Winrock International

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.
Sep 26, 2014

Continuing to Build Capacity of Good Food

The NGFN webinar series continues to provide timely, pertinent information to people working hard to change the food landscape to one that has more abundant food that is heathier for people, helathier for the economy, healthier for communities, and healthier for the planet. This summer's webinars continue to inspire people to work smarter, bolstering thier passion with actionable best practices.

You are always free to watch our archives at http://ngfn.org/webinars.

July 24, 2014: Making IT Click: Choosing Appropriate Technology to Run Your Good Food Business

Good Food businesses are complicated. There are many types of exchanges that a business must track accurately, including money, food, plans, etc. And there are a large number of constituents that need to these goods or information - growers, buyers, consumers, drivers, and warehouse personnel to name a few.

In the 21st century, we must use software to ensure all pieces of our business are accurately served. But how do you choose the right technology to help run your business? A solution that does not fit your business could well cost a lot of money, and worse, lost productivity.

The first step in choosing the right solution is a deep understanding of your own business. With the right analysis you can make technology choices with greater speed, and with confidence. This webinar gives you the tools to perform an accurate analysis of your business technology needs. Although the presentation focuses on food hubs (arguably one of the more complicated Good Food businesses, as a "middle man" interacting with all pieces of the food system), the same theories apply to ALL businesses. 

 

August 21, 2014: Ins-TRUCK-tion Manual: Lease, Buy, or Other?

One major expense of food hubs (and many other Good Food businesses, including farms) is vehicles. How do you decide whether to lease or own? There are many expenses including repair, resale value, potential lost business due to malfunction, typical delivery miles, frequency of delivery, garage fees, etc... How do you weigh all of the financials in a clear way? Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Credit Council will present their tool that will give you a definitive financial answer to that question. 

... and then there is a third option: neither lease nor own, but using a third-party trucking company. Though it may seem counter intuitive, there are many cases where this option is the most reliable, and the most cost effective solution. Dennis Derryck of Corbin Hill Food Project, relates their story of trying all three options, and found great efficiencies, including monetary, using a third-party logistics company.

This webinar takes you through theory and practice of making the right decision for your business.

September 4, 2014: Putting Local on the Menu- Five Best Practices and a Cost Calculator Training

Several institutional cafeterias and mid-priced restaurants are using clever techniques to source substantial amounts of local food, while maintaining their own affordability and profitability. This webinar, led by Anthony Flaccavento, will present the results ofSCALE Inc.'s research into how these kitchens are successfully putting local on the menu, while staying within their tight budgets.

Prioritizing local food while keeping costs reasonable is part art, and part science. This webinar honors that by illustrating some of the art with case studies, while presenting the 'science' in the form of a new tool.

The first half of the webinar reveals five best practices that showed up across SCALE's study. The driving forces behind The Root Café (Little Rock, AR) and Carlton College (Northfield, MN) will illustrate how they are using each of these techniques to get significant quantities of local food into their kitchens.

The second half of the webinar presents a tool, developed by SCALE, Inc. that enables buyers and local foods advocates to accurately determine the cost of local buying down to the level of per plate or menu item costs. We will step you through how and why to use this tool.

September 25, 2014: Food Hub Benchmarking Study 2014

Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable.

But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations? What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses?

The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration, through our partners at Farm Credit East, Farm Credit Council and Morse Marketing Connections, has collected and analyzed financial and operational data from dozens of hubs across the country, creating the second food hub benchmarking study. The pilot 2013 study showed good promise for our methodology, and this year's study has several times the number of participants, giving us a much better picture of how food hubs operate.

This webinar describes the lessons learned from the recent benchmarking study of food hub financial and operational characteristics. The presentation highlights how successful food hubs across the nation have achieved their mission and goals through financial and business metrics.

Understanding this study will benefit all manner of people interested in regional food systems. For instance, food hub operators will be able to identify performance standards and improvement strategies. Farmers who attend the webinar will gain a better understanding of their ability to access new markets through food hubs, and researchers and local food advocacy organizations will benefit from this webinar’s business-based analysis of food hub functions and operational issues. Private lenders and public sector funders will gain insight on strategic investment strategies for food hubs that will lead to positive economic and sustainable outcomes.

Sep 9, 2014

Storefront and Website for Beginning Entrepreneurs

Shay Kaldem assists customer in Edie
Shay Kaldem assists customer in Edie's Village.

With their one year anniversary behind them, Edie’s Village (El Dorado Incubator Environment) has seen firsthand the triumphs and struggles of what beginning entrepreneurs face as they set out to fulfill their dreams of opening their own business.

Edie’s Village is a retail incubator that allows businesses to test their products in the consumer market before they incur significant business risk and debt. Edie’s Village staff makes this process simple and easy for the entrepreneurs by completing all merchandising of products and marketing, all while gaining customer feedback. Recently Edie’s Village launched an e-commerce website expanding their customer base. (www.ediesvillage.com)

When Edie’s Village opened on August 29, 2013, there were 12 businesses participating, and within six months it quickly grew to 20 businesses. Along with all the benefits Edie’s Village staff has to offer, the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC), a partner with South Arkansas Community College for Edie’s Village, is available to help and guide each entrepreneur with one-on-one counseling in business areas that clients may need more assistance. If interested in becoming a vendor, contact the AWBC.

Your contribution to the AWBC allows us to continue to make dreams of business ownership a reality for women in Arkansas. Women across the state learn skills and tools to make their business venture a success.

Aug 13, 2014

Women advising Women Farmers

The five 2013 awardees (Mrs. Ayele in Ethiopia, Mrs. Sy in Mali, Mrs. Koné in Mali, Mrs. Traore in Mali and Mrs.  Bukar in Nigeria) continue to make very satisfactory progress to their degrees and/or diplomas.

The Christopher Dowswell Scholarship Fund (Fund) has announced that new applications are welcome. Specific instructions can be found on the website:  www.christopherdowswellscholarshipfund.org.                                            

We are very pleased to announce that Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) pledged an USD 10,000 annual contribution to the Fund. For the academic year 2014-2015, the Fund aims at tripling the number of scholarships. The Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) will sponsor one of the scholars to attend the World Agricultural Forum in Ames, Iowa during the first week of October.

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