Small Scale Food Processing Workshop

Event Details


January 27 - January 28, 2021


8:30am - 12pm




CCE Monroe County

Jarmila Haseler

Strict safety rules and the necessity for high product quality give the food industry a unique character. From licensing and certification to recipe testing, from shelf life and packaging to promotions and selling, the requirements are complex and can be overwhelming. But with a clear understanding of the key steps and a good plan, a small scale food processing business can be a profitable enterprise.

Join us for two mornings for learning and guidance on how to start and grow your food business. Both current and potential food entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend!

The cost is $35 dollars for each day, or $60 for both sessions. Go here to register.

Day 1 - Food Processing Fundamentals 

8:30 AM - Welcome & Introduction

8:35 AM - 9:30 AM Part I - Recipe Approval: Making Sure your Food Product is Safe
Many food products require review and approval by a food safety expert. The Cornell Food Venture Center provides comprehensive assistance to beginning and established food entrepreneurs. Presenter: Shannon Prozeller, Cornell University Food Venture Center.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM Part II - Recipe Approval: Making Sure your Food Product is Safe
The Food Venture Center offer assistance with product and process safety evaluations such as scheduled process, regulatory compliance, food processing development and shelf-life evaluation. Presenter: Bruno Xavier, Cornell University Food Venture Center.

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Get Permission: Regulations and Licensing

Can you make your product in your home kitchen? How do you get permission to sell your packaged food product at retail locations, or sell at 'ready to eat' food at venues such as farmers' markets? Get these and other questions answered. Presenter: John M Luker, Assistant Director, Division of Food Safety & Inspection, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets.

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Story from the Field

Any time is a good time for coffee time! Presenter Kathy Turiano, Joe Bean Roasters, will share her journey developing a small-scale processing business from  its inception to the recent days of pandemic-caused changes. 'Nimble' is the name of the game in order to stay afloat and be successful.  

11:45 AM - 12:00 PM Taste NY

Learn how to get your product into Taste NY stores and how Taste NY can help with marketing and promotion. Presenter: Jessica Ziehm, Ag Marketing Educator, CCE Washington County.

Day 2 - Small Business Management Basics

8:30 AM - Welcome & Introduction

8:35 AM - 9:25 AM Key Financial & Marketing Strategies

Create an enterprise budget, know your cost of production, develop pricing and promotions strategies, bring your product to the right markets, and more! Presenter: Bree Bacon Woodbridge, Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center Niagara County

9:25 AM - 10:15 AM The Value of a Good Business Plan

A food recipe tells us what the ingredients are and how to put them together for a successful outcome. A business plan is a recipe for your business that defines what "success" is and how you're going to get there. We'll discuss the ingredients of a business plan, how to put them together, and the multiple uses for this "product".  Presenter: Patty Love, Certified Professional Business Coach, Certified Permaculture Designer, with a Business Administration Degree.

10:15 AM - 11:10 AM Bringing a Product to Market    

How do you get your product on the store shelves? When entering a retail market factors such as packaging to help your product stand out, pricing to allow room for discounts and a distribution plan for consistency and communication with a retailer are critical. Presenter: Andrew Frackenpohl, General Manager, Lori's Natural Foods Center.

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM Where and How to Find Grants

Grants exist! That is the good news. Knowing how to approach a grant and successfully write a grant proposal is the story that will be shared in this session. Learn what grants are and what they're not. Gain an understanding of the elements of a proposal, resources and best practices. Presenter: Gina Marie Mangiamele, Certified Business Advisor, SUNY Brockport Small Business Development Center.

Go here to register.

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Upcoming Events

Farmer Tax School Series - Income Tax Planning for Farms that File a Schedule F

October 13, 2021
October 20, 2021
October 27, 2021

A three-part series for farms that are already filing a Schedule F covering tax planning and goals, handling farm profits/losses, and strategies to improve your tax position while also working positively with your accountant/tax preparer.

Annie's Project: Risk Management for Farm Women

November 1, 2021
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December 2, 2021
December 6, 2021
December 9, 2021
December 13, 2021
December 16, 2021

Are you a woman engaged in farming in NYS? Would you like to learn and network with other farm women, and learn how to strengthen your farming operation? Join Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Allegany, Broome, Oneida, Steuben, and Seneca counties, along with the Central NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops team, for our first virtual Annie's Project this winter! 

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Sign Up for Our Weekly E-Newsletter

We send out a weekly e-newsletter that has announcements, upcoming programs, and opportunities for you!  Registration is quick, easy, and free.  Click here to sign up today!

CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.

