farm Post-Harvest Handling Infrastructure Workshops across North Carolina in Spring 2018.

In these workshops we will delve into how to make the best post-harvest handling infrastructure improvements on your farm to increase efficiency and food safety and to meet wholesale buyer requirements. We will talk about options for pre-cooling produce; on-farm cold-storage; and mobile cooling; cleaning, washing, and sanitizing produce; drying; curing; long-term storage; and how to fund your infrastructure improvements. After lunch, each workshop features a visit to a nearby farm to get hands-on time with their post-harvest handling infrastructure.

Orange County, April 16 | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Cedar Grove Park Center at 5800 U.S. Hwy 86 N, Hillsborough, NC 27278. After lunch, we will all drive five minutes down the road to take a tour of Breeze Incubator Farm, located at 4909 Walnut Grove Church Rd, Hurdle Mills, NC 27541.

Presenter: Sarah Bostick, CFSA Farm Services Coordinator

Registration: $25 CFSA members/$30 non-members. Lunch and a resource guide will be provided. To register by phone, please call 919.542.2402.

For more information or to register, please visit CFSA’s website.

Pender County, April 29 | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Feast Down East Food Hub, 115 S. Dickerson St., Burgaw NC 28425. After lunch, we’ll drive a few minutes down the road to Red Beard Farms.

Presenters: Sarah Bostick, CFSA Farm Services Coordinator; Zach LaVere, Feast Down East Food Hub Manager; Morgan Milne, Red Beard Farms

Registration: $25 CFSA members/$30 non-members. Lunch and a resource guide will be provided. To register by phone, please call 919.542.2402.

For more information or to register, please visit CFSA’s website.

Cabarrus County, May 3 | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Cabarrus County Cooperative Extension Center at 715 Cabarrus Ave W, Concord, NC. After lunch, we’ll drive a few minutes down the road to take a tour of Lomax Incubator Farm, located at 3445 Atando Rd., Concord, NC.

Presenter: Sarah Bostick, CFSA Farm Services Coordinator

Registration: $25 CFSA members/$30 non-members. Lunch and a resource guide will be provided. To register by phone, please call 919.542.2402.

For more information or to register, please visit CFSA’s website.

Yancey County, June 11 | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Yancey County Cooperative Extension Center at 30 E US Hwy 19E Bypass, Burnsville, NC 28714. After lunch, we’ll drive a few minutes down the road to take a tour of TRACTOR’s packing facility at 54 Ferguson Hill Rd, Burnsville, NC 28714.

Presenter: Sarah Bostick, CFSA Farm Services Coordinator

Registration: $25 CFSA members/$30 non-members. Lunch and a resource guide will be provided. To register by phone, please call 919.542.2402.

For more information or to register, please visit CFSA’s website.

 

Events Archive

2018

March 28, 2018 | The Business of Food Safety for Processed Products | Virtual (Webinar)

While numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, two government agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), share most of the responsibility for food safety oversight. However, the rules that determine which agency is responsible for which food can be complex, particularly for food entrepreneurs. This webinar will help clarify the regulatory landscape and provide guidance on how food entrepreneurs can comply with relevant food safety regulations.

Presenters: Currey Nobles and Lynette Johnston, NC Cooperative Extension
Recorded: March 28, 2018

February 27, 2018 | FreshPoint Raleigh Warehouse Tour and Information Session for Interested Growers | Raleigh, NC

February 27, 2018 | The Business of Hemp: Guidelines and Opportunities | Virtual (Webinar)

Farmers are increasingly interested in the industrial hemp industry in North Carolina. This presentation will discuss the current regulations regarding industrial hemp production in North Carolina and how farmers can participate in the program. It will also address frequently asked questions including, program requirements, how to apply, what are some end-markets for industrial hemp, and where to find some resources in order to better direct interested farmers as they explore this market opportunity.

