“HVADC was very helpful. I could not have done this without Brian (Zweig). The grant application process was not simple. Having professional help was critical.”
-Douglas Doetsch, Seminary Hill
“It’s the right time for a business expansion. We’ve been so supported by the community as a trusted food source, even through the pandemic. We were so happy to have HVADC as a significant partner. It’s an organization we strongly believe in.”
-Mona Talbott, Talbott & Arding
“Jennifer was my point of contact at HVADC. She was super responsive and always happy to jump on a call if I had any questions or problems. It took a long time but it went really smoothly and that’s really due to HVADC being so attentive and involved.”
-Kaitlin Armocida, Hawthorne Valley
“I think HVADC does different things than the other organizations we work with. The things they do to help startups and their work on improving food systems is new for us. They add a lot to the options for our farmers.”
-Tom Gallagher, Cornell Cooperative Extension
“Food safety is a big issue. We were a little ahead of the curve because we sell to grocers but a lot of farmers have not been shipping to grocery stores because they’re not GAP certified. Grants will be important for ensuring they can meet the state’s new mandates. I’d recommend HVADC to anyone I know that’s interested.”
-Jim Gade, Gade Farms
“Working with HVADC has been a great pleasure,” Rosenberg added. “It’s a really can-do organization. Everybody knows Todd is exactly where he needs to be. He raises the flag for farmers everywhere he goes.”
Steve Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson
“Mary Ann and Brian helped tremendously through the process. HVADC’s business planning was critical. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
-Blake Arrowood, Arrowood Farms
“We were awarded the [CFA] grant last December and were working on the plans when COVID hit. After pausing everything we had to get all new construction bids. But now we are moving forward. Todd Erling [HVADC Executive Director] was integral in heading me in the right direction.”
-Russell Bartolotta Jr, Klein’s Kill Fruit Farm
“We need to help farmers think of new plans. Because of COVID the rate of change is so fast. Farmers need to be more nimble than ever. Information sharing with HVADC is always helpful. Todd and Mary Ann (HVADC Deputy Director) are a critical part of my network.”
-Steve Hadcock, Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital Region
“Scenic Hudson is delighted to partner with the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation’s FeedHV program by helping to provide locally produced food to youth programs in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Hudson while simultaneously supporting those farm families supplying the fresh food.”
-Ned Sullivan, Scenic Hudson
“As a farmer you have so many ideas. HVADC really helped me find what was feasible and showed me how to make it stable.”
-Shereen Alinaghian, Ardith Mae Farmstead Goat Cheese
“HVADC has been a really good partner. Agriculture is a major economic driver and working together has allowed us to offer more services.”
-Sarah Lee, Dutchess County IDA
“We were attracted to HVADC because they’re really connected to the farms and if we were going to go to anyone for investment we wanted to go to people who clearly cared about us.”
-Richard Romano, Screamin’ Onionz
“HVADC made it happen. Working with Mary Ann [Johnson, HVADC Deputy Directory] is incredible, she is a great listener and a great executer. We hired someone to write the grant through HVADC and we worked with him for the second time and it was a piece of cake.”
-Fabio Chizzola, Westwind Orchard.
“HVADC’s Farm and Food Funding Accelerator invited us to join a community of people who have expertise in, and experience with funding opportunities, financial planning, the investor world, and the agricultural scene in the Hudson Valley. It would take us years to build those relationships on our own. FFFA is also a community of farmers—folks like us who are entrepreneurial, edgy and passionate about farming and want to make a living doing it”
-Jaimie Cloud, Miracle Springs Farm
“Mary Ann has been a real sounding board with community farming questions and curiosities, how to navigate this and that. She has been a good mentor and not just about the farm, the markets, but also what I was doing in the bigger picture of what’s around in the Hudson Valley.”
-Van Lamprou, Del’s Dairy Farm/Dutchess Creamery
“They push you to think outside the box. I feel like when I am done with the FFFA program I will be comfortable doing a pitch for our funding. It has really opened my eyes to all the different funding sources out there, and how hard it is to get some of it. One of our classes was on these different grants out there, it blew me away. I have learned from a business coach and marketing coach; I’m getting a lot of questions answered and coming up with more questions based on what others are going through. I am networking with other farm and food businesses – learning about other sources of funding, rather than going to the bank, like investors, crowd funding, all different options.”
-Heather Kading, JSK Cattle Company
“The Accelerator program was thorough grounding in best business practices for us. It was a priceless opportunity to network with farming peers, rounded out by mentoring by HVADC advisors, and the atmosphere was always entrepreneurial, can-do, and supportive.”
-Diane Allen, Lavenlair Farm
“If I hadn’t participated in the HVADC Accelerator program, I would never have been prepared to put together this presentation in the short time we were given. That program taught me how to organize a presentation, what to say and how to do it in a timely manner. That training was invaluable, and really contributed to our success.”
-Marge Randles, Argyle Cheese Farmer
“HVADC helped us to see the importance of setting clear goals for our growth.”
-Leslie Noble, Noble Pies
“The support and expertise I have gotten from HVADC has been amazing, I have access to experts in every area that’s needed to grow my business.”
-Rebecca Shim, Phoenicia Honey
“The FFFA makes a variety of businesses possible. It is a push in the right direction for small businesses that give us such a flavorful culture, as opposed to all box stores. This is a very nice direction for small businesses. Since there are so many regulations, this type of program is very useful. This program encourages a lot of positive things; food, land preservation, jobs… all the things you would like to see in a culture. There should be more programs like this, we are lucky to have HVADC in the area.”
-Beatrice Berle, Berle Farm
“Participation in the FFFA helped me refine my business plan and be able to make pitches [to funders]. I found the peer to peer networking to be invaluable. The feedback from my peers who had used farmers’ markets as sales channels was extremely helpful.”
-Ted Berndt, Battenkill Valley Farm
"There is no way that I could ever say enough good things about the IWW, it’s an incredible program that it is run by proactive people who understand what small producers go through - frankly, I hope that by the time this farm is profitable that I can give back to the program.”
- Leah Hennessy, Owner of Moxie Ridge Farm
“HVADC has a lot of credibility and legitimacy with farmers, as well as strong New York state presence and good relationship with the State Department of Agriculture.” NESAWG collects and presents the Ag Commissioners with supporting stories and narratives from their districts. "HVADC was instrumental in collecting and telling some of those stories."
-Tracy Lerman, Executive Director for Northeast Sustainable Agriculture O Group (NESAWG)
"HVADC is an enormous resource and advocate for the farming community, both large and small farms, as well as for companies like Field Goods. Through the years, HVADC has supported Field Goods on grant writing projects, offering statements of support, and providing general business counseling.:
-Donna Williams, Field Goods
"The support we received from HVADC has been invaluable in supporting the growth and expansion of our company. Adding our new opener machine and a second pin drafter more than doubled our daily outputs while also greatly improving the quality of our spinning fibers."
-Mary Jeanne Packer, Battenkill Fibers
“HVADC is a tremendous resource for the farms & businesses of the Hudson Valley to have access to.”
-Rick Osofsky, Ronnybrook Farm
“HVADC not only lets you tailor the type of assistance/counseling you are looking for to meet your specific needs and allow you to do it at the pace of your life/business, but they make it affordable for the smaller businesses that might not otherwise be able to afford that caliber of service.”
-Marianne Courville, Hudson Standard
"Letterbox has participated in the Incubator Without Walls program since our business began four years ago. Since then, we've relied on assistance from HVADC professionals to help us through exponential leaps in growth, from a hand-scale, half-acre market garden in 2013 to a fully diversified commercial farm employing a crew of 7 farmers and supplying a range of wholesale and retail customers across the Hudson Valley. We've grown by a magnitude of fourteen times in four years, and have benefited greatly from the business planning, financial planning, and professional development assistance we've received through HVADC. We are glad to count on HVADC as part of our resource team as we continue to grow and develop a financially, socially, and ecologically sustainable farm."
