WV Small Farm Center

Cooperative Development Guide

Development Guide for New and Emerging Food Hubs and Incubator Training Farms Cooperative Boards

Editor: Tom Snyder, Ph.D. Snyder@horizonview.net

Click this link to view Development Guide document Preface, Acknowledgements, & Chapter Objectives


This document is designed to assist cooperative board of directors, managers, and technical support individuals working with new and emerging food hubs and incubator training farm cooperatives. The content was obtained and edited for use based on experiences of working with many start-up cooperatives, education and training operations, and other local food related situations. This material is targeted at new and emerging food hubs and incubator training farm cooperative boards; however, much of the information can be used with other cooperative business development formations. It is designed to address the following five areas identified as key to the success of food hubs and incubator training farms:


1. Maintain a strong executive board and leadership
2. Maintain product supply (quality, quantity, timely, safe, sustainable, and consistent)
3. Maintain and retain growers/workers (recruiting, hiring, training, and support programming)
4. Maintain a strong, current, business plan
5. Maintain experienced, motivated, and capable management staff


This material is not meant to be a comprehensive resource for developing new and emerging food hubs and incubator training farm cooperative boards; however, it is targeted at the following six main chapters that are presented in this development guide:


I. Cooperative Board of Directors Development
II. Feasibility Studies and Business Plan Development
III. Farmer Education, Training, Support/Follow-up Services Development (Available early 2016)
IV. Hiring and Managing Management Staff (Available mid 2016)
V. Group GAP, Quality Management, and Lean Farming Practices (Available late 2016)
VI. Finding and Acquiring Farm Land/Facilities to start Your Business (Available early 2017)

Click this link to view complete guide flyer PDF