With funding received by the Chobani Community Impact Fund, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County will be offering a competitive mini-grant fund for producers in Madison County. This program will offer a stipend of $1,500 to 10 producers in Madison County to spend on marketing materials.

There are more than 800 farms in Madison County, occupying over 180,000 acres.

“Agriculture is important to the landscape of Madison County, and supporting our local farms is the best way to continue that,” said Jenn Farwell, Madison County ag economic development specialist. “The farmer’s first choice was farming, not marketing. This program is designed to not only create marketing materials for farmers, but to teach them to continue to be on the modern trend of advertising.”

Each producer chosen will complete a series of four workshops on marketing and promotion. Upon completion of those courses, each producer will receive a stipend of $1,500 to be spent on marketing or promotion for their business, with no matching funds required.

The workshops will be from 5 to 7 p.m. March 14 and 28 and April 11 and 25. Attendance by a farm representative at all four meetings is required to receive funding. CCE staff will work with producers on an individual basis during and after the courses to develop materials specific to their operations.

“We don’t want to just design materials for them and send them on their way,” Farwell said. “We want to make them comfortable with the tools they have available so they can continue to flourish.”

Applications are due by Feb. 5. Anyone interested in applying for the marketing initiative mini-grant can contact Jenn Farwell at 315-684-3001 or by emailing: JLF286@cornell.edu.