Michigan State University UPREC North Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
E3774 University Dr.
E3774 University Dr.
Chatham, Michigan , 49816

Primary Contact: Allison Stawara
Secondary Contact: James DeDecker

Primary Phone:
    Number: 9064395058
    Email: stawaraa@msu.edu

Secondary Phone
    Number: 906-439-5176
    Email: dedecke5@msu.edu

    Email: dedecke5@msu.edu

Website: https://www.canr.msu.edu/uprc/farm-business-incubator

Website: https://www.canr.msu.edu/uprc/index

Internship information
General Farm Description: The North Farm at the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC), located in Chatham, MI is a research farm that specializes in diversified organic vegetable production and season extension in northern climates. The farm hosts the Farm Business Incubator program, designed to assist new farmers in launching a successful farm business by providing resources and support including access to land, infrastructure, market development and on-farm technical training.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: March 2021
Internship Ends: December 2026
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: February 15, 2021
Minimum Length of Stay: 1 season (March-December)

Internship Details:

The North Farm is currently accepting applications for new Farm Business Incubator participants. The program is designed to reduce the barriers of access (such as land acquisition, business management experience, and growing skills) for beginning farmers who are interested in starting their own farm business. Farmers can participate in this program for up to 5 years on the land. While technical assistance is available, this is not a training program. This opportunity is ideal for a farmer who has a significant amount of farming experience and is ready to take the next steps towards launching their own farm business in a northern climate.

The farm is located in Chatham, MI in the central U.P., and is situated close to markets in Marquette, Munising and beyond. There is a growing demand for fresh produce in the Upper Peninsula, and the North Farm will assist program participants in developing their skills to serve their markets. This program is open to individual farmers, as well as farming couples/partnerships.

Incubator Farmers Will Receive:
Access to organically managed land – ¼ acre up to 1 full acre per farm
Access to shared infrastructure – storage space, walk-in cooler, root cellar, hoophouse space, washing/packing shed
Access to equipment and tools
Mentorship from the North Farm staff and other stakeholders
Opportunities to network with other area growers and food enthusiasts
Opportunities to participate in competency-based workshops and trainings
Optional housing at the North Farm
Assistance in developing a transition plan off the North Farm post-participation

Cost of Participation:
$1,540/acre/season – Includes land access, facilities & equipment fees, & technical assistance
Optional on-farm housing provided at $175 per month per room
Optional custom tractor work is also available (please inquire for rates)

Educational Opportunities: The UPREC North Farm staff will provide participants with advice and access to additional educational materials, which may include access/travel to conferences, online learning programs, MSU Extension staff expertise, and outside organization's knowledge and resources.

Skills Desired: We are looking for participants who have had multiple years of experience on working farms (or the equivalent) who are ready to start their own farm, and have a thoughtful, well researched business plan to present in their application.

Meals: No

Stipend: No

Housing: Yes

Preferred method of Contact: Email