Example National Incubator Farms 2016-11-26T09:30:36+00:00


Incubator Farm Project: Example National Incubator Farms

There are numerous incubator farm examples across the nation, a few of which are highlighted below. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but rather a list of example incubator farms, both rural and urban, to provide information on other models across the country. A comprehensive list is being mapped through another organization. We will post a link to that information once it is available.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Dracut, Massachusetts

Brief Profile:

New_Entry_farmThe New Entry Sustainable Farming Project was initiated in 1998 by The Agriculture, Food, and Environment Program of The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University as one of the first initiatives nationwide to focus on commercial farm training for immigrants and refugees. “The mission of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (New Entry) is to assist people with limited resources who have an interest in small-scale commercial agriculture, to begin farming in Massachusetts. The broader goals of New Entry are to support the vitality and sustainability of the region’s agriculture, to build long term economic self-reliance and food security among participants and their communities, and to expand access to high-quality, culturally appropriate foods in underserved areas through production of locally-grown foods.” New Entry staff are employees of Tufts University and Community Teamwork Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit based on Lowell, Massachusetts. The New Entry farmland currently consists of approximately 25-30 acres of distributed on multiple leased sites in Lowell and Dracut, MA.

Key partners:

Are listed on their project partners website.

Key funders:

Are listed on their project funders website.

Key markets of incubating farmers:

Primarily to World PEAS Marketing Cooperative (accessing a Community Supported Agriculture Program and institutional food services/restaurants) and at farmers’ markets

The Intervale Center, Burlington, VT

Brief Profile:

Intervale_farmThe Intervale Center originates back to the late 1980s and manages 350 acres of farmland, trails, wildlife corridors, and a native plant nursery along the Winooski River in Burlington, Vermont. It is a nationally recognized center for sustainable agriculture that works to grow new farm enterprises on 25 acres of land, preserve productive agricultural land, increase access to local, organic food, and protect water quality through stream bank restoration, and share their work with others locally, nationally, and internationally.

Key partners:

Are listed on their website.

Key funding sources:

In 2009, Intervale Center reported 41% of its revenue from programs, products and services including the Intervale Food Hub and the Intervale Conservation Nursery. That same year, it reported 46% of its revenue from grants, 12% from community support, and 1% from other sources.

Key markets of incubating farmers:

  • Intervale Food Hub – aggregates, markets and distributes farm products from its 24-member farmers
  • City Market / Onion River Co-op
  • Local Restaurants
  • Local farmers’ markets

Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Salinas, CA

Brief Profile: ALBA, based in Monterrey County, California, has roots back to 1972, and was incorporated as the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association in 2001. ALBA owns and operates two educational and training farms focused on creating opportunities for socially disadvantaged, small-scale, and often immigrant farmers to grow and sell organic produce in the region. Its overall goal is “to create greater economic opportunities for small farms while promoting ecological land management and healthy local foods.”

Key partners:

Listed on their website.

Key funding sources:

Listed on their website.

Key markets of incubating farmers:

  • Farmers’ markets
  • Farm stands at schools and churches
  • ALBA Organics – licensed produce distributer

Urban and Peri-urban national incubator farm examples include:

Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, Kansas

Brief profile: Cultivate Kansas City, formerly Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, has a broad mission to be a “catalyst for the production and consumption of locally grown food in Kansas City neighborhoods.” Addressing their value of “economically viable, community based entrepreneurship” their Farm Business Development Program at Juniper Gardens helps limited resource farmers get started in new farm enterprises. Their goal in growing farmers is “to help people grow food to feed other people, as businesses and as non-profit programs, and to help these growers learn the skills they need, access the resources that are out there for them, and develop farms that are productive, sustainable and engaged with their community.”

Cleveland Urban Agriculture Incubator Pilot Project – The Kinsman Farm, Cleveland, OH

Brief Profile: The USDA, City of Cleveland, and Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service are collaborating on the development of a six-acre Urban Agriculture Incubator Pilot Project in urban Cleveland. In the 2012 season, 11 new farmers are leasing ¼ acre plots from the West Creek Preservation Committee to grow agricultural products for market.


“Cleveland adds another six-acre urban incubator farm,” by Marc Lefkowitz

“New $1.1 million program to create urban farms in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood,” by Mark Gillespie

This project was supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, grant #2010-49400-21733. To learn more about this program, and to find more resources for beginning farmers, please visit