Grow Your Future: the Great Lakes Incubator Farm

Imagine this: you’re pulling a bright orange carrot from rich earth, cultivated lovingly using restorative practices that honor the land. You load it into a cart, with others like it, on a historic farm, surrounded by the beauty of Northern Michigan. You’ve received classes and advice on how to succeed as a farmer, and received mentorship from a veteran farmer who is cheering you on – and now it’s your chance to head to market. 

Does this sound like your aspirations? Well, now is the time to make it reality! 

Beginning in March of this year, the Great Lakes Incubator Farm (GLIF), part of the Grand Traverse Conservation District, is offering space in their inaugural land-based agricultural program which allows five new farmers opportunities to build a resilient farming business in Northwest Michigan. While in the program, beginning farm businesses are provided essential equipment and resources to pursue restorative farming practices, as well as business development services. 

Upon graduating from the program, participants are assisted in acquiring land on which to continue their farming business. According to Grand Traverse Conservation District Executive Director Koffi Kpachavi, this includes pairing retiring farmers with GLIF program participants to ensure farmlands remain in agricultural use, assisting in the essential succession of local farmland. 

Applicants for the GLIF program can come from any level of farming background, but preference will be given to those from Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska or Antrim counties with at least one growing season of practical agricultural experience. Head to to apply! 

A sustainable farming career in Northwest Michigan could be your future!

Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].