Farmers don’t just grow crops and tend to animals; they are the stewards of complex ecosystems. They have to be knowledgeable, observant, flexible, and creative. We are providing the next generation of farmers with the foundation they need to thrive in regenerative agriculture systems. Our innovative programs educate farmers in agricultural methods and processes, give them experience in our system of small poultry-based farm operations, and provide them with the infrastructure and support they need to deliver products consistently across diverse ecosystems, markets, and cultures.
Like everything we do, our training supports our triple-bottom line of ecological, economic, and social benefits. We’re don’t just refrain from worker exploitation; our system precludes it by making the workers the decision-makers. With its low initial investment, poultry-centered farming serves as a familiar and viable economic entry point for Latino immigrants who have farming experience and knowledge, and have felt first-hand the inequity of the current food system. Training opens the door to the opportunity for them to develop new farm facilities with strong management and maintenance practices, and achieve social and economic stability.
Main Street Project has trained more than 70 aspiring farmers. We developed our farm business curriculum to be taught in Spanish or English and to be accessible for students with low literacy levels.
Our Basic Agripreneur Training program provides introductory on-site field production training and small business management education in the classroom.
Dedicated graduates of our introductory training are invited to participate in our Advanced Agripreneur Training program. This training gives immigrant farmers direct, hands-on experience developing and managing a regenerative agriculture operation on one of Main Street Project’s three ½ -acre poultry facilities. It provides a supported environment for trainees to build experience in poultry production, operations management, marketing, and finance through actively applying all aspects of production with their own flocks.
Independent Poultry Producers
Low-income and immigrant farmers have limited access to land and capital, two essential prerequisites for starting a successful farm enterprise. We are working to ease this burden by establishing a new track for Independent Poultry Producers that are ready for more self-direction. Our Advanced Agripreneur graduates will have access to satellite “host” farms and benefit from Main Street Project-supported, shared facilities that provide the guidance necessary for them to be successful in their ventures. Here they will make decisions about their flocks and prioritize products of their own choosing under the umbrella of a supportive, mentoring community.
Youth Enterprise Training
This program offers young local entrepreneurs a one-year program that includes a guided introduction to food business planning and development, specialized training, and ongoing mentorship and technical support. Past projects with youth have included growing and harvesting their own crops, managing a tree nursery, assisting Main Street Project with research and development, and the marketing and selling of products they cultivated. Engaging the younger generation allows us to increase the capacity and diversity of products on our sites, and is crucial to outreach and education about the attainable potential of regenerative agriculture.