Presenter: Emily Febles, NC Industrial Hemp Commission
Recorded: February 27, 2018

January 31, 2018 | Funding Farm Ventures with USDA Programs: A Webinar for Small Business Counselors, Cooperative Extension Agents and Rural Leaders | Virtual (Webinar)

Farmers have access to unique funding and technical support services from various USDA programs available locally. NRCS and FSA all have resources to share with farmers beginning, growing or transitioning their farming operations. This webinar lead by USDA will explain program resources and supply participants with links to additional resources to share with their clients and contacts. The USDA is eager to collaborate with diverse partners to share the news of thousands of dollars in program benefits, loans and technical support provided to NC Farmers in 2017. The 2018 budget allocations offers continued funding. Examples of farm assistance include cost share for high tunnels, funding for conservation easements and buffers , cost share for organic certification and insurance for crops.

Presenter: Rodney Young, Farm Service Agency
Recorded: January 31, 2018

 

2017

November 13, 2017 | Integrating Local Foods into Culinary Programs | Virtual (Webinar)

North Carolina Community College culinary programs provide students with hands-on training in culinary arts, food safety and nutrition. Select colleges include local foods as a program focus, highlighting their use for seasonal menus and purchasing foods from local farms for use in teaching kitchens as an added educational value to help their graduates find and retain employment in the local food economy. This webinar describes two dynamic programs, Central Carolina Community College’s Natural Chef Program and Asheville-Buncombe Technical College’s Culinary Program. Each director shares their curriculum emphasis, connections with local food providers, and menu planning for on-campus dining that provides both an educational opportunity and a market for local producers.
Presenters: Chef Gregg Hamm, Central Carolina; Chef Christine Harley, AB-Tech
Recorded: November 13, 2017

November 9, 2017 | Piedmont Triad Regional Summit | Winston-Salem, NC

November 7-9, 2017 | NC SBC-SBTDC Joint Professional Development Annual Conference | Concord, NC

November 7, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshop | Carteret County, NC

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification. Available resources, including consulting services, will be provided to growers who attend to assist with the implementation of an effective on-farm food safety program. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance that fulfills training verification requirements for those undergoing a GAP audit.

November 3, 2017 | Grower-Buyer Meeting at CFSA’s Sustainable Agriculture Conference | Durham, NC

NC Growing Together is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Grower-Buyer meeting at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference, which takes place in Durham November 3-5, 2017. The Grower-Buyer Meeting takes place from 5:15-6:15 on Friday, November 3. We are pleased to host another set of dynamic buyers and growers to make lasting connections and learn about the growing market for wholesale products from interested buyers.

October 10, 2017 | ABCs of Trademarking for NC Farm and Food Businesses | Virtual (Webinar)

This seminar focuses on various aspects of trademarks – from choosing between a federal or a state trademark or both to filing for one. Attendees can expect to get an overview of the costs, benefits and pitfalls of trademarks. Several NC food and farm businesses have already learned the hard way that neglecting to register trademarks for their brand can have serious business consequences, including lawsuits and the expensive and difficult process of changing an existing brand. This seminar will help businesses and those who assist them – including Cooperative Extension agents and small business developers – understand how and why trademarks are an important business consideration.
Presenter: Leo John, Investor & Business Outreach Legal Specialist, NC Department of the Secretary of State, Securities Division.
Recorded: October 10, 2017 | 10-11 a.m.

September 21, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshop | Caswell County, NC

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification. Available resources, including consulting services, will be provided to growers who attend to assist with the implementation of an effective on-farm food safety program. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance that fulfills training verification requirements for those undergoing a GAP audit.

September 7, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshop | Wake County, NC

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification. Available resources, including consulting services, will be provided to growers who attend to assist with the implementation of an effective on-farm food safety program. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance that fulfills training verification requirements for those undergoing a GAP audit.

September 7, 2017 | Webinar: Assisting Food Businesses & Restaurants in a Farm-to-Table World | Virtual

Presented by the North Carolina Growing Together Project at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems & the North Carolina Rural Center on September 7, this webinar hosted Dani Black, CEO of Bigger Tables Consulting, to discuss specific food business and restaurant issues in sourcing, storing, and serving local foods.

