The Williams Farm Incubator Program provides access to land, training and resources to beginning farmers belonging to groups whose members have historically been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice. The goal of the program is to help these farmers hone their skills and develop independent sustainable farm businesses.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The Williams Farm Incubator Program is supported by funding through USDA’s 2501 Program, which provides outreach and assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. USDA defines this group as: American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Women and Veterans.
In addition to belonging to the above specified group, we ask that applicants have at least two years of vegetable growing experience (farming or gardening) and be in the first two years of developing their farm business.
What is Offered?
The Williams Farm is a small-scale Certified Naturally Grown urban farm located just 2 miles from downtown Athens. The farm has six oudoor plots of differing sizes available for rent, each containing 30-inch wide, 50-foot long permanent growing beds. The farm also has two covered growing spaces, each containing 4 30-inch wide, 40-foot long permanent growing beds. All growing beds have been managed as no-till for the past three years, and are well-balanced in terms of nutrition and texture. A maximum of 22 beds is available for rent per individual farmer.
The Williams Farm has a covered wash/pack facility, complete with walk-in cooler, 3-compartment wash sink, separate packing area, tool storage and restroom.
Williams Farm and ALT staff assist incubator farmers in the development of production and marketing plans, provide education and training as needed in all aspects of crop production, and connect incubator farmers to existing market channels.
What are the Costs?
Rental amounts vary depending on the number of beds required by each farmer. The maximum available rental of 22 beds is priced at $1,200/year (or $100/month).
The Williams Farm is supplied by municipal water, and each farmer is responsible for the cost of their irrigation needs. Each individual plot is set up for drip irrigation, with its own irrigation mainline and separate water meter.
Individual farmers are responsible for their own seeds, amendments and supplies. These will all need to comply with Certified Naturally Grown standards. A variety of tools and equipment is on the farm and available for use.
How Do I Apply?
If you are interested in participating in the Williams Farm Incubator Program, please fill out the application form in the sidebar or click here. If you have any questions, please contact: Seth Nivens – firstname.lastname@example.org.