Planning a facility for value-added farm business incubation and educational use

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture: A survey of the community and surrounding region was conducted to determine the financial viability of a shared-use certified kitchen, which would be offered as one of the services of the Midwest Center for Entrepreneurial Agriculture.

The Entrepreneurial Agriculture Program (at the center) is teaching students of all ages how to launch farm businesses that will grow food for local consumption. One of the limiting factors for small farms that want to enter the local food market is the lack of facilities for preparing value-added products from fresh produce. The existence of a cooperative kitchen that is certified by the government to be used for light processing of fresh produce can help encourage dozens of small producers to start value-added businesses.