Our mission is to launch a new generation of farmers.
The Viva Farms business incubator helps new farmers learn how to farm and experienced farm workers establish their own business while minimizing prohibitive start-up costs.
Viva Farm’s incubator provides access to the 5 essentials:
- Land -- .25 to 5 acre parcels
- Equipment and Infrastructure -- Tractors, Tools, Greenhouses, Cold Storage
- Training -- Education and technical assistance (bilingual- Eng/Esp)
- Marketing -- Wholesale Distribution and Retail Farm Stand
- Capital -- Low-interest loans and access to grant funding
About Viva Farms
The Viva Farms Incubator started in 2009. The Port of Skagit leases 33 acres to Viva Farms that are subleased to new farmers to launch and grow their businesses. Viva minimizes prohibitive start-up costs by providing access to shared resources: education, training, equipment, technical assistance, capital, land, and markets. Ongoing agricultural and entrepreneurial support from Viva Farms' staff, local agricultural support groups and peers increases the likelihood of early-stage success.
Core areas of support include organic production practices, marketing, sales, distribution, record keeping and liability management. Farmers also complete courses in WSU’s Cultivating Success. Each 12 week course is offered annual Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching in the fall, and Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning in the spring.
The farm incubator is not an end point for farmers. It is a starting point to transition them to farm ownership and secure long-term tenure. Once farmers establish stable agricultural enterprises at the incubator, Viva Farms will help them relocate to new land and continue growing their operations.
The Skagit Valley is located in northwestern Washington, midway between Seattle, WA and Vancouver, B.C. The region is well known for its scenic beauty, the Cascade Mountain Range, and Puget Sound. Land in the Skagit Valley is rated among the top in the world for agricultural use. Yet only 108,500 of the county’s 1.1 million total acres are farmed today, by an aging population of farmers. The average age of farmers is 57 years. Skagit’s exceptional farmland faces such intense development pressure that the American Farmland Trust designated the region the fifth most threatened agricultural region in the nation.