Farmer Assistance

Support, training, and increased market access for beginning, local, sustainable farmers.

We believe that food is medicine -- medicine for our bodies, our community, and our planet. But in order for this to be possible, we need to support our farmers who grow this incredible food! It’s essential that our local farms are healthy, biodiverse, and supported by the community.

 

The GoFarm Incubator trains and mentors aspiring farmers and breaks down barriers of entry into farming careers. We provide access to land, infrastructure, technical assistance, classroom curriculum, and mentorship. The program includes three tracks for aspiring farmers: Apprenticeships, Internships, and Externships.

The apprenticeship is a two-year program where apprentice farmers manage their own farm plot and are taught how to develop and manage their own farm business from the ground up. They receive comprehensive classroom curriculum (including lessons on business planning, crop planning, farm management, technical skills, financial management, etc.), as well as access to farmland, farmer mentorship, and sales outlets. After graduating from the program, we help apprentices establish their own independent, sustainable farms outside of the program.

The internship lasts for one summer season. Interns gain farming experience by assisting apprentices and existing farmers in the fields. They also gain exposure to many aspects of the local food system including buying, distributing, and marketing.

The externship lasts for one winter season. Externs enroll in classroom curriculum and learn about what's needed to create a viable farm business. We assist them in developing their own business and management plan for a future career in agriculture.

The GoFarm Incubator focuses on supporting veterans who are interested in a career in farming. We partner with the Denver Botanic Gardens - Chatfield to recruit veterans into the program and ensure this community is being reached. The GoFarm Incubator is run in partnership with Jefferson County Conservation District, Denver Botanic Gardens, Sprout City Farms, and CSU-Extension.

One major component of the GoFarm Incubator is the GoFarm Marketplace, an online farmers market created specifically for current incubator apprentices and graduates of the incubator program. The GoFarm Marketplace expands access to fresh, local produce in the community, as well as offers an additional, socially distanced, sales outlet for our farmers, especially relevant amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you're looking for fresh, delicious, sustainably-grown produce, check out the GoFarm Marketplace to place your order! Unlike the GoFarm Local Food Share where you sign up for the full season, marketplace orders are 1-time only (just like a farmer's market). Orders placed between Sunday mornings and Monday evenings will be available for pickup at SoCliff Farm in Lakewood. Orders placed between Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings will be available for pickup at Sunnyside Farms in Denver. Let us know if you have any questions and happy shopping!

 
 

This program provides local growers with access to necessary equipment without having to take on the burdens associated with ownership. With the ability to rent equipment at affordable prices, growers will be able to decrease their production costs and increase their return on investment. In addition, by sharing equipment across many different growers, the equipment will be well utilized, spending more time in the fields and less time sitting in storage. This program is a partnership between GoFarm and Jefferson Conservation District.

If you need equipment to rent, check out our equipment list! Each tool can be rented on a per day or per week basis. There is an easy check-out and return process for each item and fees vary per tool.

Due to COVID-19, we are temporarily suspending our equipment rental program. We are so sorry for the inconvenience, but are doing everything we can to keep our staff and apprentice farmers safe and healthy during this pandemic. As soon as we are able to loan out the equipment again (hopefully very soon), we will update this page!

 

Our Local Food Share supports many small, local farms by offering a convenient avenue to sell their produce through. Some farmers dedicate a portion of their crop to GoFarm each week, whereas others supply us with food whenever their crop allows for it. The Local Food Share serves over 700 community members per year, with a lot of food going to families who would otherwise struggle to put healthy, local food on their tables.

Unlike traditional wholesale market avenues, we allow our farmers to set the prices on the food they sell to us. We value the hard work and dedication it takes to growing food, and believe that their farm businesses will thrive if they are always paid a fair market price. The Local Food Share also allows more time for the farmers to focus on what they do best, FARM, leaving the rest of the work to us.

 

Information on Organic and Sustainable Practice Standards

USDA Organic Standards

Intro to Organic Practices

USDA Sustainable Agriculture

Food Safety Resources

Produce Safety Alliance and FSMA

Project, Employee Health and Hygiene

GAP Certification (GoFarm does not require a GAP audit, however, we recomend that all farmers abide by this guide) 

 

Equipment

Jefferson Conservation Districts Equipment Share Program

Home Depot Equipment Retail

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) An NRCS program that gives you government incentives to implement conservation practices on your land

 

Templates

Food Safety Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Pre-Planning Guide

Record Keeping

Grants and Funding

CO Specialty Crops Grant Application

Agricultural Workforce Development Program

 

Events/Trainings

FSMA Training (Food Safety)

Articles

10 Ways to be More Efficient on Your Small Farm

GoFarm works to transform our local food system into one that is thriving, environmental sustainable, and equitable for all. Through our three program areas, we support and mentor local farmers, make healthy food more affordable and accessible to under-resourced communities, and connect people with where their food comes from.

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