The Farm Incubator Helping Migrants Save Struggling American Farms

January 31, 2017

4:30 pm

The number of farms in America has fallen by 4 million over the last 80 years, while the average size of a farm has doubled. In short, small farms are dying.

Now combine that data point with a complete reversal of the old cliche that “immigrants are taking our jobs away,” and you have Viva farms, a Washington state-based “farm incubator” dedicated to helping revive small farms in America by spotting migrant entrepreneurs the resources they need to get going.

How It Works

The news on this incubator’s work to revive blue collar farm jobs comes via the Seattle Globalist, which offers this breakdown of the organization’s process:

“Viva offers starter farms on land leased from the Port of Skagit County. Viva rents acreage and equipment to farmers at an affordable yearly rate. The organization also helps participants to access markets and offers regular workshops on topics like organic farming practices and applying for loans.

The goal is to provide the chance for new farmers to fail and succeed in a supported environment while they build towards owning their own businesses.”

The result sounds like a classic tale of American success: The newly minted farmers make “a hundred mistakes” in their first season, but rapidly learn and achieve increasingly strong growth — that’s “growth” in the literal sense as well as the figurative one.

American Values: Upheld

Since approach tackles the realities of blue collar America’s problems through a startup lens, it reminds me of the recently seeded startup Crowd Cow, which offers consumers an affordable way to buy beef directly from Washington state ranchers.

But whether the focus is a small farm or a cattle ranch, the impact is the same: An actionable commitment to the American values of success through good clean work.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He’s based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state’s slogan: “sayWA.” In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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