FarmStacker: spreading sustainable agriculture by stacking it on existing farmland


FarmStacker connects young farmers to land and capital by creating collaboration with existing farm operations using stacked agriculture.


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Many people dream of setting up a little farm somewhere, producing wholesome food, and living the good life. But, of course, agriculture is hard: the upfront costs are high, and the returns uncertain.

That’s where Farmstacker wants to help. The winner of last weekend’s Hack//Meat event, in Palo Alto, it aims to link up young farmers with spare plots of land, minimizing their startup costs, and giving established farmers extra income. It calls itself « efarmony, » after the dating site.

The idea for Farmstacker came from co-founder Kevin Watt, who re-leases land on a cattle ranch in Pescadero, California. The 24-year-old has a nice poultry business, which he claims was profitable from day one, because he didn’t have to buy into a big lease all his own.

Meanwhile, the owner of Leftcoast Grassfed is happy because Watt hands over a little cash for land the farmer isn’t using, and his chickens improve the soil. « They were excited that we could bring in our chickens and graze that pasture after they had used it, » Watt says.

They have an extra lease payment, but they also have our chickens to fertilize their grass.

Essentially, Watt and his four partners hope to replicate this arrangement for other young farmers, using up fallow ground, farmland vacated by absentee owners, and even public land where possible. « If we only let young farmers search for land in a traditional way, where they have absolute control over the lease, we’re missing out on a lot of opportunity where farmers can plug into existing operations and do complementary production, » Watt says.

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Photo © Shutterstock / Ivonne Wierink




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