Field to Table has a unique blend of skills and experience in developing agriculture and group-based businesses. FTT has extensive experience in many segments of sustainable agriculture including dairy, produce, livestock, fishing, aquaponics and agritourism. FTT has supported the formation of many group based businesses including food, dairy, shellfish, agricultural plastic recycling cooperatives and community-owned businesses; plus worker-owned entities in the photovoltaic, retail, and tele-fundraising sectors.
Areas in which we have experience include:
USDA Rural Business Enterprise Projects
North Quabbin Community Coop-Field to Table developed a Feasibility Study for a buying club expanding to a retail storefront in Orange, MA
Joint Dairy Processing Plant Project-Field to Table wrote a Business Plan and Financial Projections for Bart’s and Snow’s Ice Cream, Bree-Z-Knoll Farm and Our Family Farms Milk to develop a dairy processing plant at the Bart’s and Snow’s Ice Cream making facility in Greenfield, MA.
Old Creamery Project-Field to Table performed a Market Study for a local general store and deli that was transferring ownership from private to a community owned cooperative.
FTT Contract Projects
FTT was hired to undertake financial analysis and system development for a highly successful goat cheese farm.
Hilltown Farmers Biodiesel Cooperative
Field to Table provided strategic and business planning and engineering guidance to this cooperative LLC of Franklin and Berkshire County farms as they explored growing and harvesting oilseed crops, pressing the oilseed, and processing the oil into biodiesel for their farm vehicles. FTT worked with the founding group to secure a $108,700 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources under their Agricultural Innovation program; as well as a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant. See the final report here.
Whippoorwill Farm CSA
Field to Table received a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to work with the land owner, community organizations, and the CSA farmer in developing a creative ownership structure to ensure the preservation of this key Martha’s Vineyard Farm. Business assessment, a greenhouse review and energy audits, and a wind energy analysis were also performed.
Renewable Energy Projects on Western Mass. Dairy Farms
Field to Table was awarded two USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants in 2007 to work with dairy farmers in Franklin and Hampshire counties. One grant was used to determine the diesel fuel usage on Franklin County dairy farms and if the use of renewable fuel sources, cooperative purchasing, and distribution could result in significant fuel cost savings thereby increasing profits, energy security, and improving financial stability. The second grant measured present energy expenditures (other than fuel) on two farms in Franklin and Hampshire Counties and researched conservation measures and alternative energy systems, including biomass (switch grass, methane, wood chips), photovoltaics, and wind.
A follow-on Renewable Energy on Diary Farms grant is currently being used to evaluate the wind resource at a Franklin County diary farm, with results expected in 2011.
MA Department of Agricultural Resources FVEP, AIP and MEGA Programs
Field to Table generated Business Plans for a farm stand expansion, expanded storage for a potato farm, high tunnel installation for wintergreens production. Business Planning was performed for a grain grower and malt processor, remodel of the processing and sales area on an established, successful organic farm, farm stand reset and product development for produce farm and nursery. A Marketing Plan and Business Plan was created for a large produce farm, upgrading facilities, installing a greenhouse and rebranding of the farm.
Field to Table produced Business Plans for a farm stand expansion at an orchard, infrastructure improvement at a diversified farm with agritourism activities, a barn addition and equipment for goat milk dairy, and equipment for improving efficiency at a grass fed livestock operation. Business planning was completed for on-farm poultry processing, start-up organic produce farm, start-up fruit winery, a goat dairy installing a cheese cave and retail store, and market analysis for a grass fed livestock CSA.
Business planning commenced to expand the market on a grass fed dairy operation, make infrastructure improvements at a multi-generational orchard, improve milk production at a goat milk micro-dairy, and expand a full time honey producing business. Field to Table produced Business Plans for a maple syrup producer, lama breeder and agritourism destination, expanding sales for an established organic produce farm, a new on-farm dairy processing plant and reset of their retail outlet, and a retail farm stand redesign for a fruit producer and agritourism destination.
FTT completed a marketing plan for a multi-generation orchard, business plans to expand a beef operation into value added sales and construct a cheese making facility at a dairy farm, updated a business plan for a specialty fruit grower to purchase and install a high new high tunnel to extend the growing season. Business plans were developed for expansion of a diverse CSA, and operational and efficiency improvements for a farm stand. Business Plans were generated for a start-up organic grass fed beef CSA, value added commercial kitchen for a small-scale produce operation, a family owned potato farm relocating a farm store and construction a new barn, herb farm stand improvements, and a reset of kitchen facilities and retail stand for a successful farm store.
