Farm Incubator Opportunities

Roots & Fruits Farm Incubator Program is a two-year program that builds a close working relationship among the Incubator Farmers, Farmer Mentors, local farmer groups, landholders, and Roots & Fruits Market & Cafe. We invest an extraordinary amount of resources and support in our Incubator Farmers, and participation in the program is limited.

Volunteering1

We are currently seeking proposals for the 2018-2020 season

Jump-start your farm business on the Front Porch of North Carolina! Are you looking for a low-risk entry point for your organic and biologically intensive farm practice? Join us in our campaign to re-imagine human-scale food systems. Together we will empower through education and build an inspiring community through food.

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Program Benefits

  • Use of 1/4 acre of farmland at the Roots & Fruits Farm for two years
  • Access to equipment and tools, irrigation, fencing, storage shed, greenhouse, and tunnels
  • Direct selling through our existing market & restaurant
  • Access to the Black Mountain Farmer’s Market
  • A seat on the WNC Chapter of the Young Farmers board of directors
  • A series of field training workshops
  • Participation in Organic Growers School CRAFT program
  • Individual on-site mentoring from experienced organic farmers
  • One-on-one assistance with business planning, management, and marketing
  • A supportive community network of farmers and food citizens

To apply, please complete and submit an application form. Applications must include a business proposal, a two-year projected budget, and an assets and liabilities sheet. In-person interviews with the Selection Committee at Roots & Fruits will be held in July.

What should my business proposal for my application include?

Your business proposal should outline the business you hope to start through the Farm Business Incubator. The outline below covers the main topics that should be included in your
business proposal. You can also view our sample business proposal, and sample five-year projected budget. Please contact rootsandfruitsmarket@gmail.com with any questions about creating your business proposal.

Information to include in your business proposal:

Background
Specifically around agricultural experience. This should be accompanied by an attached resume. Touch on why you want to start your own business and if you have any experience running your own business.

Why
Describe why you want to start your own farm business and why are you have chosen your particular enterprise(s).

How
Describe basic farming practices you plan to use, the scale of your operation, if you will be obtaining any certifications or why not, etc.

Labor
Explain if, when, and how you plan to have additional labor employed by your farm business.

Off-Farm Work
Detail if and for how long you plan to have off-farm work in starting your farm business, and provide any details you may have about what this work will be.

Marketing
How do you plan to sell your product? This can be at a brainstorming stage, or marketing connections already made.

Land and Shared Equipment Needs
A year-by-year outline of how much vegetable land, storage space, and shared equipment use your business will require each year. Also a basic idea of how much and what type of land you would desire on your permanent farming site.

What are some resources that might help me to create my business proposal?
ATTRA’s Agricultural Business Planning Templates and Resources website lists many helpful resources. Agricultural Marketing Resource Center also has a wonderful resource site for business plans.

*Note that the Incubator application asks for a business proposal not a formal business plan. You can reference the sample business proposal for the information requested in your business proposal.

What should my “assets and liabilities sheet” include?
An assets and liabilities sheet is also often referred to as a “balance sheet.” It should list all of your current assets (savings account, any cars, land, homes, or other large items owned, any money you currently have invested in stock, bonds, retirement fund, etc), and all of your current liabilities (loans you have taken out, mortgages, car payments, credit card balances and any debt you have). You can find an assets and liabilities template here.

What if I want to apply with a business partner?
If you are planning on running your farm business with a business partner, you must complete a joint application. You will each need to fill out your own application form (indicating that you are applying with another applicant), and can submit a single, shared business proposal.

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(c) 2012 || www.studiomathewes.com/blog

Program Costs

  • Participation Fee: $250 per month
  • Equipment Fee: Included
  • Additional Farm Services: Variable

For more information about Incubator Fees contact rootsandfruitsmarket@gmail.com

Who Can Apply?

  • All aspiring farmers are welcome to apply to the Incubator Program.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated farming experience, such as prior experience in their country of origin, on-farm employment, internships, participation in farm education programs, or similar training experiences.
  • Applicants must have a clear farm business concept and a commitment to developing a commercial farming enterprise, not just production for home use.

Apply to the Farm Incubator Program

What if I want to submit my application on paper, rather than digitally?

You can do so by printing out two copies of all requested materials (application form and business proposal, including a five-year projected budget) and mail to the following address:

Roots & Fruits
Attn: Farm Incubator Program
151 S. Ridgeway Avenue
Black Mountain, NC 28711