ITHACA, NY – The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is extremely pleased
to announce that the Park Foundation has generously pledged $15,000 to help launch
Groundswell’s Farm Enterprise Incubator. The Incubator, located at EcoVillage at Ithaca,
will help provide new farmers with the land and the support they need to start their own farm
enterprises.
“There is a completely new generation of beginning farmers in our region who would like
to provide our families, children, and the community with healthy, sustainably-grown food.
However, these new farmers face a lot of challenges in accessing the land, resources, and
learning experiences that are necessary to launch productive enterprises,” says Devon Van
Noble, Groundswell Incubator Development Coordinator. “We would like to thank the Park
Foundation for recognizing the importance of practical opportunities for beginning farmers to
learn not only how to sustainably farm, but how to manage and grow a sustainable business.”
A “Farm Incubator” is a land-based training program that provides beginning farmers with a
low-risk, high-support avenue to try out a new agricultural venture. The Groundswell Farm
Enterprise Incubator will offer affordable land, water, fencing, tractor services, and business
development support to beginning farmers in our area. This year, the Park Foundation’s
funding will help jump-start development of the on-site and organizational infrastructure of the
Incubator.
“As farmers, we can provide valuable apprenticeships to potential new farmers, but the Farm
Enterprise Incubator project will give them the opportunity to use what they have learned and
gain their own experience,” says Michael Glos of Kingbird Farm, one of Groundswell’s Mentor
Farmers. “It’s great to see the Park Foundation and other community members driving this
project forward.”
The Park Foundation’s support marks the second major grant Groundswell has received in the
past two years. Since its inception in 2009, Groundswell has grown tremendously, launching
the 8-week TC3 Groundswell Summer Practicum, the Finger Lakes CRAFT and the Ithaca Crop
Mob in 2010. A major 3-year grant from the USDA allowed Groundswell to develop its New
Farmer Training Program to provide further on-farm training opportunities to aspiring farmers in
2011. The Park Foundation’s grant, along with other community support, will make it possible
for Groundswell to launch another crucial beginning farmer pathway, the Farm Enterprise
Incubator.
“This generous grant represents a challenge to the community to find additional innovative ways
to support beginning farmers as they grow through the incubator program and develop their
businesses in our community,” says Krys Cail, local convener of the Central NY Slow Money
Group. It is essential that the incubation of new agricultural ventures be a truly “communitysupported”
process, and Groundswell hopes that all members of our community will take an
active role in providing for the long-term food security of our region. If you or your business
are interested in helping Groundswell develop the Farm Enterprise Incubator, please visit our
website at www.groundswellcenter.org.
Groundswell is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education/Center for
Transformative Action. Support for Groundswell comes from individuals and businesses who
believe in the importance of strong local food systems, and from the Beginning Farmer and
Rancher Development Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture-USDA, Grant
#2010-49400-21799. For more information, visit www.groundswellcenter.org.

Are you an aspiring farmer or market gardener? Check out Groundswell’s sustainable agriculture education programs at www.groundswellcenter.org!

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