Sessions

Below you will find detailed descriptions of the Keynote and Concurrent sessions including their time and location. 

If there are accompanying materials, they too will be listed for you to print out and/or reference for the session. You can also click on the speakers’ names to read their biography.

KEYNOTE SESSIONS

Monday Feb. 6th

NAFDMA – farmers inspired: This is Who We Are
presented by Carla Barbieri

Carla Barbieri conducted the survey and research analysis for the recent 2016 NAFDMA Performance Study among NAFDMA members. She will present insights on the study during this session. The presentation will highlight the main takeaways of the study, including levels of satisfaction related to the benefits members seek, the usefulness of the resources they access through the association network, and the amount of social capital members are developing. “What do I get from my NAFDMA Membership?” will be discussed as you will see yourself in the data.

Be Who You Are And Bring Others Along
presented by Greg Peterson

Presentation PDF

Greg Peterson will share his experience of being a young farmer in America and the importance that this next generation places on embracing the inclusion mindset as it relates to small businesses. He’ll relate farm diversity, public perspectives, consumer misconceptions, customer sensitivities, and the value of the face of agriculture being real and authentic, whatever that face is. Greg will share his unique perspective about the power of social media and the influence that has on what your customers think, do and say.

Tuesday Feb. 7th

You Can Compete
presented by Bob Phibbs

Looking to attract more customers? What if you could get more from those you already have coming in the doors? What if your mindset could always be positive? In this presentation, you’ll discover how to engage your customers, make bigger sales and earn the profits you seek. You’ll be inspired to upgrade the way you do business. During this session, attendees will learn:

  • Creative ways to reinvent their customer experience
  • How to increase your value through people, not price
  • Discover how to attract and train employees

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Monday Feb. 6th – 11:15am

Agritourism: The Bigger Picture
presented by Carla Barbieri

Presentation PDF

From the agricultural perspective, agritourism is usually portrayed as an entrepreneurial strategy to increase revenues on the farm. Studies conducted across the US and Canada suggest that agritourism contributes beyond the farm’s economic wealth by strengthening the family farm institution and conserving cultural and natural heritage. Citizens’ perspectives toward the values agritourism provides to society reveal a whole set of marketable opportunities. This session takes a bigger picture look at our industry and divulges some interesting new insights that can be incorporated into marketing strategies that attract visitors to the farm.

Telling Your Story Through Social Media
presented by Greg Peterson

Presentation PDF

Greg will talk about how he and his brothers began telling their story through the various social media platforms and will share his experiences making their widely successful YouTube videos. He’ll speak about the current marketing trends and how businesses can utilize a variety of social media outlets to successfully promote themselves.

Jelly Is My Jam! The Oklahoma Jelly Making Trails
presented by Jamie Cummings

Presentation PDF

Marketing our U-pick farms in a new way. Are you ready to pick greatness? This is your chance to experience true farm-to-table, as you collect awesome local produce and take it home to create a jarful of sticky sweet memories.

Warning – Graphic Content! (The Pros and Cons of Do-It-Yourself Graphics)
presented by Amy Holmberg & Stephanie Quinn

Presentation PDF – Amy

Presentation PDF – Steph

There are many user-friendly graphics programs out there that don’t require a huge investment of time or money to be able to create your own graphics for your marketing, promotions and signage. In this session we will highlight a few options that we have used and the pros & cons to Do-It-Yourself Graphics vs. hiring an outside agency.

QuickBooks 201
presented by Carol Starkie

(Room: 7)

Computerized records offer a variety of benefits. Learn how to use QuickBooks information to create reports and analyze your financial data. This course will focus on using QuickBooks in the most efficient and productive ways. We will cover basic reporting, accrual versus cash reports, different procedures for entering deposits and recording expenses. Save time when compiling and preparing data for tax preparation and other compliance-based activities with the help of QuickBooks.

Business Exchange Expertise: Adding Value to Your Retail and Activity Offerings
presented by Evergreen Creations, Escape Maze, MacArt Studios

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding from these exhibitors why it’s beneficial to add their products to enhance your retail sales.

