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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community-supported agriculture, commonly referred to as a CSA model, is a system that connects the producer and consumers within the food system more closely by allowing the consumer to subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms. It is an alternative, socioeconomic model of agriculture and food distribution that allows the producer and consumer to share the risks of farming. In return for subscribing to a harvest, subscribers receive either a weekly or bi-weekly box of produce or other farm goods. This includes in-season fruits and vegetables and can expand to dried goods, eggs, milk, meat, etc. Typically, farmers try to caress a relationship with it’s subscribers by sending weekly letters of what is happening on the farm, inviting them for harvest, or holding an open-farm event. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs.

Misty Farmstead

Value-Added Producer Grants With Jim Gage

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

While the VAPG grant can be complicated (for example, a 75 page application plus Business Plan and third-party Feasibility Study), it requires applicants to critically consider expansion of the customer base and the marketplace for products as well as demonstrate how they will have sufficient business structures, profit and cash flow to operate in the long-term.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Keewaydin Farms

Rightsizing The Ship: A Farmer’s Tale of Scaling Down

1 hour & 40 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

This hub discovered that the bigger the business got, the more money it lost and that moving aggregation functions off of the owner's farm caused the operation to be less efficient at that level of sales. The owner chose to contract the business to focus on getting profitable and repaying existing suppliers.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Adding Value to Farm Products: The Legal Issues

26 pages of Free report content by Farm Commons

The decision to add a value-added line is a serious one. There is no single set of laws that apply to value-added products and no single definition of a value added product. Instead, each law may have its own specific definition. This guide helps you to navigate what to look for in terms of legal implications when you are adding value to your products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Calculating Your Cash Flow

Cash Flow Basics (For Farmers)

11 minute Free read by Compeer Financial

Tight cash flow can be challenging, even for the most experienced grower. For a beginning farmer, however, a cash flow crunch can quickly become a disaster. An annual cash flow projection is a very useful tool for a farm. You plot out on a month-by-month basis when cash income will be received and when cash expenses will need to be paid.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Midwestern BioAg

Midwestern BioAg and the Business of Biological Farming

45 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Midwestern BioAg is a company that provides farmers with consulting and products (mostly inputs) that help improve yields, resiliency and profitability by using biological farming methods i.e. treating the farm like an ecosystem and preserving the long-term health of the soil.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Direct Farm Sales By Region

Direct Sales of Farm Food – USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

44 pages of Free report content + lots of excel data by USDA

From the USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey: In 2015, farmers produced and sold $8.7 billion of edible food commodities directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and a variety of local food intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers that market and sell locally branded products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

CSA Changing Business Model

Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets

68 pages of Free report content by USDA

The CSA business model has evolved significantly. New products, season extensions, multi-farm collaborations, new shareholder groups, marketing collaborations, innovative aggregation and delivery strategies, new urban production connections, and health and wellness alliances are among the current trends reshaping the CSA business.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Are You Ready To Start A CSA?

Are You Ready to Start a CSA?

8 pages of Free report content by University of Tennessee Extension

Marketing is vital to the potential success of a direct marketing enterprise, including that of CSAs. Marketing is also inherent to many drivers of profitability including managing costs, production quality and efficiency, pricing for profit, achieving some minimum level of sales volume, building repeat customers, and managing risk.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture

Paul Dietmann

Paul Dietmann on Setting Your Farm Up for Financial Success

1 hour & 15 minutes of Free audio by Farmer To Farmer Podcast

The single most important thing to do when starting a farm is to create a month-by-month cash flow projection. In the short term, cash flow is much more critical than profitability, because if cash flow is negative, the farm cannot survive once cash runs out. Profitability comes into play when the farmer is ready to retire or pass it on to the next generation.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

106 pages of Free report content by Wisconsin DATCP

How do you get started in local food production and marketing? What do you need to consider? Like any business venture, establishing the entire concept and developing the initial steps may seem overwhelming. You must learn a whole new set of skills and be proficient at them for your business to succeed.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups