Farmer Incubation Program


Farmer Incubation Program, The Vision

The Farmer Incubation Program (FIP) at Hilltop Urban Farm will be a 3 year workforce development program for new small-scale organic urban farm enterprises. For an annual Program Participation Fee, participants will be provided access to rehabilitated urban farming acres, storage, solar electric, hoop houses, mobile coolers and a shared tool library. Participants will learn farm business management skills and food growing techniques. Program participants will gain exposure to the local and regional food systems by participating in educational programs and networking events. The FIP graduates will develop a business plan, customer base, and have a 3 year-old business to assist with acquiring capital for business expansion. The FIP graduates will be prequalified to rent preserved farmland with nonprofit partners and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittsburgh vacant urban land through the Farm-A-Lot program. Once under full production, FIP farmers at Hilltop Urban Farm will quadruple the amount of produce grown within the City of Pittsburgh.

2019 Pilot Year

In 2019, the Farmer Incubation Program will be piloting a one-year opportunity for experienced urban farmers to utilize the rehabilitated urban farming acres at Hilltop Urban Farm. In this 2019 Pilot year, participants will have access to site amenities in exchange for a subsidized Program Participation Fee. Throughout 2019, additional infrastructure investments will be made at Hilltop Urban Farm to complete the vision of the Farmer Incubation Program.

Applications for the 2019 Pilot Farmer Incubation Program are now live! The deadline to apply is Friday, February 1, 2019 at 5 pm.

Please submit your completed application for review via email to Sarah Baxendell, Director of Hilltop Urban Farm at with “2019 Pilot Farmer Application” in the subject line or by mail addressed to: Sarah Baxendell, Director, Hilltop Urban Farm, Farmer Incubation Program, 831 East Warrington Avenue, Floor 2, Pittsburgh, PA 15210.

Two events are being hosted to support applicants: