California Farm Incubator Expanding

California Farm Academy to Boost the Farm Business Incubator Program - Beginning farmers will see more resources to support their new farm businesses

(WINTERS, CA) — The Center for Land-Based Learning’s beginning farmer training program, the California Farm Academy, has received a $50, 000 grant from the Orchard Hill Family Fund to support program alumni in finding and developing markets for their crops. "We are honored and delighted that the Orchard Hill Family Fund shares our values and supports our goals of training, mentoring and providing access to land and markets for beginning farmers in northern California,” says Jennifer Taylor, California Farm Academy Director.

The funds will provide one-on-one technical assistance, group workshops, and indepth market development and increased support to the California Farm Academy farm business incubator participants. The farm business incubator program provides beginning farmers an opportunity to get started farming by breaking down the barriers new farmers often face: access to land, equipment and technical support. The program assists with low-cost land leases, infrastructure support such as equipment, mentoring, introduction to markets and peer to peer support.

“This is a huge opportunity for Land-Based Learning to expand our farm business incubator program”, said Mary Kimball, executive director for the Center for LandBased Learning. “We are thrilled to be able to provide this level of support to our graduates by helping them implement their business plans and realize their dreams of making a living in the farming profession”. A part-time marketing coordinator will be hired to identify and build relationships with prospective direct, retail and wholesale markets for the beginning farmers, building on the Center for Land-Based Learning’s solid reputation for performance and success.

The Orchard Hill Family Fund supports nonprofit 501(c)(3)organizations working to develop healthy, local and sustainable food systems in California and, very selectively, in developing communities abroad.

### The Center for Land-Based Learning was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to creating the next generation of farmers and to teaching California’s youth about the importance of agriculture and watershed conservation. Combining innovative hands-on experience with classroom learning, participants in CLBL’s many programs develop leadership skills, learn how sustainable agriculture practices contribute to a healthier ecosystem, and create connections to agricultural, environmental, and food system careers.

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