Want to farm?
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.