Beginning Farmer Incubator Project

Why Incubators?

With roughly half of US Farmland changing ownership due to retirement of a whole generation of farmers over the next two decades, there are very limited opportunities for aspiring farmers to enter a program that trains, allows land access and introduces them to diverse markets to sell their products. FGF’s program is unique in the way it provides Beginning Farmers (BF) with a low-risk entry into a career in farming. With strategic partnerships throughout the Bay Area and our deep multi-generational connections to the Brentwood farming community, we have crafted a three-year program that offers land access, provides in-depth training in crop production, provides education on marketing and distribution and teaches aspiring farmers the business planning skills necessary for a sustainable small-scale specialty crop business.

Over the past two years, FGF has hosted and educated over 100 farm explorers with aspirations of becoming farmers.

During 2015, First Generation Farmers joined forces with the Farmers Veterans Coalition to host veteran beginning farmer, Jose Ortega. His ambition and passion inspired us to craft a program geared to assist veterans in pursuing a career in farming. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts between 10% and 20% of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Farming provides a tranquil setting, therapeutic assets and is also a viable career.

The Farmer Incubator goals will be accomplished through hands-on field training, expert farm mentoring, market exploration, social media basics, demonstrations, one-on-one consulting, biannual outcome reviews and brand building. Beginning Farmers of this program will enjoy a full-farm immersion experience with our onsite farm-living accommodations, communal lunches and dinners, fun weekly group discussions, peer-to-peer partnerships, shared love of the land and an overall collective concern in developing the next generation of farmers.

Farm Explorers
6 month intership onsite alongside FGF

3-Year Incubator Program

Year 1

  • Business Plan & Budget

  • Crop Planning

  • Pest Management

  • Basic Organic Practices

  • Irrigation

  • Basic Record Keeping

  • Post Harvest Handling

  • Food Safety

All upfront land & start-up costs are covered by FGF

Year 2

  • Direct & Wholesale Avenues

  • Marketing

  • Biodynamic & Ecology Practices

  • Water Conservation & Management

  • Tractor & Implement Use

Year 3

  • Enterprise Budgeting

  • Risk Management

  • Regulatory Compliance

  • Socially Just Food Practices

  • Conservation Practices

  • Obtaining Loans, Insurance & Permits

  • Obtaining Business Structure & Possible Incorporation

FGF Provides...
  • Spring/Fall plowing

  • Field scale fertility and organic pH applications

  • Sanitary facilities

  • Access to irrigation and electricity

  • Fall cover crop seed

  • Field trainings

  • Greenhouses

  • Storage sheds

  • Small equipment

  • Produce wash stations

  • Onsite living accomodations

Current Incubators