Roundtable – Event and School Tour Booking Software Options
presented by Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht

(Room: 2)

Come to share and compare with others who, like you, are looking for an online software option to satisfy their needs.  What functions and features are most important to you? One size does not fit all. Offer your expertise with others and learn what insights they might have for you.

Monday Feb. 6th – 2:00pm

Farm Camp
presented by Russell Blades

Presentation PDF

For many years, Underwood Family Farms has run an extensive Educational Farm Tours program that runs from March to November, with the most popular months being in the spring and the fall. Several years ago, we were looking for something to keep our tour guides busy during the summer months, when the tours are not so popular.

In 2009 we decided to try and offer a summer camp, and failed miserably! With some re-thinking and price adjustment we tried again in 2010 and successfully ran a four-week program. In 2011 we had 156 campers through a revised six-week program. The following year we offered nine weeks and the number jumped to 233 campers. We have been offering a ten-week program every year since.

This session will provide the opportunity for you to learn about what is and isn’t working for Underwood Family Farms, your NAFDMA peers. Russell will be presenting on all aspects of their Farm Camp program, including safety, camp counselors, content, pitfalls, and online booking. The floor will then be opened for all your burning Farm Camp questions.

Exclusive Interaction With Greg Peterson
presented by Greg Peterson

(Room: Mystic Salon B/E)

Get an informal Behind the Scenes understanding of the Peterson Farm Brothers story as Greg shares their experiences about the making of their videos, the maintenance of their social media platforms, and the pros and cons of working closely with family members. Ask questions, share stories, take pictures and simply communicate with one another to get a better understanding of what’s possible for this next generation of farmers.

Country Roads Christmas, Commerce & Collaboration – A New England Tradition
presented by Al Rose

Presentation PDF

Family farms involved in direct-marketing are constantly constrained by seasonality. Diversification and seasonal extensions are key strategies to successfully operate destination-driven businesses. In this session, learn about Red Apple Farm, a fourth-generation New England family farm, and some key cooperative marketing strategies that directly impact year-round cash flow. The nuts and bolts of Country Roads Christmas, a weekend-long celebration held the first weekend in December, are highlighted. In its 12th season, Country Roads Christmas is now a shopping experience organized by 21 “country” businesses (starting from an original seven) that collectively promote and celebrate “buy local” for the holidays in a festive and connected event full of Yankee hospitality and country-store charm.   For many of the participating family businesses, Country Roads Christmas translates into the highest gross sales event of the year.

Subscription Marketing: Leveraging CSA and Sign-Up Marketing Models To Build a Regular Customer Base
presented by Allyson Angelini

Presentation PDF

During this session, learn how Full Heart Farm established an innovative and successful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to build a strong and reliable customer base and secure steady cash flow during the “slow” months.  Allyson will describe how their Meal-Based CSA functions (think “Blue Apron” without the packaging), and share advice on building a community in your customer base, networking with local farmers to expand selection, and using subscription marketing to make farm planning easier.

QuickBooks 301
presented by Carol Starkie

(Room: 7)

Use your QuickBooks software to its maximum capacity. You’ve worked hard to get your financial information into QuickBooks, now put that data to work for you. Use historical records to create future projections, build cash flow analysis, create budgets and monitor spending habits. This course is geared towards QuickBooks users who are ready for the next level. If you’re interested in using your QuickBooks records to help make sound managerial decisions, this program is for you.

Business Exchange Expertise: Have Your Guests Jumping For Joy – A Comparison of Our Inflatable Products
presented by The Jump Pad, Custom Bounce Pad

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding from these exhibitors how their products can enhance your customers’ experience.

Roundtable – Agritourism Professional Exchange – Trends and Poicies
Facilitator: Carla Barbieri

(Room: 2)

Featured speaker Carla Barbieri joins with you, Sarah van Heeswijk, and other agritourism professionals to further discuss the results of NAFDMA’s 2016 survey, trends, and policies that impact the agritourism industry as we know it. Come to offer your solutions and pose your questions for the day, as well as suggest farmers inspired Online Roundtable topics to be held through the coming year.

Tuesday Feb. 7th – 10:00am

Building Meaningful Connections With Customers Through Education
presented by Vera Simon-Nobes & Susie Marchand

Presentation PDF

Is education your next value-added product? Farms of all sizes and kinds are turning to farm-based education as a tool for engaging with their communities in meaningful ways, telling the stories of their farms and the families that run them, and marketing their products. In this interactive session, participants will become a teacher, student, cow, bean plant, and more, as we introduce educational activities that build lasting connections between your farm and visitors.

Yesterday’s Gone: Thriving In Your Farm Business Today
presented by Bob Phibbs

(Room: Mystic Salon B/E)

Industry unknowns don’t have to be stressful, as long as you’re properly equipped to stare down these demons and watch them blink first. Setting the expectation for a great day has everything to do with being successful in retail. This session shares practical tips for how to end and start your day as well as an interactive exercise where we build a positive energy shield.

Quite simply, unless you create a positive energy in your store, your employees will bring in their own, which often translates to low energy for shoppers who walk through your doors.

Making Your Competition Your Greatest Ally – The Snohomish Festival of Pumpkins
presented by Bob Ricci

(Room: Mystic Salon A/D)

I will discuss how a group of seven pumpkin farmers in Snohomish, WA stopped fighting over who got the biggest slice of the pie and simply worked together to make more pies! I will discuss the history of the Snohomish Festival of Pumpkins – how we started and where we are at today. Most importantly, I’ll share how we have created an atmosphere where we look out for one another and have each other’s best interests in mind.

Eating Healthy On The Farm
presented by Stephanie Quinn & Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht

Presentation PDF – Steph

Presentation PDF – Eve

Life spent on a farm may seem like the epitome of healthy living. But being a farmer today does remarkably little to ensure good eating. As it turns out, many of today’s farmers face the deep irony of producing beautiful fruits and vegetables for consumers while subsisting on a diet that more closely resembles a McDonalds’ menu.

In this session we will tackle the real issues that seem to inhibit healthy eating – time management, stress, food prep, etc. and we’ll focus on the simple ways to incorporate healthier foods into your diet to improve your health and overall well-being throughout the busy months and over the course of the entire year.

Join The Value-Added Product Revolution
presented by R. Gary Morton

(Room: 7)

Successful farm products are remarkable in the eyes of the customer. They deliver exceptional benefit and customer value, and they stand up and out, in the sea of commodity product sameness. In the absence of significant value differentiation, customers typically default to the lowest price.

To get beyond commodity product thinking, consider getting on board the growing farm product value added revolution, which is focused on gaining competitive advantages that add new value and profit to the bottom line. Value adding might not be for every farm, but you owe it to your business to do the due diligence, and explore what value-added options might be possible and what it could mean to your farm. This session de-mystifies value added food product development, examines value added farm product trends, and looks at what some innovative farm product value adders are doing. Gary will also outline some of the biggest mistakes new value adders make, and how not to make them.

This session will answer: “Is developing value added products a good option for my farm business?”

Business Exchange Expertise: Adding Specialized Foods as a Strategy to Increase Income
presented by Calico Cottage, Gardner Pie, Bountiful Pantry

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding from these exhibitors how their products can enhance your retail bottom line.

Roundtable – Cash Handling
Facilitator: Tom Tweite

(Room: 2)

Cash is nearing the point where it is harder to manage than other money transactions. This session is designed for attendees to share and compare how we all currently get cash from the customer to the bank. There are dozens of considerations along the way. Learn from others and give peers your best practices too.

Tuesday Feb. 7th – 11:15am

Cross-Marketing Multiplier – Make A Plan To Get The Most Out Of What You Have
presented by Hugh McPherson

Presentation PDF

Do you offer a successful PYO but want to begin hosting weddings on your farm? Are you known for your corn maze but want to launch a winery? How do you use your customer base to launch new products and extract more dollars from your existing attractions? Learn how Maple Lawn Farms used cross-marketing to launch Maple Lawn Winery from 0 to 86,000 in sales in 13 months. In this session, you will learn the strategies to maximize cross-marketing campaigns to effectively promote products and services to the people who already love you.