August 10, 2017 | Webinar: Crowdfunding for Food and Farm Businesses | Virtual

Presented by the North Carolina Growing Together Project at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems & the North Carolina Rural Center on August 10, this webinar hosted Leo John, a representative of the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State’s Office, to cover recent developments in investment crowdfunding. Because of legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly in July 2016, startups in North Carolina can now raise up to $2 million from average investors using their own web site or a registered funding portal, something many food and farm businesses across the country have successfully done.

August 9, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshop | Alamance County, NC 

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension (Alamance County Center), and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification.

July 18, 2017 | Webinar: Hosting Food & Farm Training Programs at Community Colleges | Virtual

Presented by the North Carolina Growing Together Project at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems & the North Carolina Rural Center on July 18, this webinar featured two highly successful food and farm business training programs from Southwestern Community College and Vance-Granville Community College. Participants learned how to develop these programs at your own campus, and potential solutions for funding, planning, and marketing these programs in your own community. The webinar featured instructors Tiffany Henry, Southwestern Community College; Rob Hawk, County Extension Director, Jackson and Swain counties; Tanya Weary, Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center; and Kyle Burwell, Vance-Granville Community College Workforce & Human Resource Development.

June 20, 2017 | Webinar: Heirs Property & Succession Planning for NC Landowners | Virtual

This webinar occurred as part of the 2017 NCGT Webinar Series on June 20, 2017, and features Mavis Gragg of Gragg Law Firm. A Durham-based attorney specializing in heirs property and succession planning for farmers, landowners, and foresters across the state, Ms. Gragg’s presentation covers common heirs property issues, potential solutions, and how to help people access heirs property resources from a number of sources. Downloads include the YouTube video, a brochure template for use in regions throughout the state, and a copy of the slide presentation.

May 24, 2017 | Webinar: Kitchen Incubators & SBC Partnerships in North Carolina | Virtual

This webinar trained small business counselors and developers on the opportunities available to food business clients through kitchen incubators in North Carolina. Two successful kitchen incubators – Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Western North Carolina and the Piedmont Food & Ag Processing Center (PFAP) in Hillsborough – discussed their services, facilities, and common challenges and opportunities for small food businesses. The session also includes information from the Small Business Centers, SBTDCs, and financing agencies affiliated with these incubator kitchens. NCGT shared a newly-developed directory of incubator kitchens, food hubs, and co-packers around the state.

May 16, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshop | Vance County, NC

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension (Vance County Center), and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification.

May 19, 2017 | Local Food Economies as a Rural Development Strategy (APA-NC Section 5) | Edenton, NC

This presentation was presented as part of the APA-NC (American Planning Association, North Carolina Chapter) Section 5 Professional Development Workshop on May 19, 2017, in Edenton, NC. The presentation includes an overview of local food economies in North Carolina, NCGT models for regional and local work, resources, and case studies from across North Carolina.

April 11, 2017 | Webinar: Start or Grow a Food Business in North Carolina | Virtual

On April 11, 2017, the NC Growing Together Project kicked off its 2017 webinar series on local food system topics, designed to assist Extension agents, small business counselors, food incubators and food hubs, and others with topics related to developing food and farm businesses in North Carolina. The first webinar recording, presented by Jill Willett of Coaching for Cooks and Triangle Food Makers, is now available, along with a handout of Resources for Food Entrepreneurs.

March 28, 2017 | Season Extension with High Tunnels Workshop | Greensboro, NC

High tunnels are low-tech, low-cost tools that allow growers to extend the growing season of vegetables and small fruit crops, potentially increasing market opportunities and farm profits. Although high tunnels are considered low-tech, maximizing production and profits can be difficult. During this workshop participants will be equipped with the knowledge to increase their high tunnel profitability through proper management and budgeting awareness. Session topics include high tunnel microclimate considerations, transplant production/ sourcing and production planning. Also covered will be costs and budgeting for start up plans and expansion

March 27, 2017 | Season Extension with High Tunnels Workshop | Concord, NC

High tunnels are low-tech, low-cost tools that allow growers to extend the growing season of vegetables and small fruit crops, potentially increasing market opportunities and farm profits. Although high tunnels are considered low-tech, maximizing production and profits can be difficult. During this workshop participants will be equipped with the knowledge to increase their high tunnel profitability through proper management and budgeting awareness. Session topics include high tunnel microclimate considerations, transplant production/ sourcing and production planning. Also covered will be costs and budgeting for start up plans and expansion

March 16, 2017 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Workshop | Pitt County, NC

NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension (Pitt County Center), and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a one-day workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification.

