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Thursday, October 24 • 8:30am - 9:45am
The Evolution of Two Farm Incubators in a Changing Food System

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This discussion-based session examines how two incubator farmer training programs, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and Viva Farms, have evolved to meet the needs of new and beginning farmers in a changing food system. New Entry, based in Eastern Massachusetts, began in 1998 with a focus on supporting immigrant and refugee farmers, but has since expanded both geographically and demographically establishing national networks and land-based beginning farm training programs. Viva Farms incubator and training program is in its tenth year of operation leasing 88 certified organic acres to 24 distinct farm businesses in two counties in the Puget Sound. The organization works largely with immigrant farmers and offers bilingual (English-Spanish) and accredited land-based training and marketing programs. Both Viva Farms and New Entry have established partnerships with institutions of higher education related to on-farm training in sustainable agriculture, and both are focused on market channel development with attention to wholesale and institutional outlets. Key questions for this session include: what are the challenges and opportunities in partnering with institutions of higher education? How do such partnerships influence recruitment and outreach and instructional delivery and design? How can incubator farms create learning opportunities for farmers when developing new market channels?

avatar for Kevin Cody

Kevin Cody

Farmer Training Program Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Kevin Cody is the Farmer Training Program Manager at New Entry where he develops pathways to generate and sustain new and beginning farmers. Prior to working at New Entry, Kevin was a faculty member in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Northern Colorado... Read More →

avatar for Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Director of Programs and Operations, Viva Farms
Rob has over 15 years working at the intersection of sustainable agriculture, farm business management and social advocacy. Prior to Viva Farms, he worked as a manager of Happy Boy Farms, a 400-acre, certified organic farm in California’s central coast. As Viva Farms’ Operations... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Summit Room