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Issue #28
 December 2015
Thank you to our Funders, Sponsors and Donors
Seattle's Farm to Table Partnership Celebrates Unprecedented Growth
NABC Welcomes Luke Woodward to Our Team
NABC Expands Services to King County

Poultry Processing Rental Equipment Expands to King County
MPPU Wraps Up Second Season
New Workshop!  USDA Value Added Producer Grant Boot Camp
Successful Workshop for Beginning Farmers and Food Businesses
The Craft Cider Movement is Blooming!


Upcoming Classes & Workshops


Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Thanks to Our Private Funders!

Thanks to Our Collaborators!

Northwest Agriculture Business Center
The Northwest Agriculture Business Center provides Northwest Washington farmers with the skills and the resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice operators and food manufacturers. Through these efforts we contribute to a sustainable, environmentally and economically sound agricultural industry thereby preserving our region's farming heritage for future generations.
NABC programs are funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Commerce, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.  Our work is made possible by supporters from the agricultural industry, our communities, and from consumers who share our values and vision. 

Thank you to our Funders, Sponsors and Donors

In this season of holiday cheer with family and friends, reflecting on accomplished goals, the closing of the year, and planning “What’s Next?” NABC wants to acknowledge and say “Thank You” to You – our clients, partners, funders, sponsors and donors.

Since 2006, NABC has been Bringing the Farm to Market. Our first 10 years has been a dynamic and exciting period developing programs to provide to the region. Please take a look in this newsletter at stories of growth, development, successes and challenges NABC has experienced. NABC’s purpose is to add value to our regional ag production.  We do this by providing technical assistance for product development, processing infrastructure, market access, business development, and collaboration for regional food system development.  We work to tune into the gaps that producers are experiencing, to assist in the exploration of ideas, conduct feasibility assessment, and then attract resources and talent to implement what the community – from producers to consumers – value.

It has been exciting to see the Puget Sound Food Hub (PSFH) reach 2015 sales of just under $1 million, on its way to a $1.4 million sales goal in 2016. The Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU), in its second year of operation, has established a skilled and stable crew and continues to improve the unit’s operational efficiency to increase market access for small poultry producers. Our one-on-one Client Services and Cooperative Development assistance are addressing individual and targeted community needs, and finding solid solutions. NABC’s Transition to Value Added (TVA) educational courses have reached yet another peak in the number of participants learning about best business and production practices from experts around the globe.

We are now in the process of looking forward to the next 10 years – to build on what we’ve learned. All of these programs are made possible with community support and we appreciate donations of time or funds in the upcoming year for program support and the establishment of a Skagit distribution center for the Puget Sound Food Hub. Please give us a call or send us an email if you would like to help support our local farmers.

So, again, from the Board and staff of NABC, we offer not only our Seasons Greetings, but a huge THANK YOU!

Contact us at info@agbizcenter.org or call our office at (360) 336-3727.

Seattle’s Farm to Table Partnership Celebrates
Unprecedented Growth in its Fifth Year

The Farm to Table partnership, led by the City of Seattle in collaboration with Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), Puget Sound Food Hub, Seattle Tilth, Associated Recreation Council, YMCA of Greater Seattle and others has successfully wrapped up its fifth year of programming. The goal of the program is to link local area farms with public health, human service and educational programs that serve large numbers of low-income families, to increase healthy food access and economic development for sustainable area farms.
In 2015, the HumanLinks Foundation honored its mission to foster healthy and sustainable agricultural communities by funding, educational and community-focused programs including Farm to Table, thus enabling the unprecedented expansion of the program to serve more than 3,700 children and families in 66 childcare, preschool, and before and after school programs in Seattle and King County. Read more...

NABC Welcomes Luke Woodward to Our Team

We are pleased to welcome Luke as our project manager serving King and Snohomish Counties.  Luke started and managed the farming operations at Oxbow Farm in King County for the past sixteen years.  Luke has an intimate and working knowledge of the local food economy.  He has built and fostered extensive and positive relationships with farmers, wholesale purchasers, chefs, and government agents throughout the local food economy.  Luke has also developed relationships with restaurant and wholesale accounts and made farm-to-school connections within the community. Luke’s experience has led to an understanding of both sides of the farmer-to-purchaser challenge.  We are confident Luke can help bring our local food economy to its next level through his work on the Local Food Initiative.

