Monday, July 7, 2014

Incubators Aren't Just for Business... Farm Incubator Programs

We've done features on business incubators, and food business incubators, but did you know that there are farm incubators, too?  Various programs have popped up to start new farmers in the business with  (small) grants of funds, land (leased), and consultation and training to help urban farmers get a good start. 

For instance, the city of Cleveland, Ohio has a Gardening for Greenbacks program that gives grants of up to $3000 for those who go through the market garden training program, or have contracts for produce, or a member of a farmer's coop or a community supported agricultural program.  For more information, contact Jennifer Scofield at 216.664.4310.

The nearby Kinsman Farm leases out quarter acre lots to newbie farmers and mentors them and helps them develop business plans.  In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Tilian Center provides quarter acre lots with access to equipment and consultation to help them get their feet wet in farming.

For the closest thing to a national directory of farm incubators, try this searchable website provided by the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative.   

They warn that it's not being updated, but it is as close to a directory as we can find.  You might also try googling the phrase "farm incubators" and the name of your state.  

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