Incubator Farms

From the report «Are Incubator Farms the Solution to the Disappearing American Farmer?» of Thomas staff, published at Thomas.

Meanwhile there are also plenty of young professionals looking to get into the farming, the age of USA farmers in on the rise; in 2007 the USDA noted the average farmer was 57 years old.

Instead, the primary issue lies in the constraints of starting a farm: access to land, capital, and adequate training and support. To combat the issue, the farming industry has started developing incubator farms, a new model for rookie farmers to learn both farming and farm management skills.

According to the Journal of Extension, an incubator farm is “a place where people are given temporary, exclusive, and affordable access to small parcels of land and infrastructure, and often training, for the purpose of honing skills and launching farm businesses“.

Some common threads include small land plots for experimentation, equipment for tending land, and access to infrastructure for basic needs (power, water, internet, etc.). Incubator farms also bring a pre-established market presence for new farms, readily certifying their goods as locally grown and helping to increase visibility for new farmers.

Some specialized incubators provide produce washing stations, natural pesticides, and specialized harvesting tools. The most valuable benefits they provide, however, are access to land on which to test an idea and expertise in bringing the idea to fruition.

You can find more information, for example, at

Farm incubators

The Farm Incubator Toolkit