Makers & Farmers Roundtable

The KTC team are in the process of developing a series of Roundtable programs with strategic partners. The goal of this program helping local food businesses flourish by providing meaningful business support: a rigorous, consistent and long-term process that builds BUSINESS acumen in farm and food business owners at a sliding scale cost to the entrepreneur based on gross sales.

Farmers believe in what they do and care deeply about their work, however many don’t have the business experience to make sure they’re truly economically sustainable. While there are many new farmer programs in our area that provide excellent training for aspiring farmers, as well as farm incubators and land rental opportunities, there is no farm specific ongoing business development support available to new and seasoned farmers. From livestock producers facing soaring grain prices, to vegetable farmers seeing greatly increased competition, farmers need to be constantly re-evaluating their business model to become or remain profitable. New opportunities abound: wholesale and multi-farm CSA sales, new farmers’ markets, on-farm and on-line sales, value-added product lines. Farmers need a straightforward, no nonsense approach to assess these opportunities, while keeping a close eye on the bottom line.

To specifically address the needs of small farm owners we are creating The Farmers’ Roundtable. Its purpose is simple: to provide simple, ACTIONABLE, business guidance and support from a business mentor, as well as facilitated group sessions to discuss relevant business topics with other farmers.

The one-year, twice monthly program will provide farmers:

  1. Monthly group sessions of four hours to discuss real-world issues directly affecting their operation lead by experienced business mentors facilitating the discussion.
  2. Monthly one-on-one intensives with each farmer to address the pressing details of their own operation.

The program will focus on the following topics:

  1. Bookkeeping Consistency.
  2. Sales Management.
  3. Marketing Tactics and Execution.
  4. General Business Ownership Issues.
  5. Opportunity Assessment.
  6. Financial and Operational Benchmarking.

The results of this 12 month process will include:

  1. A 12 month, 3 year and 5 year Financial Budget.
  2. A Sales and Marketing Plan and Budget.
  3. QuickBooks set up and being used on a consistent basis with regular financial reviews, ratios and trend analysis of top
  4. 5 numbers for each farmer.
  5. A business plan, with high-level financials.
  6. The ability for the farmer to have an accurate plan and support to become eligible for a bank loan to achieve their goals.

If you are interested in starting a Roundtable or would like to partner with us to develop a Roundtable for farmers and makers, please contact us at [email protected]