Monday, October 6, 2014

HV Farm Business Incubator picks first participants

Glynwood, an agricultural nonprofit organization dedicated to ensure the success of farming in the Hudson Valley, today announced the inaugural class of participants in the Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator.

The Incubator is a supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Claneil Foundation, the Cornelius King Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Hunter Grubb Foundation, the Gary Saltz Foundation, and the Zegar Family Foundation.

The inaugural recipients are Ferdinand's Farm, Four Legs Farm and Community Compost Company. The three businesses will begin their operations at the Incubator, located on 330 acres of farmland in the Mohonk Preserve Foothills outside of New Paltz, Ulster County, early in 2015.

In the announcement, Glynwood President Kathleen Frith explained, "The Incubator, a landmark collaboration with the Open Space Institute, provides the tools and resources agricultural entrepreneurs need to develop viable farm businesses in the Hudson Valley, including training in sustainable farming practices, business mentoring, and access to land, capital, housing and shared equipment.

"When their businesses have matured to the point of self-sufficiency, Glynwood will assist Incubator participants in securing permanent land in the region on which they can continue to operate their business. Through the Incubator, Glynwood will be ushering in a new generation of profitable, conservation-oriented farm entrepreneurs while bringing more preserved farmland into production and investing in farm communities across the region."

Here's a rundown of the three recipients:

Ferdinand's Farm will be a diversified farming operation that produces eggs, honey, culinary herbs and edible flowers. Founder Lily Dougherty-Johnson has been farming in the Northeast for two years, first apprenticing at North Plain and Blue Hill Farms in Western Massachusetts for the 2013 season, now at Great Song Farm, a diversified Hudson Valley farm that uses biodynamic practices.

Four Legs Farm will be a 150-member meat CSA that offers pastured lamb and pork meat to members. It also will offer educational programming and events for the surrounding community that will focus on livestock production and cooking with meat. Owner Leanna Mulvihill is a native of New Paltz and former Glynwood livestock apprentice now in her fourth season of farming. She also has worked at Tantre Farm, an organic vegetable CSA in Michigan, and several New York facilities -- Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills; Fatstock Farm, a startup meat CSA in Stuyvesant; Phillies Bridge Farm in New Paltz, and Obercreek Farm in Hughsonville.

Community Compost Company's mission is to become a leader in recycling food scraps for compost production in the New York/New Jersey metro area. The table-to-farm business will retrieve organic materials from the waste stream and produce high-quality compost in conjunction with local farms. As the first collection and composting company in Ulster County, its  initial business model will use the Incubator site as its main production area while developing partnerships with additional local farms. The owners are Eileen Banyra and Noa Simons.

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