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Books or Guide

These books and guides are resources, curated and vetted by our staff, that our partners and other people in our network have produced to assist food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses. These are currently all free. Learn more about our Premium Subscription to unlock everything Edible-Alpha® has to offer.

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#2 – Why a VAPG Toolkit Read Through?

1 hour 45 minute read of Free resource by Edible-Alpha®

As part of the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant application, Rural Development provides applicants with a “toolkit” to guide them through the working capital or planning process.  This 40+ page toolkit is an excellent way to organize the proposal, but it can be intimidating for first-time writers of federal grants.

Books or Guide about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

#1 – The USDA Value-Added Producer Grant is Out!

10 minute read of Free resource by Jim Gage

The USDA Rural Development office announced Notice of Funding Availability (NOSA) last week.  This annual grant program has been used by thousands of rural entrepreneurs over its 15+ year history, and I have had the pleasure (and challenge) of being involved in the application process with many clients. 

Books or Guide about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

VAPG Update: Deadline Extended to May 4th

10 minute read of Free resource by Edible-Alpha®

The 2021 USDA Value Added producer Grant offers a unique opportunity for farmers to compete for planning and working grant funds – both in...

Books or Guide about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

What is Intellectual Property, Anyway?

5 minute Free read by Pie Shell

Patents, branding, and copyright...  If you want to protect something, or to stop someone from doing the same thing that you’re doing in your food business, the only way to do that in the United States (and abroad) is through IP law. An IP attorney will help you ensure that no one has made it before, branded it in a similar way to yours, or created it before you did.

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

Demystifying Funding Terminology

Demystifying Funding Terminology

5 minute Free read by New Hope Network

Most entrepreneurs start out with friends and family funding (essentially people they know who will take a risk with them) or else they "bootstrap" their company, self-financing from the owner(s) and free cash flow. However, in food, this doesn't get you very far - food businesses need outside capital, usually from a variety of sources, to compete.

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

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

Host Safer, More Legally Secure On-Farm Events

19 pages of Free report content by Farm Commons

Events are a wonderful way for farmers to deepen their connection with customers. To meet these goals, farmers must make sure that hosting events does not expose the farmer to greater legal liability. If things go wrong, on-farm events can be create tremendous legal problems.

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

Road Map For Food Businesses

Essential Questions and Steps For Food Startups

Free checklist by Adam Haen

All food and beverage businesses have an overwhelming amount of stuff that they have to sort through to launch their business. These questions help new and aspiring food and beverage business owners navigate the plethora of considerations, everything from incorporation to permits to designing your business to be defensibly unique.

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

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