-Faith Gilbert, Letterbox Farm Collective
"HVADC supported our inter-generational (but non-family) transfer of our farm by providing a grant for 75% of our legal fees related to the transfer. With such a generous level of support, we brought in an experienced facilitator, Jerry Cosgrove, to keep the transfer running smoothly. Unfortunately, we hit a wall during the transfer; and it was Jerry that kept communication open between both sides and helped us to find an acceptable outcome for both parties. Once we moved past this hurdle, we received help through HVADC to navigate the legal process of protecting our farm with a conservation easement stewarded by the Agricultural Stewardship Association. We are really grateful to have had access to expert advice and support during our farm transition, and credit HVADC with making that attainable and ultimately very affordable!"
-Zach Metzger, Laughing Earth Farm
"When the stability of my farm was threatened by several sever storms, HVADC offered their professional guidance, evaluated my finances and helped me identify new market opportunities in order to rebuild my business."
-David Rowley, Monkshood Nursery
"Thanks HVADC- your help writing a business plan has made the business side of farming approachable and allowed me to make a plan I can stick to. You've effectively lightened the load on the planning end which gives me more time for my favorite part: Farming."
-Ashley Loehr, Sparrowbush Farm
"HVADC assisted us with formulating a business plan to incorporate our younger generation of family members into our expanding farm operations. This is an important aspect to the sustainability of out business and helps to keep our family connected to the farm."
-Jill and Steve Pennings, Pennings Farm
"We reached out to HVADC to help our farm prepare for changes in food safety requirements for wholesale market channels. HVADC provided us access to a high level food safety professional who is developing a food safety plan. Being able to meet these standards will open up additional market opportunities for our farm and allow us to be a more competitive business in the long run."
-Joel Truncali, Truncali Farms
"HVADC matched us with a food science consultant who worked with us to scale up our production methods to meet the increasing demand of our kale pesto in the greater NYC area and capital region. HVADC's expert assistance and guidance has put our business in a positon to expand our capacity and reach wholesale markets including major food markets and grocery stores."
-Sarah Culmer and Annette Chambers, Olivia Provisons
"I came to HVADC in need of financial assistance for the startup of our cream line dairy operation. HVADC's proficient staff provided us access to a qualified consultant that guided us through the grant process allowing us to submit a highly competitive grant. I couldn't ask for nicer folks at HVADC and would recommend them to anyone needing assistance.
-Rose Hubbert, Back to the Future Farm
"In 2016, CEDC assisted several Columbia County agribusiness entrepreneurs with SBA microloans and technical assistance. CEDC partners with Hudson Valley Agriculture Development Corporation (HVADC) by enrolling CEDC agribusiness clients in HVADC's Farm & Food Business Accelerator and Incubator Without Walls Programs for intensive mentoring and training specifically geared for farmers and food entrepreneurs."
"The Rondout Valley Growers Association has recommended HVADC numerous times to growers looking to expand their farm operations, apply for funding, or just get advice on improving their financial wellbeing and the feedback we’ve gotten has always been very positive. So when RVGA itself needed assistance to address organizational challenges, we turned to HVADC, who provided the support we needed to hire experts to guide us through the necessary steps to achieve our organizational goals. HVADC was very helpful, thorough and professional, and we are pleased to join the ranks of those who have used HVADC and its Incubator Without Walls Program to great success."
-Deborah Meyer DeWan – Rondout Valley Growers Association (RVGA)
“As a start-up business we reached out to many groups for assistance, but HVADC was the shining example of what a dedicated staff can do to help a small business. Without HVADC, my business would be struggling to make it, with HVADC we have increased our value tremendously and are thriving!”
“HVADC provided us with a top quality advisor from their network of professionals who was able to direct us from concept to operation.”
-Nancy Proyect, Cornwall Community Co-op
“We were seeking financing to expand our operation. HVADC not only found a source of funds, they worked with us from application to closing and in addition to our cheese, we have been able to expand our efforts to sell cheeses from other farmstead and artisan producers.”
-Matthew Scott, Twin Maple Creamery
“The friendly and approachable staff at HVADC helped get our farm business off to the right start. Their encouragement and resources keep us focused on the long term success of our business.”
-Ken Greene, Hudson Valley Seed Library