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The California Farm Academy is an innovative training program and farm business incubator at the Center for Land-Based Learning that teaches and mentors beginning farmers in agricultural production, business planning and marketing of specialty crops, poultry and livestock.
From the local and regional scale to a global perspective, 21st Century agriculture is being challenged to produce and deliver high quality, nutritious, affordable food to a growing population while sharing limited land and water resources with all other human needs and activities. California farmers raise an incredible $20 billion worth of specialty crops per year, but like farmers across the country, are getting older (average 58 years of age). We need skilled new farmers to continue in this vital profession, raising food and caring for our agricultural lands and their surrounding ecosystems. The California Farm Academy (CFA) is dedicated to training, mentoring and providing access to land for the next generation of motivated, hard-working farm entrepreneurs.
The California Farm Academy consists of a seven-month training program that meets part-time in the early evenings and on weekends, followed by a farm business incubator component. In the farm business incubator, qualified graduates of the training program are eligible to lease plots of land at less than typical market rates for up to three years. The CFA also provides opportunities for participants to network with established farmers in the region, gain the experience needed to become an independent farm operator or farm manager, and to find appropriate farmland on which to continue their farm business enterprises.
California Farm Academy classes meet Tuesday and Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 p.m. and 2 Saturdays/month at the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL) farm, 5265 Putah Creek Rd., Winters, CA 95694 and at other nearby locations.
- 30 weeks of classes, hands-on experience, farm visits and other field trips
- 230+ hours of instruction, including field and greenhouse work
- Instruction by: farmers, college faculty, ag professionals, lenders, entrepreneurs, marketers, natural resource professionals, and other
- Farm business plan
- Independent study project
- Opportunity to lease land upon graduation
- Mentorship from experienced growers
- Continuing education for incubator farmers
- Assistance with funding farming opportunities
Watch California Farm Academy on America's Heartland
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