Connecting Farmers to Business: At the Hub of the Matter - PROJECT FILLED

Worksite Location
CCE Jefferson County
Faculty Sponsor
Miguel Gomez, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Cathy Moore, Ag Issue Leader, CCE Jefferson
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

This internship will support Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension and its community partners as it works with local producers across a 4-county region including Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties. The broader project is focusing on development and implementation of food hub infrastructure across the region. Part of the project will include developing concepts and pilot projects based on data collection using GIS mapping and analysis systems. This internship will assist with a variety of functions including data collection, GIS data input and manipulation. Additional opportunities exist to assist in business model development and varying levels of pilot project implementation that ultimately results in increased profitability and sustainability for growers/producers. This project will interface under the direction of the Jefferson County Food Hub staff with the Food Hub Research Working Group as part of the local and regional food systems project within Cornell’s Small Farms Program. In addition, this internship will also support data collection to assist with a Local Food Pricing Study in NNY. This component will be in conjunction with the faculty contact for this project, Miguel I. Gomez, Associate Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

Roles and Responsibilities

1. Help craft local food Business Models around the following Food Hub Mission Statement

Mission: Design and implement a producer owned and professionally managed NNY Food Hub to enable small NNY producers to simultaneously expand production while developing new Vertically Integrated Farm to Retail Models to provide sustainable premium prices to a wide variety of local producers.

 2. Assist with implementing pilot projects designed to test assumptions of the proposed Business Models. 

Participate in Food Hub Research Working Group which is part of the local and regional food systems (RFS) project within Cornell’s Small Farm Program.  The CCE Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St Lawrence Food Hub Project has been selected to be one of two initial pilot projects designed to examine:Collect, input and assist analyze data and metrics that cut across projects and are essential to understanding impacts for stakeholders and Cornell in the Food Hub area

  • Collect, input and assist analyzed data and metrics that cut across projects and are essential to understanding impacts for stakeholders and Cornell in the Food Hub area
  • Collect, input and assist analyzed data and metrics to test how a collaborative but specific R/E effort can enhance the Food Hub Research Working Group members ongoing work

3. Assist with conducting Local Food Pricing Studies in NNY designated by Associate Professor Miguel I. Gomez as part of his ongowing research

Qualifications and Previous Coursework
  • Ability to interact and collect data from retail and agricultural sectors.
  • Background or interest in the business and/or operational aspects of running small/family farms or ranch.
  • Interest in or any entrepreneurial experience around direct food sales such as produce,  or value added products at a farmers market.
  • Good computer technical skills with experience creating/using Excel databases, online surveys and experience with ArcGIS
  • Some experience collecting primary farm data and relationship building with producers.
  • A foodie who watches food channel shows such as “Chopped” and “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”
  • Ag economics studies

 

Benefits and Skills

The successful intern will gain broad exposure to factors that can support a regional initiative in agriculture/food business, such as development of food hub infrastructure, business modeling and planning, data collection and basic manipulation/analysis of metrics, pilot testing and food systems research.