Viva Farms Welcomes New Farm Start-ups
Why launch my farm at Viva?
Viva Farms reduces barriers to entry by assisting new farmers access the resources they need to get started. By farming at Viva Farms, new farmers can avoid the huge initial investment of starting a farm business from the ground up. Viva Farms offers assistance by providing the 5 essentials to starting a new farm business: Land, Equipment/Infrastructure, Training, Markets, and Capital. Resources include tractors and equipment, greenhouses, irrigation, cold storage, access to markets through Viva's farm stand and wholesale program, training and technical assistance, organic certification, community, and more!
To operate at Viva, you will need to:
- Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching (offered Sept - Dec)
- Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning (offered Jan-Apr)
2) *NEW* Complete the Viva Incubator Training Program offered in conjunction with Skagit Valley College
- Enroll in Skagit Valley College's SAgE Practicum Series for Spring, Summer, and Fall Quarters (beginning in 2016).
- Go through an entire farming season at Viva Farms while receiving instruction and applying knowledge through operating a small-scale market farm on-site, with fellow students.
3) Submit a well thought-out, written farm business plan.
4) Be ready to launch your farm:
- Do you have the time and resources you need to get started? Do you have reasonably secure markets for your products?
Basic operating costs: (2015 rates, subject to change)
- Land lease $200 per acre, per season
- Irrigation supply $80-$100 per acre per season (this covers water up to the hydrant. each farm is responsible from that point on: headers, drip tape, sprinklers, etc.)
- Program fees $150 per acre, per season - covers use of shared infrastructure such as greenhouse space, cold storage, field processing shed, electricity, roads, port-a-potties, comprehensive liability insurance, organic certification and technical assistance with production, marketing and business management.
- Field equipment rental varies - use of tractors costs $27/hr + $5-20/hr for implements. In order to rent equipment, you must complete or test out of our tractor safety course. If you require a tractor operator, the cost is $20/hr.
- Other expenses not covered by Viva: Seeds, transplants, greenhouse supplies, row covers, hoop house construction, irrigation supplies, packaging, marketing materials, farmers market fees, business licensing fees, transport - these costs are all borne by each farm business.
If you are interested about learning more about starting an independent farm operation at Viva Farms, please contact us at info@vivafarms or call us at (360) 969-7191.