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
Provided an updated business plan for expanding a successful shellfish & kelp operation. Consulted with a new grass-fed pig operation about value-added products and potential markets. Worked with a well-established farm to improve retail displays and farmstand design. Provided business planning for an organic micro dairy including construction of a new bathroom, walk-in cooler, freezer, and purchasing of a refer truck body. Assisted in the plan for constructing a hay barn at a diverse ninth generation farm.
Business plans were generated for building barn at a regenerative farming operation including an area for cleaning and packaging produce, CSA pick-up, storage, a new farmstand, and an education center. The purchase of cheese making equipment and general improvements for an organic cheese- making dairy. Created a business plan for small homestead farm expanding products and developing additional property. Updated a business plan to determine the feasibility of expansion of retail facilities at a large 4th generation vegetable farm.
Business planning and market analysis were completed for infrastructure improvement and equipment for a specialty produce business. Generated plans for upgrades to a cider-processing barn, construction of equipment shed and road grading at an artisanal small batch cider business. Produced a market analysis and plan for a farm expanding their small ruminant business. Undertook a study to determine the best wholesale outlets for a new low-spray orchard operation in addition to determining potential for agro-tourism. Generated a marketing plan for a well-established maple syrup producing business to determine new logo, Internet presence, packaging and value-added product appeal. Created an Enterprise plan to support the development of a produce processing building to meet federal GAP regulations and improve efficient movement of product at a large vegetable farm retail farmstand.
Business planning was offered for infrastructure repair and construction at a local farm stand and CSA, and the purchase of haying equipment for a local dairy turned hay farm. Business planning and design for a new facility for value-added maple products. Undertook planning for an improved retail space and developed plan for growth at a 3rd generation vegetable farm. Created a marketing plan that included a new identity, materials and website development for a small orchard.
Business plans were generated for expansion and energy efficient upgrades to a specialty sawmill and construction of maintenance building and improvements to outbuildings at a multi-generation dairy farm. Updated a business plan that supported the expansion of a goat dairy. Undertook a feasibility study to determine the best potential location for a new or expanded retail farmstand for a large organic vegetable farm. A market analysis was done and additional wholesale accounts identified for a grain and hop producer. A business plan was generated for a new small scale diversified organic producer seeking to provide meat, eggs and vegetables for their farmstand and CSA.
Business plans were generated to update the logging processing system in a logging operation, remodel on a small- scale raw milk dairy processing facility. Plus purchase of High Density Planting system and apple tree varieties that adapt to this new trellising system for this orchard and improvements to packing line and storage facilities. Developed business plan for a successful small organic farm implementing permaculture management practices. Worked with a new nursery to plan for future growth through market identification, both wholesale and retail, land-use design and greenhouse installation.
Updated business plan for grass-fed beef and poultry operation that included design of new kitchen for value-added production and poultry slaughter facilities. Undertook planning and design of new farmstand that incorporated a kitchen and seasonal dining facilities at a well-established maple production operation.
Completed business planning for a farmstand expansion and renovation and a commercial kitchen and bakery, a new state of the art potato storage facility that will improve crop quality and extend storage time. And installation of caterpillar hoops and an energy efficient high tunnel greenhouse for a winter greens operation. Provided business planning for 4th generation family farm preparing them to upgrade processing and greenhouse facilities. Assisted malt producer in planning for expansion of grain production to use expand their malt operation. Assisted in redesign of main building on one of the oldest organic farms in the MA in order to attain the goal of providing full-time year round employment for core staff.
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)
Field to Table regularly provides technical assistance to CISA for small-scale agricultural projects.
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.