Updated Meeting Guidelines

Effective June 1, 2021, the size limit for outdoor field meetings (including open-air, well ventilated barns) may be held up to 500 participants.

Effective June 11, 2021, the size limit for indoor meetings may be held up to 250 participants.  If the indoor event is held at a business, the business may implement other requirements for participants in accordance with NYS and CDC guidelines, which may include requiring proof of vaccination, separate individuals and designate part of the establishment based on vaccination status, and require masks/social distance for all patrons or just those unvaccinated.

For both types of meetings, masks are only required for unvaccinated attendees and they also need to maintain 6' social distance during the event.  Vaccination status is based on self-reporting.  Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for participants.  The NYS, CDC, and Cornell University guidelines will be monitored and we will adjust meeting guidance accordingly.

Dairy Producer Considerations When Dealing with High Grain Prices

by David R. Balbian, CCE Area Dairy Management Specialist

We have been here before. Back in mid-July of 2012, corn got up over $8.00/bu @ the Chicago Board of trade. As I write this corn is approaching $7.00/bu. Soybeans got up to the mid $17/bu. range in late August of 2012. Again, as I write this soybeans are in the mid-$15 range. Your cows do not care what these prices are. Major knee jerk cutbacks on grain feeding that shorts the cows on their nutritional requirements will only make a bad situation worse. Saving $1.00 on grain and losing $1.50 or $2.00 is bad business. The long-term impacts on reproduction will have lingering effects. Low production cannot be turned around until a new lactation begins. So, what to do? Although they will not be possible for everyone to implement, here are some tips and ideas to consider:

  • If you have your own corn grain or HMSC you are feeling good right now.
  • Harvest cover crops for feed in the very early boot stage. Wide swath mowing for quick drying and harvest between 35% to 40% dry matter will give you better results and retain nutrients. Check out Winter Forage: Windrow Compost vs. Photosynthetic Drying from Advanced Ag Systems' regarding wide swath mowing & quick drying. A link to the following article by Ralph Ward of Cumberland Valley Lab provides additional helpful details on the benefits of the proper dry matter: Avoid Fermentation Failure in Spring Silage
  • Timely harvest your first cutting & subsequent cuttings. Be on the lookout for our team's First Cutting Forage Quality data from Dr. Erik Smith every Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. We are monitoring around 60 fields in our region. You will see targeted harvest dates for dairy quality feed.
  • Applying nitrogen to grasses can up crude protein levels (and yield). It may already be a bit late for some first cutting fields, but applications right after first cutting can really boost second cut yields and crude protein levels (reducing the need to purchase grain protein).
  • BMR Corn Silage could be more attractive now. Assess your own situation and consider it this year.
  • It's a long ways off, but if high corn grain prices persist high chopping corn silage this fall is something to consider if you have plenty of inventory.
  • Moving to a high corn silage diet if you have the inventory can reduce corn grain needs and may allow you to utilize some low cost protein such as feed grade urea. Work with your nutritionist to evaluate this option.
  • Look for & reduce feed shrink. This is spilled, wasted or spoiled feed. You can no longer afford excessive shrink.
  • Strategic group cows so you are not overfeeding late lactation cows.
  • Look around at various protein sources. Soybean meal is not the only game in town.
  • Be sure you are getting all you can out of the corn grain you are feeding. Grind it finer. Coarse ground corn is more likely to pass undigested.

Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program

State Dedicates Highest Level of Funding Ever to Protect Valuable and At-Risk Farmland 

Each of New York's 10 Regions Will Be Allocated $5 Million for Conservation Easement Projects 

Eligibility Opportunities Expanded to Agroforestry, Equine, and Wine Sectors
Round 18 FPIG continues New York State's commitment to provide financial assistance to locally led farmland protection efforts. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on individual farms. However, the program may also award funding to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.

All farmland protection project applications must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway. More information regarding the Grants Gateway can be found here.

Municipalities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and land trusts are eligible to apply for grants of up to $2 million each to help offset the costs of individual conservation easement projects that protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.
Eligibility criteria for the program have been adjusted to include the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors, reflecting New York's diverse agricultural industry.  In addition, other closely aligned State goals have been integrated into the eligibility criteria to allow multiple objectives for certain projects, including food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection.  Another first for the program, an incentive payment is now available to participating landowners whose project specifically incorporates climate resiliency or source water protection. Soil health assessments are also now an eligible project cost.
There is no application deadline and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds have been awarded to eligible projects. 
This funding opportunity continues the state's commitment to provide financial and technical assistance for farmland protection on a predictable two-year cycle and builds on the recent additions of the successful FPIG Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative and the FPIG Farm Operations in Transition Farmland Protection Initiative.