The Farm Business Development Program helps to launch new specialty crop farm businesses by making farmland, equipment, infrastructure, and technical training opportunities available to historically underserved farmers as part of a 5-year program. We aren’t simply landlords; we surround our farmers with strategic resources so they can grow to independence. Because of this investment, we very carefully select who we invite to join us on the farm. Our farmers’ commitment to working through the program requires hard work and dedication, but as we all know there isn’t anyone who works harder than a farmer!
While at In Harmony Farm, our farmers gain additional agricultural expertise and training, implement regenerative agriculture practices on their farms, learn about soils testing and agronomy, participate in cooperative produce sales, and work one-on-one with a small business counseling and coaching service to help them start and grow their small businesses.
Farmers work towards milestones which put them on a path towards independence after they graduate the 5-year program. Specifically, with help from the Iowa Center for Economic Success, In Harmony Farm, and other strategic partners, farmers will:
- Create a business entity appropriate for them
- Track revenues and expenses, create farm budgets, interpret simple financial statements
- Identify future capital needs, establish financial credit, apply for grants and loans
- Create a farm brand and market their business
- Create planting plans, monitor/maximize yields, minimize produce waste
- Establish ongoing crop markets
- Learn to navigate legal documents such as land leases, produce contracts, grants/loans
Upon successfully meeting the milestones of the 5-year program, In Harmony Farm will help graduate farmers find a long-term land access solution for their enterprises.