Rose Wilson Consulting LLC
Serving the farm and food community since 2004
Rose Wilson is a leading business planner in the farm and food sector. Since founding her company in 2004, she has worked with over 350 farms and food producers, helping with business launch, expansion, and exit; enterprise analysis; and market development. Rose is also an excellent grant writer and has secured more than $4 million in financing and grant funding for her clients.
Rose's clients range from national NGO’s such as Healthcare Without Harm, to state agencies and organizations including Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Maine Farmland Trust, to established companies such as CROPP/Organic Valley, emerging brands such as Kingdom Creamery of Vermont, and small, mid and large scale farms of all varieties. Rose brings a broad set of hard and soft skills to each client and project, and puts her clients first.
In addition to serving individual clients Rose immerses herself in improving the overall farm and food economy through regional research on the feasibility of new crops, services and sales channels. Her most recent research, the Local Food Wholesale Market Assessment & Industry Update was published by NOFA VT in November 2019. Rose is an experienced presenter, and has led numerous workshops on business life cycle and strategic planning. She is also a member of the NOFA VT Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Board, the Vermont Farm Fund Advisory Board, and the Vermont First Advisory Board.
Business & Strategic Planning
Making your ideas come to life
Creating a road map for what you are trying to do, answering the who, how, what's to provide you with an implementation and financial plan to follow and to use as a review tool to benchmark your progress.
Sussing out your market potential
Who is your target market? How large is it? What will they pay? How frequently will they purchase? What messages resonate and how to reach them? These are the questions I help to answer in Market Development.
Feasibility Studies & Enterprise Analysis
Will this idea work?
Testing out your ideas for logistical and financial viability and the potential to achieve your desired results.
Business Valuation, Exit & Succession Planning
What is my business worth? What is my exit plan?
Helping businesses assess the market value for their business and plan for what comes next.
Writing grants is hard and can be intimidating!
Rose has an 85% success rate helping her clients secure national, regional and local funding, totaling $4 million in funding to date. Will you be next?
Rose is one of the smartest business people I've ever dealt with and has a totally different way of looking at things and an amazingly good attitude. She's easy and fun to work with. She just looks from angles that we wouldn't think to look at or has different approaches to the same problem that we've been trying to deal with. She'll come up with several different new options right off the top of her head and that's been the biggest thing, why we've clicked with her so well.
Mike Bowen, North Hollow Farm
By now I am hoping you have heard of our success. The grant has been granted, nothing was take for granted on this end or yours as you granted us your expertise and dedication and full attention, to get the grant granted. Granted that I never expected to be granted the grant, I am never the less grateful that it was granted. Actually, it should be granted that I am actually really excited, jumping up and down and all that silly stuff. Nothing like this has ever happened to me, or us. Boy, wow, I mean, granted this is unbelievable, I am pinching me to make use reality hasn’t been granted to someone else. But those pinches hurt, so I have to grant this is real.
And we all here at Stonewood Farm, grant you great hugs and thanks.
Paul, Stonewoood Farm
Thank you from the bottom of my heart--for all the reshaping rewriting and editing in the biz plan introduction, as well as your razor sharp work through out. I couldn't begin to pull this together without you.
Liz Guenther, Three Cow Creamery
Portfolio of Work
In addition to serving individual clients Rose immerses herself in improving the overall farm and food economy through regional research on the feasibility of new crops, services and sales channels and teaching workshops. A sampling of Rose's recent research and workshops can be found below.
A UVM Extension Ag Engineering podcast featuring Rose Wilson
The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode, we talk with Rose Wilson about online sales and their long term plan for your farm.
Visit the show notes for photos, videos or relevant links at http://agengpodcast.com
Local Food Wholesale Market Assessment
The global food industry, including the local food category, is dynamic and rapidly changing. Over the past 20 years the local food category has evolved from an emerging to a maturing market, with wholesale becoming an increasingly dominant sales channel for this category. This report, commissioned by NOFA-VT in collaboration with the Farm to Plate Network, documents major trends in the shifting retail and institutional wholesale channels for local food, with a focus on produce, proteins, and dairy. The report also documents general practices and expectations when operating within wholesale.
Research involved interactions and interviews with buyers, distributors, and suppliers based in the Northeast, and information gathered from industry conferences and third-party research. This report serves to inform suppliers, and identify areas of strategic alignment for service providers hoping to support suppliers selling into wholesale. It provides an introduction to the tools and information suppliers need to survive and thrive in wholesale. It also provides the broader food system community a greater understanding of how wholesale operates, and how it is impacting, supporting, and altering the viability, sustainability, and make-up of our local food system.
Funding for the Local Foods Wholesale Market Assessment was provided by John Merck Fund and the Farm to Plate Network. Prepared by Rose Wilson Consulting LLC for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and the Farm to Plate Network
An Online Guide for Regional Producers
Have you considered growing kiwiberry (aka hardy kiwi)? If so, there is a brand new resource full of excellent local knowledge that can help you succeed. Dr. Iago Hale’s lab has just released their regional kiwiberry production guide and enterprise analysis, and it is available online for free.
