Business Planning for a New Era

CADE's free 5-week Business Planning Workshop for Farm & Food Entrepreneurs is coming soon as a free self-guided online course.

Access 5 weeks' worth of resources, presentations and curriculum materials to develop and strengthen your farm or food business.

Image by Red Zeppelin

The changing economic and social landscape has presented both challenges and opportunities to businesses in the farm and food industry, while also confirming CADE's conviction that a strong local food system is made up of businesses and communities committed to sustainability, collaboration, inclusion, transparency and innovation. By the end of this workshop, participants will have completed the key components of a business plan, and gained marketing, financial and operations insights that incorporate these core values into all aspects of their business, to ensure viability and resilience in this new era.

How the Self-Guided Course Works


  • To get started, complete this form.

  • A member of the CADE team will contact you to setup a brief introduction and get you setup with the online course.

  • Self-guided participants are then able to follow the curriculum at their own pace, with the opportunity to check in with a CADE team member at any time throughout the course.

  • If after completing the course, a self-guided participant has additional needs, they are invited to contact us. CADE has an extensive repertoire of services, including marketing, graphic and web design, and more, as well as an expansive network of farmers, food businesses, markets, suppliers, organizations, foundations, funders and more across New York's food system.

Instructor-Led Group Workshops


If you prefer to attend CADE's Business Planning for a New Era workshop series in its standard, multi-week instructor-led format, sign up for CADE's monthly newsletter to stay informed on upcoming dates or check back on this page periodically, as future workshop dates will be announced here.

Image by Ben Ashby

A New Era

2021: A Changing Economic & Social Landscape For Business


If we didn’t know it already, the events of the last year have let us know that we are in a new era. At CADE, the challenges of this new time have only confirmed our conviction that a strong local food system is made up of businesses and communities committed to:

  • Sustainability

  • Collaboration

  • Inclusion

  • Transparency

  • Innovation


This workshop series will help you figure out how to incorporate these values in all aspects of your business planning and operations for viability and resilience in this new era.

Inside Greenhouse

Workshop Overview & Outcomes

Individualized Business Plan

Participants in this five week series will be guided through a self-assessment to determine what it will take to get their new business off the ground, and to identify the best approach to business planning based on that self-assessment.

By the end of the workshop series, each participant will have completed all of the key components of the business plan they need - whether the goal is to present to a commercial lender, to apply for a grant or a government program, to share with a private investor, or for internal planning and benchmarking purposes.

Market & Consumer Insights

Every viable business plan is a response to an identified market opportunity. Workshop participants will learn how to quantify and document a market opportunity, and will build out a realistic plan to respond to that opportunity.

Operating Decisions

Learn how to make critical decisions about business ownership structure, and how to anticipate and plan for day-to-day and long-term decision-making responsibilities, people management needs, compliance with regulations, and risk management.

Financial Projections & Funding

Using pro-forma income statements and balance sheets, as well as cash-flow projections, program participants will learn to think like investors and identify the best ways to finance their business. They will also gain tools to monitor performance of the business, identify challenges or opportunities, and make corrections.

Build A New(York) Network

This workshop will connect you not only to the participants and instructors in the workshop, but also to a network of people and resources that can help you launch and grow your business. CADE connects farmers, food businesses, markets, suppliers, organizations, foundations, funders and more, with a shared goal of creating a vibrant New York food system where farm and food entrepreneurs thrive. Connecting with CADE means getting access to the breadth of resources, knowledge and research available through us and our network.



12 lessons, organized into 4 modules:

  • Introduction to Business Planning

  • Marketing

  • Operations

  • Financial Planning

Program Structure

(for Instructor-Led Group Workshop)


Hybrid Learning


Participants will learn on their own schedule throughout the week in between the five class sessions.

Participants should expect to spend as much as 10-20 hours per week in between classroom sessions, using the program’s structured curriculum of recorded videos, readings and assignments, and interacting with instructors online.

Class sessions will bring the group together to connect with instructors, share with their peers, ask questions, and practice the application of what they have learned. You will get out of this program what you put into it! Come prepared to work, connect and progress!

Participation Requirements


Participants will need computer and internet access to successfully complete the workshop. To get the most out of the program, you will be encouraged to turn on your computer’s video camera and interact virtually with the other participants and instructors.

We realize that not everyone has equal capacity to participate in our online programs and we are committed to making our resources accessible to all who can benefit. Please contact us for other ways to access CADE resources.

Young Farmer with Flock of Chickens

CADE’s Work with Farmers & Entrepreneurs


Since 1991, CADE has been supporting farm and food businesses in New York.

Serkan, Catskill Packing Co.:

"The biggest challenge is funding. That’s where CADE has been a tremendous help - trying to help us secure different grants and funding, but also help connect with different people who work for the town who oversee the industrial land."

Tianna, Star Route Farms & The 607 CSA:

"I strongly believe in small-scale agriculture: family farms doing their products well; high quality, low output. In order to survive in our market we have to aggregate; we have to work together to meet the demand to scale up. It's really hard to do this without any support, so it's amazing to have a local resource like CADE do some of that legwork for you."

Kate, Stony Creek Farmstead:

"We were spending so much on retail and selling things that it just started to be too much. So we solved that problem by starting our agritourism business. Working with CADE, we were able to secure a grant that allowed us to build the commercial kitchen, which is what we really needed to be able to serve people the meals we love."