Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative Events

  • GIS to host Farm to Fork event at Manufacturing Day - On October 3rd, Golisano Institute for Sustainability will host a Farm to Fork Solutions Forum focused on helping inform and promote food and beverage manufacturing companies in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region of New York State. The event is part of the nationwide Manufacturing Day 2014 celebration, and is being conducted by FuzeHub, a statewide initiative to grow New York State manufacturing companies. Two GIS research centers, the Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, will also participate in the Solutions Forum. “GIS has enthusiastically supported the Farm to Fork movement by leading the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative and working with our region’s agricultural industry in related activities that help promote job growth, sustainability, and economic development,” said RIT Associate Provost and GIS Director, Dr. Nabil Nasr. “We are proud to participate and very excited to host this important Solutions Forum event at RIT during Manufacturing Day.” The Farm to Fork Solutions Forum will be held at RIT from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Manufacturing companies can register to attend by visiting FuzeHub.
  • Food Processing Training Certificate Program - Genesee County Economic Development Center, Genesee Community College, and Rochester Institute of Technology are offering an intensive two-week training program to be held at GCC from September 15–26, 2014, with classes from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Classes will be delivered by GCC, RIT and Cornell. Successful program participants will receive a Certificate in Food Processing which will enhance their employability and/or opportunity to pursue advanced degrees. The training program is being funded by an Area Development grant obtained by the Genesee County Economic Development Center from the National Fuel Gas Corporation with additional financial support from the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative—funded by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. Deadline for registering for this program is August 27, 2014. For more information and/or application form, click here.
  • New Food Processing AAS program at Genesee Community College - GCC is launching a new associate in applied science degree this fall in Food Processing Technology. The program meets the increasing demand for skilled workers in Western New York's food manufacturing industry. GCC invites people considering a career in Food Processing to come to the Batavia campus for a Career Exploratory Event on September 4, 2014 from noon to 2 p.m. This session will be held in the GCC's William W. Stuart Forum. for more information, see the news release here.
  • MCC Agriculture and Food Studies Student Profiled in Country Folks - Monroe Community College student Dan Contestabile's experiences in the college's Agriculture and Food Studies certificate program is the focus on a feature news article published in the July 28, 2014, issue of Country Folks magazine. The article describes how Contestabile became interested in the program, which is funded by a grant secured by the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, his summer internship at a fruit farm in nearby Ogden, NY., and his future plans. An online copy of the copyrighted Country Folks article, made available by the kind permission of Lee Publications, can be viewed here. For more information on the Agriculture and Food Studies program, see the MCC website page here.
  • Cornell Dairy Foods Extension and NYATEP Host Workforce Development Summit - On April 29, 2014, the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension and NY's Workforce Development Agency - NYATEP (NY Association for Training and Employment Professionals) teamed up to host the first Food and Beverage Processing Workforce Development Summit at Finger Lakes Community College. The conference objective was to address the challenge facing food manufacturers of sourcing and recruiting qualified employees at all levels of the workforce. A report on the conference is available in the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension Newsletter; view a copy of the rewsletter here.
  • How to Reduce Wasted Food: EPA's Food Waste Reduction Tools for Food Services & Restaurants (webinar) - Provides step-by-step instructions to conducting a one-time assessment of the food waste thrown away in garbage bins. This webinar program will review instructional outreach materials useful for facilities new to food audits and for those who wish to better understand their current food waste management practices. May 15, 2014, noon-1:30 pm CDT. (click here for more information and to register). Materials to be discussed include: Food Waste Assessment Tools (click here for more information); Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool (click here for more information); Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants (click here for more information).
  • Upstate NY Trade Conference - Leading experts will discuss best practices in international trade, including Export Controls (ITAR/EAR), Food & Beverage Export, Resources Building Effective Distribution Channels, International Payments & Trade Finance, EX-IM Bank Financing, International Marketing, Incoterms®, Foreign-Trade Zones, and International Strategy. The Lunch Keynote presentation, "Global Economic Outlook" will be delivered by Dr. Jay Bryson, Managing Director and Global Economist at Wells Fargo and regular contributor to Bloomberg. Thursday, June 19, 2014; The Strong, National Museum of Play, One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 14607. Click here for the conference flier, and here to register for the event.
  • Crisis Management for Consumer Businesses - Consumer-oriented businesses today face major reputational risks when a crisis hits. Especially in the food & beverage sector. News of an environmental contamination, unfair global trade practice, food safety recall, sexual harassment lawsuit or government investigation can directly impact their brand and customer loyalty. That’s why it’s so important for executives to anticipate these issues and have a roadmap in place for managing them. Join Nixon Peabody’s Food, Beverage & Agriculture group for a primer on effectively managing a crisis while preserving consumer confidence and brand equity. Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.; Nixon Peabody LLP, 1300 Clinton Square, Rochester, NY 14604. Register online here. For more information, contact Amy Drysdale at

