Want to farm?

Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE -

In­ter­ested in be­com­ing a farmer but find your­self lack­ing land or ex­pe­ri­ence? The Fauquier Ed­u­ca­tion Farm is re­cruit­ing up to three can­di­dates this late win­ter to run their own small-scale farm plots.

The ed­u­ca­tion farm’s in­cu­ba­tor pro­gram is in its se­cond year, and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jim Hank­ins calls it “a chance to get your feet wet in farm­ing with­out the ex­pense and risk of leas­ing a large plot of land.”

Giv­ing new farm­ers an op­por­tu­nity “to have a real-world prov­ing ground, to prove their con­cept, is im­por­tant,” Hank­ins ex­plains. “There’s a tremen­dous amount of work that has to be done to be­come a suc­cess­ful farmer.”

The ed­u­ca­tion farm is part of Vir­ginia Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion’s Be­gin­ning Farmer and Rancher pro­gram. Par­tic­i­pants pay a small an­nual fee to lease a quar­ter-acre of land and are pro­vided with trays of some of the veg­etable plants al­ready be­ing raised on the farm. Ir­ri­gation, deer fenc­ing and ac­cess to farm equip­ment like a trac­tor and mower are part of the deal.

Bud­ding farm­ers meet with Hank­ins for agri­cul­tural and mar­ket­ing ad­vice ev­ery other week and are ex­pected to com­plete a be­gin­ning farmer ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram their first year. Ap­pli­ca­tions ac­cepted through March 1. Con­tact Hank­ins at 540-336-4338.

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