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.
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.
WORKSHOPS: COLORADO AG LEADERSHIP PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) is accepting applications from emerging leaders looking to further develop both their skills and their commitment to the future of Colorado’s agricultural and rural communities. September 30th is the deadline to apply for the next CALP class which will consist of 12 seminars, running from February 2017 through February 2019. Travel to key state, national and international agricultural sites and events is also planned. Applications can be downloaded here.
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.
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
Save the date: National Small Farm Conference: Virginia State University will host the 7th National Small Farm Conference, Sept 20-22, 2016, in collaboration with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture. The event will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, VA. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is serving as the lead USDA Agency, with other agencies collaborating. The website is here
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.