FTT provided business planning for the development of a value added dairy processing and retail outlet and a Business and Marketing Plan for a dairy processing business and farm stand to expand into a baked goods and ice cream. Business planning was completed for construction of a new maple sugar facility, apple orchard expanding into blueberries, farm stand expansion for a vegetable and grass fed beef operation, an established orchard and cider operation undergoing generational transfer and a marketing plan for a fourth generation turkey farm.
FTT’s projects included operational improvements and business planning on two dairy farms, a tree farm, a horse farm, and farm transfer plans for a farm stand business.
FTT developed business plans for a blueberry farm, a goat milk value-added project, and strategic planning for a mixed-use farm.
FTT provided business planning and technical assistance for six projects spanning the dairy, maple syrup, farm stand, and specialty cider sectors.
FTT completed a business plan for improvements on a dairy farm, market analysis and strategic planning for two orchards, and a market study for a maple producer.
Fiddleheads Natural Food Cooperative
FTT supported the development of a Feasibility Study and Business Plan for a food cooperative in downtown New London, Conn., coordinated financing institutions for loans, store design, and equipment purchasing and provided support to the Board of Directors.
E & T Farms, Inc. Aquaponics Project
FTT was hired to write a business plan for this state of the art closed-loop aquaponics facility which began operating in the spring of 2006 and is presently enjoying brisk sales.
Maine Shellfish Growers
FTT presented a Co-op 101 workshop to a group of Maine shellfish producers.
River Valley Market
In collaboration with Rochelle Prunty and CDI, FTT prepared a successful Green Building grant to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust for a $460,000 grant to install green building components, energy efficiency measures, and renewable energy technologies in the new grocery building. In collaboration with Rochelle Prunty, Ed Maltby, and Nora Owens, FTT developed the final business plan to obtain funding for the new store in Northampton, Mass., that opened in April of 2008.
In collaboration with Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
Organic and Transitioning Dairy Farmers Co-op
FTT worked with a group of dairy farmers in Western Mass. and Southern Vermont interested in forming a marketing co-op to process and market a local organic brand of dairy products. This project was coducted in conjunction with a grant awarded to CISA from MA DAR to determine the feasibility of locating a milk processing plant in Franklin County.
West County Grass-Fed Beef Marketing Co-op
FTT provided organizational development, marketing, and legal documents for this group of producers who raise local, high quality, grass-fed beef.
Massachusetts Wool Blanket Marketing Initiative — USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants 2004–2005
FTT completed the market research and marketing/distribution plan for locally manufactured wool blankets and completed the first stage of research into supplementary products.The initial blanket, called the Heritage Wool Blanket was successfully manufactured and brought increased income to participating producers. In 2005, a second blanket was produced and FTT developed the business plan.
In Collaboration with CISA and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce
Franklin County Agri-tourism Project
FTT conducted a market analysis of agri-tourism opportunities that may be used to increase farm viability in Franklin County. From the report, CISA created a workbook to provide farmers the tools necessary to expand into the agri-tourism trade.
In collaboration with Allbee & Allbee
Field to Table wrote the market analysis as part of a feasibility study for Our Family Farms Milk Cooperative to address the potential of developing a local milk processing facility.
In Collaboration with the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI)
Troy NY Food Cooperative
FTT developed a market study and business plan as well as board governance and operational systems for this start-up cooperative in Troy, New York.
Collective Voice, Inc.
Organizational development and an updated business plan were provided to this tele-fundraising worker cooperative in the first stages of business growth.
FTT assisted in developing a feasibility study for a cooperatively-owned mercantile store in this rural northwestern Connecticut community.
Springfield Food Cooperative
FTT provided technical assistance to the Board of Directors immediately after a move and expansion to assist with new structures and implementation.
Randolph Cooperative Market
FTT was hired to provide technical assistance and a marketing plan to increase sales.
Stonington, Conn. Food Co-op Project
Supported by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, FTT was project manager and lead consultant team involved in development of this natural food co-op. FTT wrote the feasibility study and business plan and created the legal documents.
The Benson Place
FTT was hired as part of a team to conduct research and planning to assist in creating viable alternatives to complete a desired farm transfer utilizing an ownership structure that would both promote long-term, affordable, farmland stewardship and continued public access.