Hudson Valley Farm and Food Funding Accelerator Program Announces Advisors and Networking Events

Applications Open to September 15 for Intensive Training and Mentoring Program

HUDSON, NY – August 9, 2018– The Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation’s (HVADC) Farm and Food Funding Accelerator (FFFA) Program has announced the slate of instructors and mentors who will be participating in its curriculum beginning in November. Sylke Chesterfield, a business consultant and certified coach of Chesterfield Advantage, has been named the FFFA Project Manager.


FFFA is an intensive training program designed to help farmers and food entrepreneurs scale their business, build sales, and access financial sources. Launched in 2016 with a class of nine Peers, this second FFFA program will be a six to eight month curriculum beginning in November 2018, and culminating with participants having the opportunity to pitch potential funders in spring 2019. Through a customized program, FFFA participants will engage in expert instruction, one-on-one counseling and technical assistance, group interaction and industry networking events to learn how to position their business models in anticipation of speaking with potential funders.


Joining Chesterfield as FFFA Advisors are Brian Zweig, Founder of Business Opportunities Management Consulting; Jason Foscolo, Esq., of The Food Law Firm; Diane Greco of marketing company, Tactix Inc., and Laura Alosio of Dandelion Design, Inc. Peers from the 2016 FFFA class will also participate as mentors and counselors. Additional HVADC instructors and mentors will be added to match individual participant business models. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with the growing network of funders that support local food systems through methods such as equity, loans, grants crowdfunding, as well as HVADC’s Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Loan Fund.  


“Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of the FFFA program is the opportunity for our Peers to network with real buyer opportunities and network with proven industry professionals,” said Mary Ann Johnson, Deputy Director, HVADC. The first two industry networking events  have already been named, with the new class of Peers scheduled to present their products at The Valley Table’s Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall Kick-Off being held October 22 at Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner, and at the Taste of New York’s October 23 event at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. Combined, the two events are anticipated to attract over 200 food industry leaders, chefs and media. Valley Table magazine is the media sponsor of the FFFA program.


FFFA applicants must be a farm, food, fiber or agriculture-dependent business having their home office, farm or production facility in the Hudson Valley, and sourcing the majority of their product ingredients from the region, as well as the majority of their labor force. They must be able to make a commitment to the time and resources required of the training program and to commit the same to future FFFA participants as a peer or mentor.  There is no cost to participate.


Applications for the FFFA program will be accepted until September 15.  There is a nominal application fee of $15. Funding for FFFA was made possible by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency.


Additional details and application materials may be found at Questions regarding the FFFA program may be directed to 518-432-5360 or