The Baskets or Pallets course is designed for farmers of all enterprises, beginners or seasoned producers. It will cover building relationships with buyers, customer management and record keeping, pricing, grading and packaging, uniformity and consistency, and food safety, among many other topics.  This fun course includes plenty of hands-on activities and opportunities for peer learning and small group discussion.

Co-hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany, Erie and Wyoming Counties, the four evening sessions will be held in March and April (March 1, March 22, April 5, and April 26) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Pioneer High School Cafeteria, 12125 County Line Road, Yorkshire, NY.

Following the four evening sessions, a series of field trips will be offered for more hands- on learning, including a trip to  Grizzly’s Custom Cutting in Hunt, NY, and Genesee Valley Produce Auction in Centerville, NY.

Plans are also being made (locations to be announced) for Vegetable Grading in Eden, High tunnel Production in Warsaw, Urban farming in Buffalo, and Value Added Ag Products in Rushford.

A certificate of completion will be awarded to all attendees that complete the workshops and participate in at least two field days.  The certificate may help when applying for grants or for a loan through a lending institution (verifying you have completed a beginning farmer training).

The cost of the Baskets or Pallets course is $75 per farm. The fee includes resource materials, up to three attendees per farm and allows participation in the evening workshop series and any or all of the field days of interest.

Priority for spots will be given to active or retired military veterans in Western New York. Stipends are available to cover cost of registration for veterans. To apply, contact Lynn Bliven (585) 268-7644 ext. 18 for an application.

The Baskets or Pallets course is co-hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Allegany, Erie and Wyoming Counties and supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-70017-22882.