The success of new farms is critical to our region’s working landscape, economy and communities. But many new farmers struggle to enter agriculture because of barriers to accessing land, equipment, capital, and mentorship. For over twenty years, the Intervale Center helped new farmers get their start and overcome some of these common barriers through the Farms Program.
Founded in 1990, the Farms Program was one of the oldest incubator farm programs in the United States. The Intervale Center leased land, equipment, greenhouses, irrigation and storage facilities to small independent farms. The Farms Program was designed to address some of the start-up barriers that typically challenge new farmers, such as:
* Access to land, infrastructure, business planning assistance, and markets
* Access to a community of knowledgeable growers
In 2018, the Intervale Center ended its formal farm business incubation farm program, focusing instead on its statewide farm viability work, which includes providing coaching, land access support, and business planning assistance to new farmers.
the INTERVALE FARMING COMMUNITY TODAY
The Intervale Center continues to lease land to farms in the Intervale. Each year, these farms produce fresh produce, herbs and flowers on 135 acres of land and contribute about 60 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs to the Burlington economy.
The current farms in the Intervale are:
We work with groups and individuals from around the world who want to learn about and replicate Intervale Center programs, including the Farms Program. Find out more about consulting and private tours here.