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Windham Grows Farm Business Accelerator extends application deadline

BRATTLEBORO—Windham Grows Farm Business Accelerator is seeking farmer-entrepreneurs interested in individualized, farm-business, value-added scale-up plans that will include mentoring, in-kind resources, physical space, educational experience, and technical expertise.

The deadline for applications for the November cohort has been extended to midnight on Oct. 12. To learn more and apply for admission to Windham Grows, visit windhamgrows.org.

By giving farmer-entrepreneurs the resources needed for high-value management skills, this project will help farmer-entrepreneurs build dynamic new farm businesses while leveraging one of Vermont’s most valuable assets — land.

“From the many farmers who have contacted Windham Grows, we learned that they have specific needs that are different from value-added food businesses,” said Orly Munzing, Strolling of the Heifers founder, in a news release. “Therefore, we have created a specialized program for farmers.”

The Farm Business Accelerator begins in November and ends in April. Farm business leaders accepted into the program learn over the six-month course how to grow socially conscious, food-focused businesses by means of concentrated sessions on marketing, finance, production, technology, and entrepreneur mindsets.

“Entrepreneurs receive mentoring, access to subject matter experts, connections to capital and non-capital resources,” said Cairn Cross, co-founder and Managing Director of FreshTracks Capital, who is an entrepreneur-in-residence for Windham Grows.

The program, which consists of three weekend residencies in Brattleboro and regular video meetings, provides food and lodging for non-local participants during the Brattleboro weekends. Graduates will develop a basic business model constructed using Live Plan software and will have created and honed a basic pitch.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #531 (Wednesday, October 9, 2019). This story appeared on page E2.

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