The Northern Colorado Food Incubator (NCFI) is dedicated to building a sustainable food economy. Working collaboratively, we support independent community- and land-based businesses and advocate for a whole, resilient community and bio-region. We provide support, guidance and assistance to food-related businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Colorado.
We provide consultation to help your food-related businesses succeed. On this site, you will find a variety of start-up information and resources, as well as information about events of interest to food entrepreneurs and "local food people."
Need to contact us? Use the little Email icon at the upper right corner of the page.
Looking for information on starting a business or finding a kitchen? See the Start a Business page Looking for sources of local food? See the Find Local Food pages.
Training on Produce Safety Rule: Thursday October 20, Adams County Fairgrounds in Brighton, 8 AM - 5:30 PM. Sponsored by the Produce Safety Alliance, this course provides a foundation on FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. This course satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’ Register by October 16 to participate, seating is limited. Please note that we cannot accommodate walk-in registrations for this training. The cost per attendee is $135, which includes materials, meals for the day, and a certificate of completion.
2016-17 WINTER FARMERS MARKETS: Vendor applications due September 30. See more information here. Dates for this season are: Nov. 5, 12 and 19; Dec. 10 and 17; Jan. 14 and 28; Feb. 11 and 25; March 11 and 25; April 8. All Markets 9 AM - 2 PM at the Opera Galleria, 123 North College in Fort Collins. (Note: December Markets will have extended hours till 3 PM)
CONFERENCE: Grass-Grazers-Family: Finding Common Ground, in Pueblo, Nov 1-3, 2016. Sponsored by the Colorado Section of the Society For Range Management (CSSRM) and the Pueblo County Office for Colorado State University Extension, this looks like an extraordinary events, and it's quite affordable ($45 for 3 days, including lunch and dinner on Nov 2, for pre-registrants through Oct 28). See the very informative flyer here.
* NEW2016 Farm to Market Conference, Nov 11-12, Cheyenne WY, Acidified Food Processors Certification Workshop - all day Nov 11. Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, WY. See the flyer here for more info.
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: The 5th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture will bring together farmers, educators, technical assistance providers and activists engaged in healthy food and farming to share educational and organization strategies, build technical and business skills, and address policy issues aimed at expanding the success of women farmers and ranchers. The conference is Nov 30 thru Dec 2, 2016, in Portland, OR. Registration and more info here. See updates on Facebook here.
* NEWThird Annual CFVGA Conference, Feb 21, 2017, Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. Registration and more information is here. Who should attend? Commercial fruit and vegetable growers throughout Colorado of all scales, marketing channels and production practices; and those interested in commercial fruit and vegetable production including exhibitors, media, policy enthusiasts, students, and wellness organizations.
WE SUPPORT THE COLORADO CAMPAIGN FOR A FAIR MINIMUM WAGE: we support gradually increasing Colorado’s minimum wage. It’s good for business, customers and our local economy. Today’s $8.31 minimum wage – just $17,285 a year for Coloradans working full time – actually has less purchasing power than minimum wage in the 1960s.
Raising Colorado’s minimum wage makes good business sense. Increased pay means increased consumer buying power – boosting sales at local businesses as Colorado workers buy products and services they could not afford to buy before. Low pay typically means high employee turnover. Businesses see cost savings in hiring and training and less product waste with lower turnover. Businesses also benefit from increased productivity, product quality and customer satisfaction. Raising the minimum wage will strengthen the economy and reduce the strain on the social safety net caused by inadequate wages for working Coloradans. The most rigorous research on the impact of actual minimum wage increases shows they do not increase unemployment. In nationwide polling, the majority of small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
There's a new resource for new farmers. The US Dept of Agriculture recently launched a new website designed based on feedback from new and beginning farmers and ranchers around the country who cited unfamiliarity with programs and resources as a challenge to starting and expanding their operations. The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan to growing a farming or ranching operation, to filing taxes as a new small business owner. By answering a series of questions about their operation, farmers can use the website's Discovery Tool to build a personalized set of recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs. Check it out at www.usda.gov/newfarmers
Farmers’ Market Food Safety Training: Iowa State University has designed four online modules to provide science-based information on safe food production and handling specific to farmers' markets, with a focus on specialty foods and good agricultural practices (GAPs). The intended audience is farmers market managers and farmers market vendors. Click here for more info
Charitable Crops Donations brochure with info about how this new program works -- click here.