Entrepreneurship 2020

Program Details

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Farm owners and managers run complex, nuanced businesses – and those seeking to do so in a manner that is both economically and environmentally sustainable must harness creativity, vision and grit as they navigate complex challenges. Farmers will finish this six-day program with a tactical business framework in hand that complements their expertise in regenerative agriculture, empowers them to apply proven entrepreneurial practices to their farming business, and enables them to cultivate value-added culinary partnerships. It has proven to be an effective and enjoyable strategic planning retreat for past participants.

Participating farmers will have program fees, lodging and meals covered (travel to/from the program is not covered), and are expected to attend the entire program (January 12 – 17, 2020).

Applications for the 2020 Entrepreneurship Intensive are now closed. Please sign up below to be notified when applications open for future programs. 

Questions? Contact us at gfi@stonebarnscenter.org or 914.366.6200 x100.

The Entrepreneurship Intensive will help farmers:

  • Learn, practice and integrate key principles and practices of mission-driven, values-centered entrepreneurship
  • Articulate a clear long-term vision and concrete steps to successfully achieve it
  • Identify new business opportunities and unmet needs in a region’s farming ecosystem, and identify how to capture value from those opportunities
  • Design and present a flourishing, financially viable farm business plan to attract and engage employees, partners, landowners, lenders and investors
  • Develop and implement an organizational plan to grow your team
  • Learn to build and foster robust partnerships that support sustainability and mitigate risks
  • Develop a clear path for farm business viability

Key elements of the intensive include:

  • A thorough exploration of the core principles of mission-driven entrepreneurship and farm business strategy with Will Rosenzweig and the Ideagarden team
  • Conversations and networking opportunities with visiting experts and culinary leaders
  • Exploration of meaningful models of chef-farmer collaborations
  • Collaboration and peer learning with other inspiring farm entrepreneurs
  • Evening teamwork during the intensive to create a presentation that describes your vision, strategy and business plan
  • Hands-on learning opportunities around the Stone Barns’ farm
  • Development and practice presentation of your business plan to experts who will give you valuable feedback
  • Beyond the January intensive, monthly peer-learning cohort check-ins

Applicant Requirements:

  • You are a farmer actively involved in the day-to-day management of a farm practicing regenerative agriculture
  • You have been in a farm management role for a minimum of five years, ideally seven to ten
  • In this role, you have established meaningful relationships with chefs, partnerships with restaurants, and/or collaborations with other community food leaders, and have a desire to further integrate the broader community and food culture into your enterprise
  • You are entrepreneurially minded, and work creatively and collaboratively to build connections among soil, flavor, business, and community
  • You are deeply engaged in your farm’s business practices, have an ambition to grow your business in a variety of ways, and desire more innovation and risk-taking in this realm
  • Your farm business generated at least $150,000 in gross revenue in the most recent tax year
  • You can commit to completing 5-10 hours of preparatory work in December and to monthly peer-learning phone calls for one year after the intensive
  • You are able to participate in the entire six-day intensive at Stone Barns Center in Tarrytown, NY from January 12 – 17, 2020


The intensive is six full days (8:00 AM – 8:00 PM) in person at Stone Barns Center in Tarrytown, NY from January 12 – 17, 2020. While it is meant to be a fun and immersive experience, it is not a vacation – be prepared for long, intense days getting your hands dirty and working hard together.

Participants are expected to arrange and pay for their travel to/from Stone Barns Center in Tarrytown, NY. Besides travel, there is no cost to attend the Entrepreneurship Intensive. The following expenses will be covered:

  • Program fees to participate in the Entrepreneurship Intensive
  • Nearby lodging and most meals during the program, including daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Morning and evening transportation between Stone Barns Center and lodging

Attendees will live in dormitory-style guest housing in close proximity to Stone Barns. Please note that the residency and residency housing is designed only for participants.

A car is not needed for the Intensive. There will be a shuttle to/from Stone Barns every morning and evening. There is also taxi service, Lyft and Uber in the area, as well as car rental services and the Metro-North train line nearby.

Business Partners
In an effort to maximize impact and the number of farms that we reach through this program, we ask that no more than one participant from a particular farm apply. Throughout the program, we make a conscious effort to support participants in sharing their learning with their business partners and teams during and after the program.

There will be 5 – 10 hours of pre-work to complete in December and will include:

  • Background reading
  • Writing down your goals and challenges for your farm over the next five years (you do not need to come with an established business plan)
  • Thinking about what you aim to get out of the intensive, and preparing a short story on this to share with others on the opening night

Participants must commit to contribute to monthly peer-learning check-ins (by telephone) for one year after the Intensive.


Questions? Contact us at gfi@stonebarnscenter.org or 914.366.6200 x100.

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