Selling: How Your Mix Of Young Millennial Families’ and Boomer Grandparents’ Culture & Traditions Impact Your Farm Sales Offerings
presented by Bob Phibbs

(Room: Mystic Salon B/E)

Millennials are the most studied and talked about generation ever. How are they impacting your store? How should they be selling to your Baby Boomers who still have the money? Join Bob as he compares and contrasts the two generations and gives you tips on how to sell to the Baby Boomer generation.

Tour Host Spotlight – Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery
presented by Keith Bishop

(Room: Mystic Salon A/D)

Tools, tips and insights into having a sustainable multi-generational business will be the meat of this session with Keith Bishop, 5th Generation co-owner and Co-CEO of Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and Winery as he steps above the operational level that those on the tour experienced.
What are your challenges that you aren’t aware of yet?
How do you work both in the business and (better) on the business?
When and how should you use consultants?
Developing Rules of entry for your children.
Succession. Gradual and Orderly needs a plan and a timeline.
What can ruin your ‘gold mine’ (market conditions, lack of change, competition +++)
What are your benchmarks, your KPI’s?

Whether you did the tour or not, come learn more about this 313 acre, 100+ FTE employees, 6 Generation family farm’s experience in managing change and remaining in business in one of the most expensive areas of our country.

Keep Calm and Farm On: Stress Reduction Plan
presented by Deanna Black

(Room: 5)

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize tendencies that create stress and learn behavior modifications to restore & refresh.
  • Identify the benefits of both physical and mental activities for home and/or in the workplace.
  • Empower yourself to manage the stress in your life by utilizing the resources and tools available.

Get Your Pricing Strategy Working For You
presented by R. Gary Morton

(Room: 7)

There is an old saying: “If I knew where I was going to die; I wouldn’t go there.” Too often farm businesses head down a path, hand in hand with old and outdated pricing that isn’t delivering a profitable bottom line; dooming them to a slow and often painful death.

Getting your pricing strategy right and working for you, can be one of the toughest challenges you face as a food producer, supplier, or direct marketer. Sell too cheap, you give up money; charge too much and you risk losing the sale. You don’t have to be a slave to low prices. What you need are proven strategies that lead you to pricing success. If product pricing is keeping you up at night, this is a presentation you must attend.

Gary shares with you 5 practical, but key success steps to ensure you have the right pricing strategies to maximize your product bottom line.

Business Exchange Expertise: How You Can Benefit From Your Creative Retail Display
presented by SallyeAnder Soaps, Country Home Creations

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding about these exhibitors and how to best display their products to enhance your retail bottom line.

Roundtable – Credit Card Systems – Share and Compare
Facilitator: Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht

(Room: 2)

Everyone wants to keep fees to a minimum. We all seek the easiest and best processing systems. Is it really as simple as that? There are so many options on the market today. And there are variations in best practices from PYO, to Internet Sales, to face-to-face retail settings. Those who attend this roundtable hour are asked to enter the room prepared to give what you know, and get what you needs from others.

Tuesday Feb. 7th – 2:00pm

Building On The Farm 2.0 – If I Knew Then What I Know Now
presented by Phil Quinn & Bill Bakan

Presentation PDF

Phil Quinn has worked on dozens of farm buildings both at home and through far regions of Quebec & Ontario. After consulting the professional, booking the building crew a year ahead of time, and hiring extra staff to help out on the farm, Phil broke ground on his biggest project yet. And then…the proverbial Doodoo hit the fan.

Warning, the following presentation may contain strong language.

Learn from the hurdles others have stumbled over. Phil will share with us the legal, HR and financial challenges faced by the Quinn Family while building their new facilities.

Managing Your Online Presence
presented by Rob Leeds and Eric Barrett

(Room: Mystic Salon B/E)

How do customers find you? Does your business come up first in searches? Can your customers find your business if they need to? We’ll walk you through a workbook to help you (and your team back at the farm) manage your online presence in today’s digital world.

Selling The Cow
presented by Robin Chesmer & Kathy Smith

(Room: Mystic Salon A/D)

Developing a farmer-owned brand by paying attention to detail in executing a successful grass roots marketing campaign in Southern New England.

