Spring 2021 Plan // Federal Student Emergency Grants // Daily Check-In // COVID-19 Dashboard

Agricultural Solutions Fair

Webinar Series April 5th – 16th

The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill, in conjunction with National Grid and NYSERDA, is hosting a two-week seminar series in place of the annual in-person event. After having to cancel the 2020 event due to the pandemic, it was widely requested that there be an event in 2021. In previous years, the Ag Solutions Fair was a hub of resources for the industry, and we are excited to continue that tradition during these unprecedented times. 


Sponsorship Opportunities

Schedule and Zoom Links


Week 1 – Access to Capital

Access to Capital: Traditional Funding

4/5 – 2:00PM

There are many options throughout the industry when we think about traditional avenues for funding farm and food businesses. To kick-off our series, you'll hear from the following presenters about programs they have available ranging from a conventional loan program to government grants. Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.


Controlling Farm Energy Costs with Energy Audits and Utility Incentives

4/7 – 2:00PM

Energy use is an expense for New York farms and farmers can control this cost by improving their energy efficiency.  Agriculture Energy audits serve as an important road map for making long-term operational improvements and updates. In general, a farm can expect an energy audit to identify savings representing between 10% and 35% of their energy use. This workshop will provide farmers with the information and resources to sign up for FREE agriculture energy audit and learn about National Grid incentives that can potentially offset the cost of energy-efficient projects. Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.


Access to Capital: Alternative Funding

4/9 – 2:00PM

In addition to the traditional resources available, there are also unique alternatives available to fund and enhance farm and food businesses. In this webinar, we will explore several incentive programs and private investment opportunities.  Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.

Week 2 – Access to Markets

COVID-19 Market Dynamics

4/12  – 2:00PM

The pandemic has created a new market dynamic, where we have seen a shift in demand for locally produced and sourced food products. Road-side farm stands, farmers' markets, and local retail centers have never been so popular! In the webinar, we will hear from a producer who has experienced this shift first hand and explore what makes a successful value-added product. Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.


Leveraging the Pandemic: Agri-tourism and Ecommerce

4/14 – 2:00PM

With the hopes of “lockdown” soon to be in the past, farms are in a unique position to open up their operations to folks looking to escape the city for some fresh air and family fun. In this webinar, you will learn the fundamentals of running an agri-tourism operation and how to influence a new connection beyond their visit using the world wide web. Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.


Access to Markets: Assistance Programs

4/16 – 2:00PM

NYS has a long history of farm-to-table and local food movements. Since COVID-19 hit the nation by surprise last year, several new and existing programs rose to the occasion to assist producers in accessing markets. In this webinar, we will hear from NYS Ag and Markets and the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship, to provide an overview of available market facilitation programs. Q&A to follow the one-hour presentation.