Free workforce development program will promote growth of food and beverage product businesses
SPARKS – The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), alongside the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation, is seeking participants for the 2023 Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator Program. This is the third year the workforce development program is being offered to Nevadans, following two cohorts of participants experiencing successful completion of the program.
“This program has offered resources and support to a demographic of our agriculture industry that is underrepresented,” said NDA Director J.J. Goicoechea. “Every opportunity we have to offer additional support to those in agriculture, and help keep them in agriculture, is a win for the industry and Nevadans as we increase the availability of food in the state.”
The Farm2Food Accelerator Program is designed to help Nevada women farmers and entrepreneurs with value-added food or beverage products, or product ideas, grow their business and expand into new markets. A value-added product is a product that has changed in its physical state or form, such as milling wheat for flour or making strawberries into jam. Women who grow specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, honey, tree nuts, dried fruits, culinary herbs and spices, or source specialty crop ingredients in the products they make are encouraged to apply.
“This is an incredible opportunity for women in the food and agriculture industry to receive entrepreneurship training and resources, while providing them with connections to others in the state who can offer guidance and support,” said NDA Agricultural Literacy Coordinator Shelley Pope. “From the last two cohorts, we have seen growth in small-scale businesses and an increase in their marketplace success.”
Selected applicants will participate in a 15-week online program and two in-person events at no cost thanks to funds made available through the Nevada Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The program will provide women with the opportunity to:
Gain knowledge and tools related to food safety, product development, marketing and other industry resources.
Connect with a community of women farmers, food entrepreneurs and food experts.
Launch a new food or beverage product or enhance an existing product for market.
An information session will be held virtually in advance of the program on Sept. 28, 2023, from noon –1 p.m.
Interested individuals can register for the information session and apply for the program at agri.nv.gov. The deadline to apply for the program is Oct. 15, 2023.