Wellness Vs. Fitness Within A Farm Life
presented by Deanna Black

(Room: 5)

You are a Farm Athlete! Now Tap into It!

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between being well and being fit, plus the benefits to being healthy in each.
  • Identify the aspects of your life that are beneficial to your health and that empower you to change those that are not.
  • Create two programs for yourself: one for peak and one for non-peak seasons that are realistic and achievable to your personal needs.

Farm To “Sweetheart” Table – High End Weddings On The Farm Using Local Foods
presented by Bo Geer and Keith Padin

Presentation PDF

Keith will share the details of marketing one of the most respected farm-to-table caterers in the area. He will focus on large scale farm events – cooking fresh on-site with locally sourced foods, building relationships with local farmers, being certified as “green” and spotlighting farmland venues.

Bo will share his story of turning the highest point on his family’s Christmas Tree Farm into one of Southern New England’s most sought after event locations. Bo will talk about the changes they needed to make on his family’s 1680’s farmland to remain a productive farm while accommodating events – including parking, restrooms, liabilities, choosing the right vendors and learning the ‘wedding business’.

Business Exchange Expertise: Private Label Profitabilty
presented by Hillside Orchards, Shawnee Canning Co., Farmers Choice Foods

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding about these exhibitors and the benefits of using their private label services.

Roundtable – PYO – Customer Diversity and Theft Mitigation –
Facilitators: Charlie Touchette and Carl Schwarzenbach

(Room: 2)

Nobody wants to talk about it, but every PYO experiences it. Enter this room as a safe zone. An industry expert and a security professional, both of whom are trained in cultural dynamics, will facilitate an open discussion among you and your peer PYO operators. Honest participation required.

Tuesday Feb. 7th – 3:15pm

Tour Host Spotlight – Harbes Family Farm
presented by David Harbes

(Room: Mystic Salon C/F)

Get an overview of everything that this Featured Tour Stop has to offer. This is a great session for folks who did not take part in the Touring Days, or for those who want to get a better understanding of this business.

Customer Service In Social Media And The Digital World
presented by Eric Barrett and Rob Leeds

(Room: Mystic Salon B/E)

How do you serve customers online? Are you responding fast enough without stressing other parts of your business? How do you deal with online praise and online complaints? Do you follow up? Are you doing the latest in social media? Do you have any video presence? Join us to help manage your on-line customers service plan.

Tour Host Spotlight – Holmberg Orchard and Winery
presented by Amy Holmberg

Presentation PDF

Get an overview of everything that this Featured Tour Stop has to offer. This is a great session for folks who did not take part in the Touring Days, or for those who want to get a better understanding of this business.

In Beer There Is Freedom
presented by Michelle & Bill Bakan

Presentation PDF

In our continued march towards agriculturally based, value added, vertically integrated products compatible to our competitive advantages that also have a low elasticity of demand, we now have a craft brewery that is an outgrowth of our winery which is an outgrowth of our produce and agritainment.

In this session we will cover everything it takes from concept to opening, what to expect over the first few years, and the outlook for your own future with the brewery.

Jones Family Farms – We’re Cooking!
presented by Jean Crum Jones and Emily Freund

Presentation PDF

Jones Family Farms has been successfully running farm cooking classes, since 2009. The biggest complaint – “Your classes sell out so quickly and I can’t get in!” – Come see how we organize our cooking classes and see if this activity is for you.

Business Exchange Expertise: The WOW Factor of Big and Bold Attractions
presented by FAST Corp, True American Classics

(Room: 3)

Get a personal understanding about these exhibitors and the benefits of incorporating their big and bold exhibits and products in your business.

Roundtable – Employee Scheduling Software Options –
Facilitator: Gabrielle Dumas

(Room: 2)

Time cards, finger prints, eye scans, facial recognition, automated emails, text messages, voice activation, plugins to QuickBooks, payroll processing – Hooboy!!!! Come into the room to learn what others have to say about When2Work, When I Work, and others. Don’t just Google “employee scheduling software.”  Pledge to share your experiences with others, and see what you get back next.