Farm Business Incubator

Seeding the next generation of sustainable farm businesses.

Pat Knapp of Back Paddock on pasture with their herd of cattle. Back Paddock is a participant in Glynwood's Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator. Photo by Ethan Harrison.

Pat Knapp of Back Paddock on pasture with their herd of cattle. Back Paddock is a participant in Glynwood’s Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator. Photo by Ethan Harrison.

Glynwood’s Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator (HVFBI) is an ideal stepping
stone for farmers ready to build their own farm enterprises.

The Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator, a partnership with Mohonk Preserve and Open Space Institute (OSI), provides the tools and resources needed by aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs as they create viable new enterprises in the Hudson Valley. The Incubator reduces barriers to success for new farm businesses by providing access to land, housing, shared equipment, infrastructure, business and financial training, technical assistance and mentoring, advanced practical skills workshops, and strategic community relationships. It is a deeply hands-on program: Glynwood staff and other agricultural experts are closely involved in our participants’ business development. Launching farm-based businesses in the supportive, low-risk environment of the Incubator greatly increases the likelihood of business viability and success.

Launched in early 2014 on prime agricultural land outside of New Paltz, the Incubator is located on one of New York’s most iconic landscapes, an 856-acre parcel on the eastern escarpment of the Shawangunk Ridge. The land was acquired by OSI in 2011 and sold to Mohonk Preserve in 2014. This property includes two historic farms and a 300-acre parcel that is the site of the Incubator, continuing the nearly 200-year long history of agriculture on the land.

Most of the property is best suited for grazing livestock, specifically small ruminants, poultry and pork. We will also accept applicants for new vegetable or livestock operations that do not need access to land, and those who own or operate existing farms who will not be on-site at the New Paltz property. We have identified 85 acres appropriate for rotational grazing; planned soil improvements will increase the acreage available for diversified production in the coming years.

Our current roster of agricultural enterprises includes:

Community Compost CompanyThe first collection and composting company in Ulster County, which retrieves organic materials from the waste stream and produces high-quality compost, founded by Eileen Banyra and Noa Simons.

Grass + Grit Farm – A pastured meat and egg operation with products sold at local markets and via a four-season CSA founded by Maddie Morley, Benjamin Roberts and James Walton.

Rise & Root Farm  a cooperatively run farm in the black dirt region of Orange County, New York. Jane Hodge, Karen Washington, Lorrie Clevenger and Michaela Hayes are the four co-owners and farmers.

Rock Steady Farm & Flowers  a diversified flower and vegetable operation in Millerton, New York.  The business is held in partnership between Maggie Cheney, Angela DeFelice and D. Rooney.  They operate their business on land owned by the Watershed Center, with additional land leased by Silamar Farm nearby.  

Previous participants include:

Back Paddock Farm – A 100% grass-fed beef operation founded by Allison Toepp and Patrick Knapp.

Four Legs Farm – A meat CSA of pastured lamb and pork founded by Leanna Mulvihill. Through Columbia Land Conservancy’s Farmer-Landowner Match Program, Four Legs Farm has transitioned to 20 acres of land at Turkana Farms in Germantown, New York.

Lily’s Farm – A diversified farming operation that produces eggs, culinary herbs and edible flowers, founded by Lily Dougherty-Johnson. Lily has transitioned her operation to Peconic Land Trust’s Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm in Southold, New York.

This program is currently funded through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program at USDA-NIFA (Award No. 2017-70017-27153).  

The Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator was launched thanks to generous support from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30628), Claneil Foundation, Cornelius King Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Hunter Grubb Foundation, Wells Fargo, Zegar Family Foundation and additional philanthropic support. Glynwood is grateful to the following entities for their ongoing philanthropic support of the Incubator: Hunter Grubb Foundation, Krupp Family Foundation, Wells Fargo’s Clean Technology and Innovation Grant Program, Zegar Family Foundation and generous individual supporters.