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World Farmers
Address: 769 Main Street Box 112 Lancaster, MA, 01523
Email Address: sales@worldfarmers.org
Phone: 978-706-7935
About Us
World Farmers, located in Lancaster, MA, exists to server refugee and immigrant farmers. Offering land, resources, trainings, and access to markets for farmers from any corner of the globe, we believe that a diverse food system is a key element to healthy communities.
World Farmers’ mission is to support small farmers in sustainable agricultural production and successful marketing practices to connect culturally relevant produce to viable markets. World Farmers provides mentoring, training, and hands-on assistance when working with each farmer to build the capacity needed to operate individual farming enterprises. We enact our mission through various initiatives, the most prominent of which is the Flats Mentor Farm program.

Since 1984, Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts has provided the space and infrastructure for small immigrant and refugee farmers to get started. The farmers at Flats Mentor Farm produce over 55 acres of ethnic specialty crops; supplying to wholesale and retail markets throughout New England, including over 40 farmers’ markets and dozens of small scale direct-to-consumer outlets in and around Massachusetts. Participating farmers are skilled producers who come from agrarian backgrounds and seek to make a new life for themselves while preserving their cultural identity. In order to contribute to their success in the new culture and climate of the Northeast, World Farmers’ Mentoring Program offers regular trainings in agricultural production, business development, and marketing. All programming is performed in a respectful environment of cross-cultural co-learning among farmers, World Farmers staff, and our interns and volunteers.

Many of the farmers at Flats Mentor Farm have told us that they never believed there would be an opportunity like this when they came to this country: access to land, trainings in new growing practices for this climate, and support in building a business in farming have made a huge impact on their ability to adapt and thrive. Just as important as our programming and services is the simple access to a safe space to learn from their neighbors, feed their families, heal, rebuild their cultural foundations, and teach the next generation all that agriculture can provide.
Practices
For the past 30 years, beginning immigrant and refugee farmers have learned about the opportunity to join Flats Mentor Farm solely through farmer-to-farmer word of mouth. The ethnic makeup has changed to reflect patterns of migration over the years: in the mid-90s, there were over 140 Hmong families and just 2 African immigrant farmers working at Flats Mentor Farm. Today, over 250 African farmers have plots at the Flats, while the Hmong population has decreased.

To date, of the over 1,200 farmers who have had plots at Flats Mentor Farm, 30% have gone on to farm their own land, 60% of whom are women. These independent farmers have established their operations across the country, from North Carolina to California.

In 1999, Flats Mentor Farm was identified as a national model by USDA and has served as a model for many beginning farmer programs nationally.

Here at Flats Mentor Farm, we grow many different kinds of vegetables hailing from all over the world. The extensive selection of crops grown reflects the farmers' cultural ties and their communities' needs.