BFRDP Projects

New Roots for Refugees
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $380,433
Grant Program: 2016 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Meredith Walrafen
Organization: Catholic Charities of Northeast KS


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas (CCNEK) in partnership with Cultivate Kansas City (CKC), is using BFRDP funds for a successful incubator training farm called New Roots for Refugees, and for new activities that support the scaling up of refugee farmers to meet wholesale demand in the Kansas City area. The long term goal is that refugees farm in Kansas City independently on land that they own or lease at a scale that they desire and manage. To reach this goal, we have identified the following objectives: Removal of Barriers to Marketing, Adapted and Increased Agricultural Skills, Financial Management and Farm Capitalization, and Whole Farm Planning.

The incubator farm program provides non-traditional lease agreements to gain access to land that require refugees to complete trainings and establish a path toward managing their own farm business. For each year of the program, refugee farmers take on additional responsibilities, taking the refugee farmer from dependency to independent farm business operator in 4 years. Specific emphasis is put on using equipment to maximize efficiency and profit, as well as teaching farmers how to plan infrastructure for their future farm sites. 

In our first grant year, we graduated 2 farmers onto their own land and helped them establish infrastructure at their new farm sites. We are on track to graduate another 7 farmers by helping them acquire land and develop infrastructure as well. From August 2016 to July 2017, New Roots farmers sold over $124,000 in produce to Kansas City metro area residents.

CCNEK and CKC have been working together since 2005 to help refugees start farm businesses, providing infrastructure, training, technical assistance, and marketing support. CCNEK has a long history of working with refugees, while CKC brings agricultural expertise, making an effective partnership for serving refugee farmers.

Number of Participants: 27


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

There are no educational materials available for this project.

Reports & Evaluations

There are no reports or evaluations available for this project.

Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

How would you improve the project if you were to do it again?

What were the keys to success for your participants?

Individual Stories / Examples of Success