A Production Manual & Enterprise Viability Guide for Vermont and the Northeast
This guide came about in response to farmers and landowners expressing interest in non-traditional specialty crops as a means of diversifying their enterprises, or as a potential source of income from marginal lands. The interest seems to follow the fruit’s reputation for high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial nutritional properties, and its ability to grow in heavier soils and floodplains. With this in mind, this guide is directed towards people with an interest in growing elderberry for profit, and is intended to help them determine if elderberry is the right commercial crop for them.
However, there is also much information that will be of use to backyard gardeners and people who want to make elderberry-based products for their friends and family. Because elderberry has traditionally been harvested from the wild and not cultivated on a large scale, little is known about its potential as a commercial crop. We hope this guide will help share what is known about elderberry and may stimulate additional research on this interesting crop for the Northeast.
Successful Marketing Campaigns That Reach Consumers
This video of the presentation and resources are from the intensive workshop, Cutting Through the Noise: Successful Marketing Campaigns That Reach Customers, given by Jean Hamilton and Rose Wilson at the March 2018 VT Farmers Market Conference. If you find yourself asking: What marketing is best if I just want to increase my market's sales? These resources are for you. These guides take you through the steps of creating a customer-centered marketing campaign for your farmers market. Breaking down the essential components of a marketing plan, these tools will help you develop a deeper understanding of your customers, design goals and metrics to evaluate the success of your campaigns, and prompt you to get your marketing creativity flowing.
Research undertaken to update Vermont on the market for grass-fed, grass-finished Vermont beef.
This research was undertaken to update Vermont on the market for grass-fed, grass-finished Vermont beef. The study explored the scale and nature of the current market, and sought to identify key challenges and opportunities through interviewing seven meat aggregators and distributors and Vermont’s largest institutional buyer, Sodexo. Aggregators and distributors interviewed included: Black River Meats located in VT, Northeast Family Farms (Dole & Bailey) located in MA, Hardwick Beef located in CT, Pineland Farms Natural Meats located in ME, Adirondack Grazers (ADK) located in NY, Slope Farms LLC located in NY, and Fleishers Craft Butchery located in NY.
Feasibility Study for Commercial Hop Production in New England
Research project to study the economic and logistic feasibility of commercial hop production in New England.
This report has determined that is feasible to grow a commercial hop crop in New England:
A. There is sufficient demand from the brewing community to support a minimum of 100 acres in production.
B. There is sufficient price point elasticity to afford producers an ability to generate a profit, and a reasonable time frame for return on investment.
C. The information, technology, and equipment now exist for smaller scale, 1‐10 acre commercial hop operations.
D. Aside from potential limitations of topsoil depth to bedrock, New England’s
growing climate and conditions are well suited to hop production.
Storage and Distribution Report for Local Food in the Northeast Kingdom
The objectives of this study are to collect data on the distribution and storage of food in the NEK: Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties; to assess the need for increased storage and distribution alternatives; and to identify opportunities to address these needs. The goal is to optimize access to markets for local producers.
A significant volume of the region’s producers are actively delivering and storing product. One third of producers have participated in collaborative efforts in the past, and two thirds of those producers felt the collaboration had been successful. In addition to traditional distribution and collaboration models, such as working with a third party /distributor/ who also markets a producer's products, OR /delivering/ one’s own products in a personal vehicle) producers are using and could benefit from more awareness of perhaps lesser known delivery options, including shared-use models and freight service. Perhaps most significant need is increased awareness of the services, infrastructure and opportunities for collaboration on storage, aggregation and distribution that already exist. To address this gap in awareness, the first step is to designate an entity to champion this cause by serving as a central hub for accumulating and disseminating information, and most importantly, providing leadership and support for growth and innovation among producers and delivery/distribution service providers.
Northeast Kingdom Agricultural Transportation Feasibility Study
This Agricultural Transportation Feasibility Study is an outcome of the Storage and Distribution Report for Local Food in the Northeast Kingdom (2016) which is part of a substantive five-year update to the Regional Food System Plan for the Northeast Kingdom.
The goal of this study is to assess the feasibility of freight service and shared-use delivery vehicle business models. Affordable and accessible delivery and distribution mechanisms have been key barriers to growth for the region’s producers. Among other insights, the study found that the average Total Cost of Ownership of a refrigerated box truck using observed Vermont data for 1 to 2-truck fleet operations averaged $1.30 per mile with annual usage of 20,000-30,000 miles per truck. Leasing trucks should be considered when miles per truck are above 15,000 per year or if Total Cost of Ownership is above the observed average $1.30 per mile.
Mill Feasibility Study
An Evaluation to Determine the Feasibility of a Multi-Purpose Grain Processing Facility in Vermont.
The objective of this feasibility study is to provide an overview of processing infrastructure needs and challenges, and offer potential solutions and practical advice. It is to provide an example of the investment and infrastructure required to build a mill sized and scaled appropriately for Vermont, offer sources for the equipment and professionals required for build out, demonstrate what it might cost to operate such a mill including pay price to growers, discuss pricing and markets, and establish whether there would be a market for the product, and the possible feasibility of such a venture.