Meet our 2015 Incubator Farmers!
Most new farmers did not grow up on farms, and as such, they often lack access to land, equipment, capital, and training. The goals of the Seed Farm Ag Incubator are to break these barriers to farm entry and to provide new farm businesses with a successful foundation.
The Seed Farm Ag Incubator provides new farmers with the opportunity to start their own farm businesses with reduced risk and significant mentorship support. Land, infrastructure and equipment are available at reduced rental rates.
The incubator program is available to new farmers who can demonstrate adequate farming experience, equipment experience, and solid marketing and business plans. Successful applicants farm as either Stewards or Enterprise farmers at The Seed Farm. Steward farmers have just recently completed farm apprenticeships or internships, and they benefit from frequent mentoring from Seed Farm staff and other area farmers. Enterprise farmers have a few more years of experience under their belts, and can assume a mentoring role on the farm.
Resources available to incubator farmers include:
- 1-3 acres of land;
- cooler, greenhouse, and dry storage space;
- tractor and implements;
- wash/pack facilities;
- water and irrigation system.
The Seed Farm staff is on hand to assist new farmers with developing effective production and marketing techniques, and solving with weed, pest, and other problems, as they arise. Monthly “farm update” meetings between the Program Director and all incubator farmers facilitate information- and idea-sharing, a critical component in building an effective learning community.
Applications to join the Incubator in 2016 will be considered starting in the summer of 2015. Please contact Amy Cook, Program Director, if you are interested in applying.