  • Sustainability in Food Processing Workshop - A no-cost interactive workshop designed to share cost minimization, process optimization and sustainability best practices for food processors. Learn how local companies are implementing sustainability practices to improve their bottom line and reduce their environmental footprint. Company representatives and NYS Pollution Prevention Institute engineers will present case studies of current projects and share information. Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Rochester Institute of Technology, Slaughter Hall/Building 78 – CIMS Conference Center. The workshop is being offered at no cost, but registration is required. Reserve your spot by calling (585) 475-2512 or emailing by June 11. A brochure describing the workshop can be downloaded here. Click here for the workshop presentation.
  • NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program (AEEP) - Applications for the AEEP program are now being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis through December 1, 2015 by 5:00 PM Eastern Time or until funds are exhausted. AEEP offers assistance in identifying and implementing electric and natural gas energy efficiency measures to eligible farms and on-farm producers, including but not limited to: orchards, dairies, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. Farms must contribute to the Systems Benefit Charge (SBC). Under AEEP, you may apply for an energy audit, project incentives, or both. For more information on AEEP, refer to the Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 2644, which is available here.
  • Food Processing Training Program - Applications for the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Food Processing Training Program are available now. The deadline for submitting applications is April 15, 2013. Applications are available at the Genesee County Career Center, 587 East Main Street, Suite 100, East Town Plaza, Batavia, NY 14020. Applicants will need to complete a Customer Registration Form at the Genesee County Career Center as well as submit an up-to-date resume, and, if required, participate in a math/reading test and a follow-up interview. The training program, developed by GCEDC, GCC, RIT, FLFPCI, and Cornell University, will benefit the area’s existing food processing companies. It will also prepare a workforce for companies in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
  • MCC Agriculture and Life Science Institute - December Update - From Monroe Community College's partnership in the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative to helping towns throughout Monroe County develop farmland protection plans, the Agriculture and Life Science Institute is expanding educational opportunities and impacting local agricultural economic development. Click here to read the latest ALSI "Agricultural Update" newsletter.
  • Exporting: Opportunities for Market Expansion - A FLFCPI interactive workshop specially designed for food processors and producers in the 9-county Finger Lakes region interested in expanding their market base outside of the U.S. Topics include: Intro to the Mechanics of Exporting; Global Opportunities for Food Cluster Businesses; Sustainable Supplier Opportunities; Exporting Experiences of NYS Business Owners; State and Federal Resources Available. The workshop was held on November 9, 2012. 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Rochester Institute of Technology. Click here for the workshop presentation.
  • DOL's Seth Harris discusses FLFPCI at RIT - U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris visited the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology on May 21 to learn more about the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative from the program team. Harris also met with local businesspeople and educators on job creation and economic growth opportunities in the Finger lakes region. Click here to see a photo story on the event by RIT news; a local media story on Harris' visit is available here.

Finger Lakes Food Processing Related Events

  • Food Processing Career Exploratory Event - September 4, 2014. Genesee Community College, Batavia Campus, 1 College Rd., Batavia, NY 14020. (click here for more information)
  • Food Processing Training Certificate Program - September 15–26, 2014. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Deadline for registering is August 27, 2014. Genesee Community College, Batavia Campus, 1 College Rd., Batavia, NY 14020. (click here for more information)
  • New York State Association for Food Protection 91st Annual Conference - September 16-18, 2014. Doubletree Hotel, 6301 State Route 298, E. Syracuse, NY, 13057. (click here for more information)
  • Northeast Dairy Convention - September 21-23, 2014. Heritage Hills Golf Resort, 2700 Mt. Rose Ave., York, PA 17402. (click here for more information)
  • Farm to Fork Solutions Forum for NYS Manufacturers - October 3, 2014. Rochester Institute of Technology, 133 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623. (click here for more information)
  • Associated New York State Food Processors Annual Meeting - October 5-7, 2014, 41 Lake Front Dr., Geneva, NY 14456. (click here for more information)
  • High Temperature Short Time Pasteurizer Short Course - October 14-16, 2014. This 2.5 day course provides instruction on the operation and regulatory requirements for HTST pasteurization. It includes hands-on exercises and demonstrations designed to give participants practical skills in HTST system testing. The course meets the training requirement for dairy plant employees who participate in the NY State HTST Broken Seal Program. It also fulfills the pasteurization course requirement (alternative to vat pasteurization workshop) for the Dairy Foods Extension Certificate Programs The workshop can be taken as a stand-alone training program. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (click here for more information)
  • Advanced Cheese Making Workshop - October 14-16, 2014. The course will cover milk components and advanced chemistry of cheese-making, cheese styles and standards of identity, cheese defects during process and affinage, and a PhD taught lecture-style course. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (click here for more information)
  • National Milk Producers Federation 2014 Annual Meeting - October 27-29, 2014, Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051. (click here for more information)
  • New York School Nutrition Association 63rd Annual Conference - October 31-November 2, 2014. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. (click here for more information)
  • 34th IACSC Conference & Expo - November 6-9, Boca Raton Resort, 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. (click here for more information)
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association Winter Conference - January 23-25, 2015. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. (click here for more information)
  • American Frozen Food Institute-Con - Feb. 21-25, 2015. Hilton Anaheim, 777 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802. (click here for more information)