Farm Business Incubator

About the Program

The Farm Business Incubator Program aims to serve as the launching point for individuals interested in starting their own farming enterprise. This residential program provides farming entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and assistance needed to ensure a solid start to their farming career. Land, equipment, tools, and mentorship are provided to qualified applicants for up to five years so they can develop a business plan, establish accounts, build capital, and fine-tune skills. Participants will grow alongside the talented North Farm staff and other farmers, sharing ideas, techniques, and labor. The program runs for up to five growing seasons, beginning in March. 

Who should apply?

This program is designed for individuals with ample farming experience who are ready to start their own farming enterprise. We do not expect you to have all the answers, which is why a backbone of this program is the technical assistance provided by The North Farm staff. However, we must emphasize that this is not a formal training program. Instead, this is a program that allows you to farm in community and share experiences, advice, tips/tricks, and struggles with those around you. This program is open to individual farmers, as well as farming couples/partnerships. 


Housing is provided for a small fee to all participants that desire to live on-site. Participants are not required to live on-site, and many options are available in Chatham, Munising, and Marquette. Participating farmers may be asked to live in a cooperative housing situation. Please be advised that it is strongly suggested that participants live on-site, as The North Farm staff cannot be held responsible for participants' crops in inclement weather.

Participation fees

  • Program fees: $1,540/acre/year, up to 1 acre and access to all of the farm's resources
  • Tractor and operator: $60/hour (Initial primary tillage and a BCS tractor are available for free)
  • Housing: $175/bedroom/month

Download the 2021 Farm Business Incubator Manual

Apply for the Farm Business Incubator