February 23, 2017 | FreshPoint Tour and Information Session for Interested Growers | Charlotte, NC

February 21, 2017 | FreshPoint Tour and Information Session for Interested GrowersRaleigh, NC

February 16, 2017 | APA-NC’s Planning for Prosperity Event: Local Food for Local Places | Saxapahaw, NC

This session focused on the intersection of local food, economic vitality, and community planning.  Participants learned about the economic and community advantages of building and sustaining a vibrant local food system, examples of planning tools and community projects, and the kinds of partners planners can leverage to continue the conversation in their own communities.The Saxapahaw event is the first of three regional LFLP events hosted by APA and follows up on NCGT’s June 2016 webinar kicking off the series.

February 8, 2017 | Season Extension Using High Tunnels | Jacksonville, NC

High tunnels are low-tech, low-cost tools that allow growers to extend the growing season of vegetables and small fruit crops, potentially increasing market opportunities and farm profits. Although high tunnels are considered low-tech, maximizing production and profits can be difficult. During this workshop participants will be equipped with the knowledge to increase their high tunnel profitability through proper management and budgeting awareness. Session topics include high tunnel microclimate considerations, transplant production/ sourcing and production planning. Also covered will be costs and budgeting for start up plans and expansion

February 7, 2017 | FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Compliance Training | Asheville, NC

January 20, 2017 | Wholesale Success Workshop | Rockingham, NC

January 18, 2017 | Wholesale Success Workshop | Durham, NC

January 12, 2017 |  FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Compliance Training | Mills River, NC

 

2016

December 12, 2016 | Season Extension with High and Low Tunnels — Maximizing Use and Producing Profits  | Sandhills Research Station, Jackson Springs, NC
Learn how to utilize high tunnels to extend your season and maximize your profits at this in-depth training, which covers construction methods and materials, varietal research, and other practical tools for producers interested in season extension.

December 6-7, 2016 | Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Two-Day Workshop | Harnett County, NC
NC Growing Together, NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension (Harnett County Center), and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association are offering a two-part workshop aimed at providing farmers with the tools to identify hazards on their farm; to prepare a food safety hazard assessment; and to create and implement a custom food safety plan that integrates the farm’s practices while meeting market requirements for GAP certification.

December 6, 2016 | Smithfield, NC | FSMA Compliance Training

November 21, 2016 | Season Extension with High Tunnels — Maximizing Use and Producing Profits | Jefferson, NC
Learn how to utilize high tunnels to extend your season and maximize your profits at this in-depth training, which covers construction methods and materials, varietal research, and other practical tools for producers interested in season extension.

November 16, 2016 | Postharvest Handling Train-the-Trainer Session | Raleigh, NC
NCGT will provide an in-depth workshop for Extension agents interested in hosting their own Postharvest Handling trainings. The session will include information about logistics, the lecture and presentation, and the hands-on grading, packing, and cooling demonstrations that can be used at these events. This event is part of the annual N.C. Cooperative Extension Conference.

November 4, 2016 | Season Extension Workshop, Grower-Buyer Meeting, GAP Workshops | Durham, NC
In conjunction with Carolina Farm Stewardship’s annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Download Grower-Buyer Information Here (PDF)

October 26, 2016 | Fourth Annual Eastern NC Sustainability Summit | Halifax Community College, Weldon, NC
NCGT was a sponsor of this conference, which for the first time included a Food and Agriculture track.  NCGT’s Laura Lauffer was one of the featured speakers.

