Building Successful Organic Businesses

Join the CCOF Foundation on May 15 for a webinar on building succesful farm businesses

Successful farms are successful businesses! Bookkeeping, marketing, and business planning all play into the cultivation of a successful farm. You won’t want to miss this webinar featuring tips and insights from organic growers who have built strong, innovative farm businesses and the experts who help them make it happen. You’ll walk away knowing about the multitude of business development resources available to farmers. This webinar is ideal for beginning or mid-career organic farmers who are looking to take their farm businesses to the next level.

Just as important as building healthy soil, developing sound business practices is key to growing a sustainable organic farm business. Thomas Nelson from Kitchen Table Advisors—a non-profit that provides farmers with access to the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to become resilient and viable businesses—will highlight the secrets of good farm business practices, as well as touch on common obstacles experienced by farm business. Then learn from Jim Durst of Durst Organic Growers and Vernon Peterson of The Peterson Family Farm/Abundant Harvest Organics who have decades of experience running farm businesses.

About our Speakers

Thomas Nelson has devoted his life to building sustainable food systems that connect rural and urban areas. He is passionate about the ongoing economic and environmental viability of rural farming communities, and has lived at Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley since 1995. Nelson is the president and co-founder of Capay Valley Farm Shop, a community-owned social enterprise that aggregates and distributes local, seasonal food from almost 50 small and mid-sized family farms in Yolo County. Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Community Food Security Coalition, Capay Valley Vision, and the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program have all benefited from his broad expertise in coalition building, organizational development, strategic planning, project management, and marketing and communications. Nelson earned his Master of Business Administration at the University of California, Davis, with a focus on social entrepreneurship. He serves on the boards of California Farmlink and the Fruit Guys Community Fund. Through Kitchen Table Advisors, Nelson is thrilled to invest his time helping small, sustainable farms build their businesses.

Jim Durst and Debora Durst grow and distribute delicious organic produce under the brand names Hungry Hollow and Durst Organic Growers. Durst Organic Growers, Inc. strongly believes in farming techniques that build soil fertility while balancing wildlife and insect ecology. They do this by planting cover crops, proper crop rotation, and soil amendments. Their farm practices are based on the maxim "feed the soil and the soil will feed the plants." They are committed to growing the best tasting and most nutritious produce and promoting a healthier environment for everyone. The Dursts’ fourth-generation farm is in an area of California called Hungry Hollow at the mouth of the Capay Valley in Yolo County. Their unique microclimate and soils allow them to grow delicious tasting asparagus, melons, watermelons, cherry, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and winter squash.

Vernon Peterson, together with his wife Carol, son Erik and daughter Heather, and son-in-law Sean form the Peterson Family Farm. The Petersons have been farming the same land for five generations and are proud to have transitioned their stone fruit operation, chickens, and packing house to organic. Abundant Harvest Organics is a California farm-share delivery service, offering a weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery service, as well as prepared food, throughout central and southern California. The Petersons and Abundant Harvest work with Californian organic family farmers to bring thousands of consumers a weekly delivery of fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

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