Farmer Assistance

Our Farmer Assistance program aids, mentors, and supports local beginning farmers that use sustainable and organic growing practices.

The GoFarm Incubator program mentors beginning farmers and breaks down barriers of entry into farming by providing access to land, infrastructure, technical assistance, classroom curriculum, and training.

The Incubator program is run in partnership with Sean Conway of Micro Farms, Jefferson County Conservation District, Denver Botanic Gardens, Sprout City Farms, CSU-Extension, and GoFarm. The program includes three tracks for aspiring farmers: Apprenticeships, Internships, and Externships.

The apprenticeship track is a two year program where apprentices manage their own farm plot and are taught how to develop and manage their own farm business from the ground up. They receive a sales avenue to sell through (GoFarm Local Food Share) as well as training on market channels and business planning. After two years in the program, we help apprentices establish independent, sustainable farms outside of the program.

 

The internships track lasts for one growing season. Interns gain on-the-farm experience by supporting the apprentices and existing farmers, as well as gain exposure to other aspects of the food system such as helping with GoFarm Local Food Share distribution and other workshops. The externship track lasts for one winter season where externs enroll in classroom curriculum to learn about creating a business and management plan for a small urban farm.

One of our areas of focus for the incubator program is to support veterans who are interested in farming. Though anyone is welcome to apply to become an apprentice, extern, or intern, we also work with the Denver Botanic Gardens - Chatfield to recruit veterans for the incubator program and ensure this community is being reached.

Meet Our 2018 Apprentices!

Meet Our 2018 Farmer Mentors (existing local farmers who provide 1 on 1 mentorship to our farmer apprentices)

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.

Our local food share program supports many small, local farms by offering an avenue into the marketplace. Some farmers dedicate a portion of their crop to GoFarm each week, whereas others supply us food whenever their crop allows for it.

We allow our farmers to set their own prices for the food they sell to us. We appreciation and value the hard work they do every year, and believe in paying them a fair market price. In addition, the Local Food Share 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

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GoFarm works to strengthen the local food system and build healthier communities. Through our three program areas (Farmer Assistance, Local Food Share, and Community Access) we support local, beginning, farmers, train/mentor aspiring farmers, and make healthy food more affordable and accessible to the community.

Through our Local Food Share program, community members sign up for a season of local, sustainable produce, and get to learn all about the food and the farmers throughout the growing season. You can sign up for the Local Food Share here.

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