We at Farmer Incubator have long dreamed of establishing a collaborative farming model here in Oz. Thankfully, there are many successful and well developed examples of Incubator Co-farms and other similar co-farming models in the US, UK and other locations around the world for us to connect with and learn from. Now, thanks to funding from both the William Buckland Foundation and Ripe for Change (an initiative of Sustainable Table), we have begun research into the current opportunities and barriers facing aspiring and next generation farmers for the very purpose of establishing an Incubation Co-farm here in Oz! This model aims to both create opportunities and offer support for new and next gen farmers to help in overcoming the barriers that prevent more young people from getting onto land.
In addition, our research involves developing a Report and Community Tool Kit which will be made publicly available. With these resources, we aim to provide some valuable and much needed insight, detailed context and examples for organisations and communities across Australia who are (or would like to be) working to support and enable our next generation of farmers.
The specifics vary greatly but just to clarify, an Incubator Co-farm offers participation in a land based, multi-grower project that provides technical assistance and training along with mentorship and access to networks, supporting farmers in getting onto land.
If you identify as either an aspiring or next gen farmer, we would love your help in shaping this model, to ensure that it is best positioned and designed to meet your needs (and those who follow in your footsteps!)
For the purpose of our research, a next gen farmer is someone is currently or has previously managed a farm (your own or someone else’s) for a period of 10 years or less, as opposed to an aspiring farmer who may well be farming, but is not managing a farm or is not yet farming, but aspires to.
We have designed two surveys – one for aspiring farmers and one for next gen farmers. We would greatly appreciate it if you are able to fill out the most relevant to you. If you don’t identify as an aspiring or next gen farmer but happen to love fresh, locally grown food and want to see more of it, please spread the word about this much needed project and enable the growth of a more secure, local food future.
Please check out our project brief below for a little more information about our research, and why your contribution is so important. Let’s grow future farmers!