October 2-4, 2016 | NC Choices’ Women Working in the Meat Business Conference | Piedmont, NC
NCGT is a sponsor of the conference and will host a “Money for Meat” Panel on financing, grant, and technical assistance options for beginning & existing meat businesses.

October 5, 2016 | Artisanal, Safe and Efficient: The Way Forward for Dairy Producers
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro NC | Registration here.
Learn how to create a HAACP plan that meets safety requirements and the needs of your artisanal cheese and dairy business, with one of the nation’s leading experts.

September 22, 2016 | Barriers & Solutions for GAP Certification | Bull City Cool, Durham, NC
NCGT will present and take questions during this event, hosted by the Durham Soil & Water Conservation District. The mini-workshop, from 9-1 p.m., will focus on farms that have previously attended trainings or workshop but have not pursued GAP certification.

September 14-16, 2016 | NCAPA Annual Conference |  Asheville, NC

August 8, 2016 | Good Agricultural Practices for School Gardens | Chapel Hill / Carrboro, NC

June 16, 2016Good Agricultural Practices One-Day Workshop: Navigating the USDA GAP Audit | Henderson, NC (Vance County)

May 25, 2016 | Full-Day Pasture Porkshop | Winston-Salem, NC

April 4 & 6, 2016 | Postharvest Handling for Improved Shelf Life Workshops | Durham and Henderson Counties

April 11, 2016 | Good Agricultural Practices One-Day Workshop: Navigating the USDA GAP Audit | Summerfield, NC

March 30, 2016 | Adding Value to Local Food | WEBINAR

March 10, 2016 | Piedmont Grown Conference | Raleigh NC

February 2016 | Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Series | Boone NC

February 2016 | Enhancing Farm Profitability Workshops Clinton NC

January 2016 | Enhancing Farm Profitability Workshops | Newton NC

2015

December 2015-February 2016 | Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Series | Mills River, Graham/Cherokee/Clay Counties

November 6-8, 2015 | NCGT-sponsored sessions and events at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Sustainable Agriculture Conference | Durham NC

October 12-13, 2015 | NCGT-sponsored sessions at the Carolina Meat Conference |Winston-Salem NC

June 18, 2015 | Final PhD Seminar & Defense, Drew Marticorena.  Subject: Statistical Analyses of Diverse Issues in Sustainable Agriculture |NC State Campus

June 16, 2015 | Navigating the USDA GAP Audit Workshop | Wake County

June 2, 2015 | Postharvest Handling for Enhanced Shelf Life Workshops | Forsyth County (full day)

May 21, 2015 | Postharvest Handling for Enhanced Shelf Life Workshops | Catawba County (1/2 day)

April 16, 2015 | Lunch–N–Learn: Farmer Idea Lab Webinar Series: Farm Transitions | WEBINAR

April 14, 2015 | Postharvest Handling for Enhanced Shelf Life Workshops | Duplin County (1/2 day)

March 19, 2015 | Lunch-N-Learn: Farmer Idea Lab Webinar Series: The Entrepreneurial Opportunity of Limited Resources | WEBINAR

February 27: Nash County; March 11: Polk County; Two-part GAPs Workshop, March 4 and March 18: Lincoln County: March 24: Wayne County: Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Workshops

January 13, 2015: When Local Meets Global: Meeting Consumer Demand for Local Foods in a Global Supply Chain World (panel discussion)

January 8, 2015: Agent Opportunities to Build Partnerships with Local Supermarkets through Local Food Programs (WEBINAR)

2014

December 18, 2014: Enhancing Local Food Access by Strengthening Connections with Food Pantries (WEBINAR)

November 9-11, 2014: NC Choices’ Women in the Meat Business, Chapel Hill, NC (supporting partner)

November 10 & 11, 2014: Sessions at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Greenville, SC

September/October 2014: Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Series, Pender and Yancey Counties

September 4, 2014: Local Foods: Understanding Packaging and Specifications for Wholesale Markets (WEBINAR)

July 30 and August 12, 2014: Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Series, Hoke County

May 6, 2014: NC Food Hub Info Exchange

April 22, 2014: NC Growing Together Research Symposium