Small-farm business development incubators for refugee farmers [M2015-13]

Project Description: 

This project continues work that began as part of 2011 and 2014 competitive grants to create a program to help recent immigrants to the Des Moines area establish their own agricultural businesses. Over the past four years, Lutheran Services of Iowa (LSI) has set up the Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, a site for community garden plots and an incubator training program. This project will develop the next step: quarter-acre plots for eight participants who will transition over three to five years to their own land and successful enterprise. 

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Lead Investigator: 
Nicholas Wuertz
Lead Investigator Bio: 

Nicholas Wuertz is director of refugee services for Lutheran Services of Iowa, a nationally accredited, nonprofit human services agency affiliated with three Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wuertz oversees LSI’s Refugee Community Services program including Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines. He began working with LSI’s refugee resettlement program in 2006 as a community outreach specialist and has served as director since 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College.