Participate in the 13th Annual Challenge for Charities by donating today through July 10!
Help Support Beginning Farmers at the Central Wyoming College Farm Incubator through the Lander Community Foundation’s Challenge for Charities!
As a community college, CWC knows what it means to be local. Through the Beginning Farmer Training program, their goal is to help aspiring and beginning farmers grow nutritious foods by developing financially and environmentally sustainable farm businesses in central Wyoming. They aim to expand employment and business opportunities in agriculture while also providing our communities with affordable and sustainable fruits, vegetables, and meat. An integral part supporting and educating beginning farmers is through the CWC Farm Incubator.
What is a farm incubator?
A farm incubator is a land-based multi-grower project that provides training and technical assistance to aspiring and beginning farmers. Like traditional business incubators, farm incubators aim to help new and beginning farm entrepreneurs establish their own successful businesses by providing specific resources and services that are difficult for start-up entrepreneurs to access on their own. With land access as a barrier to farm start-ups, the CWC Farm Incubator provides farm plots, irrigation, technical support, and mentoring for new small-scale farmers. This is such an essential resource for beginning farmers and CWC wants to ensure that this program is available for future farmers for many years to come. The money raised this year during the Lander Community Foundation’s Challenge for Charities will be used for incubator farmers to assist with start-up and operating costs for their new farm businesses.
Launched in the summer of 2022, as part of the CWC Alpine Science Institute’s Beginning Farmer Training Program, the CWC Farm Incubator provides the following resources to its participants:
- The incubator leases farm plots ranging in size from one-eighth to one-quarter acre for beginning farming students who have completed a business plan and don’t have access to their own farmland to start their business.
- Low-cost access to equipment and tools
- Low-cost access to infrastructure such as a hoop house and geodesic dome greenhouse, walk-in coolers, as well as produce washing and processing facilities
- Access to utilities like irrigation, water, and electricity.
- Create opportunities for ongoing training through workshops, classes, and field trips
- Connect participants to outside experts and/or mentor farmers
- Provide ongoing one-on-one technical assistance with all aspects of farm operation
- Help participants find and enter farmers’ markets, restaurants, and other sales markets
- Establish or support the establishment of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.
- Work with participants to develop the recordkeeping tools and skills they will need to apply for loans, grants and other sources of capital
- Assist participants with business and market planning.
In its inaugural year, the farmers with incubator plots sold their produce throughout the summer at the Lander Valley and Thermopolis Farmers’ Markets. Additionally, they sold their produce on the Eat Wyoming online farmers’ market platform and donated excess produce to the Lander Care and Share Food Bank.
We are participating again this year in the Lander Community Foundation’s annual Challenge for Charities (C4C)! With your donation, we will help incubator farmers to assist with start-up and operating costs for their new farm businesses. Will you donate to CWC Incubator Program through C4C today?
If you choose to join us in the 13th annual C4C fundraiser, fill out a donor form and designate your contribution to the organizations you choose to support. Mail a check payable to Lander Community Foundation, PO Box 1131, Lander, WY 82520 by July 10. Or donate online.
Email us at [email protected] or call 307-438-9247 if you have any questions.