Incubator farms provide beginning farmers with access to land, equipment, resources, and training, similar to the way business incubators support budding entrepreneurs. Dozens are now starting up across the United States, with great diversity in philosophy, organization, and services offered.
The growth of incubator farms comes at a time when America's farmers are aging, with fewer young farmers stepping up to replace those who retire. The USDA's latest farm census, in 2007, offers dramatic evidence at opposite ends of the age spectrum: Only 54,197 American farmers are under the age of 25, compared with almost 290,000 farmers 75 and older. At the same time, farmland—including the land surrounding Charlotte—faces intense development pressure from urban sprawl.
Via Rick Passo