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November 1-2, Ithaca

US (NY): Cornell hosts CEA Entrepreneur Conference

Have you been researching new ways to grow vegetables? Is your farm looking to diversify? Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) may be the answer--and this conference can help!

CEA enables year-round production of fresh vegetables through greenhouse environmental control (heating, lighting) combined with hydroponic/soilless production systems. While CEA is an increasingly popular method of meeting consumer demand for locally grown food, many factors must be considered when developing a business plan and assessing its viability. This conference is intended to provide more detailed knowledge of CEA production systems, economics, marketing, and ways to access financing and state resources. It will also help guide new or transitioning operations through the process of developing a business plan for a CEA greenhouse vegetable business.

The conference will be held November 1st and 2nd in Ithaca NY. The group size will be limited to 30 businesses (each may send 1 or 2 representatives), and attendees must apply to be accepted into the program.

The program will combine practical information specific to CEA businesses including costs of production, financing sources and state and regional incentives, marketing, along with a structured process for developing an agriculture business plan. The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture as well as the NYS Small Business Development Center templates will be used. Sample worksheets will lend a practical perspective and illustrate how to set goals, research processing alternatives, determine potential markets, and evaluate financing options. Templates will help participants to develop a detailed, lender-ready business plan or map out strategies to take advantage of new opportunities.

Click here for more information and to register.

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