About Groundswell

At the Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, we believe in the right of all people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound methods. And we believe in food sovereignty – the right of people and communities to control their own food and agriculture systems.

Our mission is to engage diverse learners and empower them with skills, knowledge and access to resources, so they can build sustainable land-based livelihoods and equitable local food systems. We help people become successful small-scale farmers and homestead food producers through practical, on-farm training. Our peer-to-peer networks build community and foster skills-sharing among farmers, homesteaders and “food citizens.”

Read our Annual Report here.


Incubator Farm

The Groundswell Incubator Program provides access to land, infrastructure, and short-term enterprise incubation for diverse beginning farmers. Groundswell’s Incubator Farm is the first of its kind in New York State, creating pathways to ownership for aspiring farmers from marginalized communities, including people of color, refugees and other new Americans, and veterans. We provide land, equipment, training and mentoring for three years, so that participants can launch their farm businesses with minimal investment and risk.


Farmer Training

Poultry toeGroundswell offers a variety of new farmer training programs taught by experienced small-scale farmers. Short-term workshops, weekend classes, and multi-session farming courses offer a range of learning opportunities for different skill levels. Our programs include: Finger Lakes CRAFT; Farm Business Planning Course; and Technical courses such as Year-Round High Tunnels Course; Draft Animals Practicum; Cooperative Farm Business; Finger Lakes Orchards eXChange (FLOX), and Soil Management for Better Crops and Grazing and Pasture Management.

Groundswell’s New Farmer Training Programs are supported in part by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program under grant #11674923.

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Community Programs

Cheese-Northland smilesWe also offer community programs to help people get more involved with our growing regional food system. Our Homestead Farmers & Gardeners Network helps people gain the skills to feed themselves and their neighbors. Our Groundswell Community Events provide opportunities for local community members, families, visitors, and college students to learn about local food & farming, meet outstanding farmer-educators, get their hands dirty if they choose to, and enjoy some of the amazing farm-fresh culinary bounty of the Finger Lakes region.


Groundswell’s Partner FarmsWEBNorthlandDonn-2526MRWithteam

The Groundswell Center’s programs are developed in close collaboration with a group of outstanding small-scale farmers with a passion for education. Dedicated to the principles and practices of sustainable farming, these Partner Farms provide our outdoor classrooms and hands-on instruction in everything from business planning to pasturing poultry, to farming with draft animals, to urban farming.  Our 2016 Partner Farms include Good Life Farm, Kingbird Farm, Main Street Farms, Northland Sheep Dairy, Plowbreak Farm,  Tree Gate Farm and West Haven Farm.


Please support our work!

Donate Online Button-smallGroundswell depends on the generous contributions of individual and business contributors. Your tax deductible donation to Groundswell is an investment in the future. You can help us build a locally controlled food system, in which all community members have access to economic opportunities in the food system, and to healthful and affordable local foods.

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Transformative Action (CTA) CTA, an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is legally and financially responsible for all our project activities which accepts all funds on our behalf. Please makes checks out to the CENTER FOR TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION, with Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming in the memo line.

Groundswell is a project of the Center for Transformative Action, an affiliate of Cornell University.


Be part of the food sovereignty solution!

Become a Groundswell Member today.