Luke lives and farms near Duvall with wife Sarah Cassidy and daughter Pearl.

NABC Expands Services to King County

The NABC Board of Directors amended our by-laws to add King County to the NABC service area.  With this expansion, NABC will be providing producers in King County with the resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice operators and food manufacturers.

In early 2015 the King Conservation District initiated a new Regional Food System Program to strengthen the King County agricultural economy. KCD recently awarded the first round of regional food system grants. NABC received a $95,000 grant to provide services that will result in increased production, distribution, and consumption of sustainably produced food within King County by providing food hub sales, aggregation, and delivery services for King County farmers.  Technical services will also be provided to producers, which include business development, marketing, value-added product development, and food safety.

Poultry Processing Rental Equipment Program Expands to King County

King County poultry producers will soon have access to processing equipment thanks to a partnership between NABC and King County Conservation District.  The equipment has been purchased by the Conservation District with funding provided by their new Regional Food System Grant Program.  The underlying funding for their program comes from a local Conservation Rate and Charge collected from parcels throughout King County.  The rental equipment will be stationed at the Grange Supply in Issaquah.  

MPPU Wraps Up Second Season

With the last harvest completed at the end of November, the second season of the Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU) project has come to a close.  Launched in June of 2014, the program is fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed – to provide professional poultry processing services to farmers in Northwest Washington.  About 11,000 chickens and 800 turkeys were processed for 25 farms in 2015 – a nearly 32 % increase in throughput over last year.  The ultimate goal remains supporting development of a strong core group or cooperative of poultry farmers, and migrating management of the project into their hands when appropriate.

New Workshop! USDA Value Added Producer Grant Boot Camp

NABC is partnering with USDA Rural Development to present a day-long workshop to support local agricultural producers with their development of USDA Value Added Producer Grant applications.  This important USDA program has benefited many producers throughout the Puget Sound region with this past year’s grant amounts ranging from less than $50,000 up to $250,000.

Greg York, Business and Cooperative Programs Specialist for the USDA will make an in-depth presentation of the entire program, how it works, and how to prepare an application. Jeff Voltz, Project Manager for NABC will present how to prepare a feasibility study based on USDA guidelines, and a business plan model that will support your preparation of a grant application.

Successful Workshop for Beginning Farmers and Food Businesses

In partnership with Growing Veterans, Viva Farms, and the Washington State University Skagit Extension, NABC held a successful work shop to connect 21 beginning farmers and food business with lending programs and resources.  Lending programs and technical assistance support in attendance included:
* Community Capital Development
* Community Food Co-op Farm Fund
* Community Sourced Capital
* Industrial Credit Union
* North Coast Credit Union
* Northwest Farm Credit Services
* USDA Farm Services Agency
* USDA Rural Development
* Economic Development Association of Skagit County-SBA Small Business Development Center

The Craft Cider Movement is Blooming!

For Craft Cider, the national trend is growth, having grown about 70% last year and we're expecting another 40% growth in the next year. Our Northwest cider makers make up about a quarter of the nation's cider producers. Thanks to an Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Northwest Cider Association's members spent the last year developing standards around what it means to be a Northwest-made cider. That grant also funded an exciting new wiki page called the Cidermaker's Toolkit, which is designed to educate anyone interested in making cider. The wiki will soon be live on the NWCA webpage so that people can get answers to Frequently Asked Questions. We invite everyone with a little knowledge to participate in making this a living document. 
Coming up, we are encouraging more orchardists to plant heirloom fruit as the demand for fruit is exceeding our current supply in the NW. If you're interested in learning more about how you can jump into the cider movement, please contact our Program Manager, Emily Ritchie. emily.c.ritchie@gmail.com. See you at CiderCON in February in Portland!
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NABC, P.O. Box 2924 Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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