Farm Incubator programs provide fertile soil* for new farmers to grow independent farm businesses.*Pun intended

Their mission is to remove intimidating start-up barriers facing new farmers, such as:

-  Access to land, equipment, business planning assistance, and market
-  Access to a community of knowledgeable growers
-  Isolation

While new farm training programs have been around for decades in the United States, sadly there are no long-term projects up and running in Australia. 
The Intervale Center in Vermont (USA) is one thriving example.

The co-operative runs 325 acres of reclaimed agricultural land, with resident farms producing fresh produce, eggs, meat, and flowers under organic principles. “Each year, between one and three new farm businesses join the program as incubators, receiving subsidized rental rates, business planning support and mentorship from established growers.”

  • Photo Credit: The Intervale CentrePC: The Intervale Center 2017

    New farms are offered five year leases at lower rates in the first three years while they establish their business brand in the marketplace. During this time, full time professional staffs provide administrative and technical support; be it with business planning or getting produce to market.

    After ‘incubatees’ five year term is up, the centre assists them to find land off-site and make it on their own. 

    The centre also leases land to 5-7 established farm businesses who acts as mentors and leaders in the agricultural community.

    To be eligible for selection, applicants present a business plan to demonstrate market opportunity for their product, and have 1-3 years farming experience but never have owned a farm.

    Established in 1990, The Intervale Center has supported the success of over 40 farms. Each year it provides over 273,000 kg of fresh produce, and contributes about 60 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs to the local economy.

    Our aspiring young farmers need something just like it…

    Check out these few: