Food and Beverage Boot Camp Coming This Winter

Tera Johnson

MONROE – Do you own a food, beverage or value-added farm business that’s poised for growth but needs some help getting to the next level? Is your business struggling to turn a profit – you know things need to change, but you’re just not sure how to do it?

Green County Development Corporation is hosting an intensive, four-day Boot Camp for owners of food, beverage or value-added farm businesses this winter. Tera Johnson, founder and director of the Food and Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin, will lead participants through morning training sessions, then along with other consultants, work one-on-one with participants to help fix problems and move forward to implement solutions.

The boot camp is specifically designed to focus on the strategic and detailed financial side of business. It helps participants focus on areas that frequently get set aside, and walks them through each step with individual coaching. By participating in the boot camp, food business owners can expect:

  • A clear, realistic business model path that they can articulate to anyone
  • Financial systems and reports that stand up to bank and investor scrutiny
  • A credible business plan with realistic assumptions for future growth
  • A digital financial package that can be shared with stakeholders to support fundraising

The program includes four full-day sessions. All sessions will be held at the Enterprise Center at the north end of Blackhawk Technical College Monroe Campus.

Sessions are:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 15 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 16 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 19 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Johnson draws on personal experience in helping small business owners. She founded TerasWhey a decade ago when she had an idea to reclaim some of the organic whey she saw being mixed in with nonorganic whey for animal feed and process it into powdered protein supplements for human consumption. In 2008, she built a “green” plant in Reedsburg to process the organic whey. In 2010, TerasWhey was named the Innovator of the Year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. By 2013, TerasWhey was such a success, Johnson sold it for $26 million.

Johnson is also host of the Edible-Alpha podcast which discusses a variety of topics relevant to food and beverage entrepreneurs.

Apply Today

The cost for the four Boot Camp sessions, including lunch, snacks and all materials, as well as one-on-one feedback from Johnson, is $750. A second person from a business may attend the class for no additional charge.

Class size is limited, and interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to the program as soon as possible. Call Green County Development Corporation for more information at 608.328.9452 or email gcdc@tds.net.

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Click here to read more about the Boot Camp program or

see Johnson in a video clip discuss Boot Camp.