Oct 30, 2023
Business Technical Assistance and Access to Capital Curriculum Open to Dairy Farmers in Six Northeast States
HUDSON, NY – October 30, 2023 – The Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) has opened applications for its upcoming Northeast Dairy Funding Accelerator (DFA) program. The 20 month intensive training curriculum will combine virtual and in-person sessions, as well as group and personalized Business Technical Assistance (BTA) training to help each participant meet their individualized needs. Funding for the program is being provided by the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC). Applications are being accepted until December 1, 2023.
Five dairy farmers (cow, sheep, goat) will be accepted from New York, western Connecticut, western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, eastern New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. Applicants must be established business looking to expand production and having their farm and the majority of their labor force in one of the designated states. Special consideration will be given to those with herd size of 100 or less, and those working with small ruminants. In addition, they must be able to make a commitment to the time and resources required of the training program, and also be able to commit the same to future DFA participants as a peer or mentor. Training will commence in January 2024, and conclude in May 2025.
“Dairy farms are an integral part of the food system in the Northeast, with New York and Pennsylvania being two of the largest producing states. And while most people are aware of the large herd cow farms in the region, we really see an opportunity to help farmers running smaller herds and working with the full variety of dairy livestock,” said Mary Ann Johnson, Deputy Director, HVADC.
Each of five NDFA participating farms will initially receive consultation to determine what aspects of business strategies will best help them to meet their desired outcomes, such as business plan development, financial planning, business coaching, workforce management, marketing, management structures, succession planning, and communications. Individualized curriculums for the one-on-one training will be developed to accommodate each participant’s business plan, farm type/size, herd type/size, assistance they may require to learn about grant applications, and their aspirations and expectations. Group training will provide overarching business acumen topics such as business plan development, human resource management, the fundamentals of accessing capital, financials and management, marketing techniques, distribution strategies, and pitch development.
By conclusion of the program, participants will be prepared to present their project to potential funders and grant programs such as those provided through NE-DBIC.
“Throughout the region, dairy farmers are under tremendous pressure and farms are closing; with some of the factors attributed to market conditions, inflation, increased costs of feed and production and supply chain issues. Small and mid-sized milk farms have been facing significant financial challenges. By providing BTA to help these farms position their expansion plans and access capital, we can help to bolster their viability and success,” Johnson said.
The DFA program expands HVADC’s reach outside of the Hudson Valley. In partnership with its affiliate organizations, The Farm and Food Growth Fund (FFGF) and The Agricultural Viability Alliance (the Alliance), it is able to enlarge its geography throughout the Northeast.
Applications will be accepted to December 1, 2023. To learn more and to apply, visit https://www.hvadc.org/dairy-funding-accelerator-program.
Questions about the program may be directed to Duane Stanton at 518-432-5360 x. 402 or DStanton@hvadc.org.
The HVADC is the region’s sole economic development agency with a specific focus on the viability of the agricultural economy in the Hudson Valley. It assists both new and existing agri-businesses such as farms, food businesses and food distributors, by providing technical and business consultation, access to capital, and resources. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), the non-profit promotes balanced, market-based solutions that lead to enhanced agricultural entrepreneurship, rural economic growth, diversity inclusion, and community enhancement. For more information, please visit: www.Hvadc.org.