100% of our 2023 attendees recommend this program for others:  “1000% Yes… Even for someone who has experience with management and other aspects this was a helpful class in a sense of organization and how to approach staff and finances.”

This was such a beneficial seminar. The topics were diverse, presented well and immediately actionable.

2023 Attendee

I liked how the group was a lot the same for each session and you get to know people, not just see names and turned off cameras.

2023 Attendee

I loved the round table style, people were able to have real conversations about issues or questions that they have. The course material was very well rounded. As a newcomer to the world of entrepreneurship I found the variety of topics to be incredibly helpful. Also being able to go back and watch certain segments was amazing as our work schedules can be pretty crazy and I wasn’t always able to make Wednesday sessions.

2023 Business Miniversity Participant

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This is like an “intro to managing or running a business” course.   We hit on leadership, hiring, management, finance and margins, strategy, and marketing topics.  Sessions are designed for you to walk away with helpful/actionable information about how to run/manage a team or business with more know-how. Group size is small and personal for this – you’ll be able to have conversation and Q/A with presenters and other attendees in every session.

WHO IS THIS FOR:  Suitable for new (or up and coming) business owners/managers and/or those who have run/managed businesses for a while – but never had training in these areas. Content/format is designed to help any cheese producers, value-added food producers, and specialty food retail/other business managers/owners in particular. Our attendees have included both business owners and managers/team managers.  Some organizations have used it to help train existing or onboard new leaders/managers on their team, while others have attended prior to/to prepare to launch their own new businesses.  Although we have many speakers from Vermont, presenters will share information applicable to those outside of the state.

VIRTUAL & RECORDED:  All sessions are via zoom/virtual – open to attendees from any location.  Every session will be recorded and available for watching later, in case you have to miss sessions for any reason.

DATES/TIMES:  Sessions are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00 – 1:30 PM ET over 6 weeks, January 29 – March 6, 2024.

TOPICS & SPEAKERS (click here for session descriptions):

  • Understanding Financial Statements with Mark Cannella of University of Vermont Extension (M 1/29)
  • Fundamentals of Grant Writing with Rose Wilson of Rose Wilson Consulting (W 1/31)
  • Active Listening for Better Team Communications with Leanne Porter of Farm First (M 2/5)
  • Providing Effective Feedback with Amy Beth Kessinger of Community College of Vermont (W 2/7)
  • Social Media Strategy with Steve Crafts and Michael Adams of Place Creative Company (M 2/12)
  • Project Management with Louis Prue of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (W 2/14)
  • Recruiting, Onboarding, and Culture with Carla C. Wuthrich of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (M 2/19)
  • Managing and Calculating Margins through a Specialty Supply Chain with Zoe Brickley of Jasper Hill Farm (W 2/21)
  • Managing Your Team with Carla C. Wuthrich of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (M 2/26)
  • Strategies for Successful Negotiation with Amy Beth Kessinger of Community College of Vermont (W 2/28)
  • Branding: Selling Your Product Through Story with Daniel Prial of Prial Outreach Consulting (M 3/4)
  • Tools for Strategic Business Planning with Mark Cannella of University of Vermont Extension (W 3/6)

PRICING  $100 for the full 12 sessions.

A limited number of full-registration DEI, BIPOC, and financial need scholarships are available, courtesy of Cabot Creamery Cooperative/Agrimark. To apply, please submit this form. Scholarships to be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Thank you to our Marketing Partners!

Member of Partner Guilds: If you belong to one of these guilds or specialty food organization, please ask your leadership for your discount code to receive 20% off your attendee passes:

  • CHEESE GUILDS: California, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin.
  • SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS: Vermont Specialty Food Association, Vermont Retail and Grocers Association

If you would like to participate in our marketing partnerships, please email claire (at) vtcheese.com.