North Coast Farmer Workshop Series - Small Farm Business Planning
Join us Virtually on August 24 @ 11 AM, for a FREE workshop on small farm business planning, hosted by Lily Schneider of Kitchen Table Advisors.
What sales channels are best for my business? What is the value am I bringing to my customers? Can I buy equipment and still have enough cash to get through the lean winter months? These are just some of the questions that are addressed through farm business planning. This workshop, led by Kitchen Table Advisors' Business Advisor in the North Bay, Lily Schneider, will present an overview of the farm business planning process, providing useful information for those with established businesses as well those in the start-up phase. The focus will be on introducing simple yet effective business planning tools that participants can use throughout the lifecycle of their businesses, including identifying the marketing and operational strategies, and outlining the budgeting process.
This will also be a great opportunity to engage with your local farming community, connect with technical assistance providers, and learn about other funding and networking opportunities. Bilingual resources will be available.
What is the North Coast Farmer Workshop Series?
The North Coast Farmer Workshop Series is a combination of free in-person and online workshops taking place in summer/fall 2022, which will feature a variety of speakers, locations, and cover a wide range of agricultural topics. This workshop series is being put on by Conservation Works in partnership with the Community Alliance of Family Farmers (CAFF) with grant funding from the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). These workshops will give beginning, small and underserved producers the opportunity to engage with other farmers, ranchers, and technical assistance providers in a relaxed environment, ask questions regarding workshop topics, and connect with their regional farming network. Please see below for more information on individual workshops.
Lily Schneider is a Bay Area native with deep roots in California agriculture, and grew up hearing stories from her grandparents’ upbringings on cattle and chicken ranches in rural Sonoma County. While farming skipped her parents generation, Lily found herself working on farms in college while studying Sustainable Agriculture at UC Santa Cruz, and dreamed of one day starting her own operation.
In 2009, Lily launched her own business, Shooting Star Organic Farm, on leased ground in Fairfield, CA. Starting a farm in the middle of the great recession with no formal business training proved to be a crash course in small business management, and soon she learned the value of accessing credit and cash flow management, building a marketing plan, and setting long term goals for the business. For the next 10 years, she directed the business administration, marketing, and production aspects of her 15-acre diversified vegetable farm, which steadily grew to a 300-member CSA program and weekly farmers markets.
Out of her farming career grew a desire to work with other farmers on the business side of their operations, motivating her to complete an Accounting Certificate from UC Davis. While transitioning out of farming, she worked for three years as an independent business consultant, primarily supporting first generation farmers to improve the profitability and economic sustainability of their operations through strategic planning and implementation of recordkeeping systems. She has a MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Lily is excited to leverage her agricultural and business backgrounds to advise farmers and ranchers in the region.
About Conservation Works
Conservation Works is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that engages in environmental education, conservation, and outreach to help foster sustainable communities in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, and Lake Counties.