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ASI Student Farm and Farm Incubator

Farmer Training Program

Growing resilient people, food, and communities

As a community college, we know local. And we want to help aspiring and beginning farmers grow nutritious foods by developing financially and environmentally sustainable farm businesses in central Wyoming. Our goal is to expand employment and business opportunities in agriculture while also providing our communities with affordable, sustainable fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Wyoming folks want to produce food for their local markets, but there are some challenges they face; high altitude climate, limited access to arable land, and lack of business skills.

CWC recognizes our partners who have contributed significant financial support for this project.

USDA Logo              LOR Foundation Logo      A blue square diamond and a green square diamond intertwined. Word Lander in the color blue and community foundation in the color green. Words are stacked on top of each other.

Wyoming Community Foundation Logo     Wind River Food Sovereignty Logo    Wyoming Hunger Initiative Logo       Wyoming Department of Agriculture Wyoming Specialty Crop Logo     Popo Agie Conservation District logo

Training to Fit Your Goals

Located in the foothills of the Wind River mountains at the Alpine Science Institute, the farm incubator trains aspiring and beginning agropreneurs in high-altitude, semi-arid fruit, and vegetable crop production and business planning.

Beginning farmers may enter the program at multiple points according to their educational and business needs. A person interested in home gardening growing food for their family may want to only participate in the Crop Production Practicum. A beginning farmer who needs more accounting and business planning skills to expand their existing farm business may just enroll in the Small-scale Farm Planning & Management Course.. A person desiring to expand their home garden into a farm business may apply to enter the Farm Business Incubator, and, after demonstrating crop production skills and presenting their business plan, lease a farm plot to gain access to irrigated, arable land.

An aspiring farmer may also choose the more comprehensive education pathway by completing a certificate in Farm and Ranch Business Management emphasizing regenerative agriculture and small scale farming. 

As an incubator farmer-in-training participant, you will acquire the skills to:

  • Maintain basic financial records
  • Understand risk management
  • Develop a farm business plan
  • Build soil health and plant resiliency through bio-dynamic practices
  • Manage weeds through cover cropping
  • Implement pest management strategies
  • Design and install drip irrigation systems
  • Develop a crop plan
  • Maintain crop production records
  • Increase production through season extension
  • Source and maintain farm equipment
  • Incorporate animals into the farm system
  • Prepare crops for the market to comply with food safety regulations

Farm Training Pathways

A 5-month comprehensive course focusing on high altitude, semi-arid fruit and vegetable production, and regenerative ag practices.

The format consists of topic-specific online learning modules and in-person field-based classes 3-4 days each week. Field days will include off-site farm tours and guest specialists. Students are registered for the following classes:

Crop Production Practicum I - Early season farming practices. A 7-week hands-on course designed to teach early-season growing methods and techniques suitable for both field and garden scale production. Topics include sustainable, organic, and regenerative agricultural practices, managing soil health, propagation and greenhouse management, and crop planning. 

Crop Production Practicum II - Midseason farming practices.  A 12-week hands-on course designed to teach mid-season growing methods and techniques suitable for both field and garden scale production. Topics include farm equipment inventory and maintenance, transplanting and direct seeding, managing weeds, pests, and plant disease, composting, and biodynamic preparations.

Crop Production Practicum III- Late season farming practices. A 7-week hands-on course designed to teach late-season farming methods and techniques suitable for both field and garden scale production. Topics include cover cropping, produce marketing, harvesting techniques, food safety, and post-harvest handling.  

Course Number Course TitleCredits
AECL 1970 Crop Production Practicum I 3
AECL 1971 Crop Production Practicum II 3
AECL 1972  Crop Production Practicum III 3

 

A semester length-week course covering local, state, and national ag resources, enterprise accounting, bookkeeping, business planning, business risk management, marketing strategies, and more. Students will register for AECL 2100 Integrated Resources Management. 3 credits.

Course Number Course TitleCredits
AECL 2100 Integrated Resources Management  3

 

Beginning farmers have access to land, business support, and mentorship after demonstrating crop production skills and presenting their business plans. The incubator leases farm plots ranging in size from one-eighth to one-quarter acre for those students completing a business plan and don’t have access to their own farmland to start their business. The first cohort of incubator farmers will be accepted for the 2022 season. Applications for the Farm Incubator open in December 2021. Check back for updated information.

Earn a Certificate in Farm and Ranch Business Management with an emphasis in regenerative agriculture and small-scale market farming. To complete the certificate, register for the following courses:

Course Number Course TitleCredits
SOIL 1020 Introduction to Soils 4
AECL 1000 Introduction to Agroecology 4

 

These classes are offered alongside the Crop Production Practicum during the spring and summer semesters. 

Course TitleTuitionFinancial Aid Information
Crop Production I, II, III $1,404 Scholarships Available
Small-scale Farm Planning & Management Course
(Integrated Resource Management)
$468 Scholarships Available
Farm and Ranch Management Certificate $3,123 )Students taking the certificate program can apply for part-time Federal Financial Aid)Substantial scholarships available for 2022

 

Contact CWC Lander at (307) 332-3394 to visit with a program advisor. We can help you plan your program to best meet your goals.

Meet Your Instructors

Ethan Page

Farm Site Manager/Instructor

As part of the Alpine Science Institute, Ethan Page will oversee the development of student training plots, farm training curriculum including crop production and farm business management, and recruit and mentor aspiring and beginning farmers.

Keith Duren

Instructor of Agriculture