Aspiring Women Farmers Build Skills With Farm Incubator Project
The farm incubator and grower project (FIG), located in Valle Crucis, will host three women growers this year. According to the 2012 agriculture census, women are leaders in the local food movement. Most aren’t interested in operating large commodity farms. Rather, they tend to operate small-scale, diversified farms producing goods for direct sale as principal operators of 14% of the nation’s farms.
While women operators do own a greater percentage of their farmland, being successful enough to invest in land, equipment, and infrastructure through farming takes time. Locally, the FIG site provides low cost access to farm resources. The growers lease acreage, and have access to a shared tractor, greenhouse, washing station, a cooler, and other tools. Previous FIG farmer Matt Cooper serves as a mentor by providing advice on production, resource management, and marketing.