We need you!
How to sign up:
Want to grow for TRACTOR? Print and fill out our form by downloading application here . Once you have that done that stop by and drop off your application or mail it in. Give us a call at 828-536-0126 to hear more about the process and to let us answer any questions you have.
For good reason, local food is becoming more and more popular. In fact, a recent survey found that 82% of people in Western North Carolina would buy local food if they knew it was local, and JWT, the largest advertising agency in the US, acknowledged local foods as one of the top 10 trends in advertising.
Many of our sellers prioritize food from local sources, and currently we have more demand than we can meet. That’s why we need you!
What’s in it for you?
We help expand your markets.
Grocery stores often have strict specifications for what their produce looks like and the quantities they’re willing to order. Often the quantities they want to buy are larger than what a single farmer could provide.
We aggregate produce from multiple farms so that collectively our growers can meet large orders from grocery stores and restaurants. We also work with our growers to wash and grade produce in our facility to make sure they have the infrastructure and support they need to ensure their produce meets the purchasers’ specifications.
We help you have more time to farm.
By allowing us to take on the marketing and distribution of their produce, our growers can spend more time farming, and less dealing with logistics and travel.
We provide a GAP/GHP certified packing and post-harvest handling facility.
Grocery stores often require GAP certified processing facilities. Our warehouse includes a GAP certified washing and packaging facility and cold storage so you don’t have to have them on your farm. We’ll give you a facility orientation when you come in and show you how to use any equipment you’re not familiar with.
We provide equipment.
Only need a transplanter a few times a year? Don’t purchase it! You can rent our shared-use equipment any time. For a list of what equipment we have and how to order it, see Equipment Rental.
We offer educational training.
Need to know what grocery stores want to buy? Need to know what food safety standards apply for processing? We offer educational seminars on a variety of topics throughout the year.
What’s the cost?
To access these benefits, you can become a TRACTOR member for just $20/year. We split profits with our growers 80%/20% (you keep 80% of the selling price). We aren’t out to make a profit, but we need to cover our expenses to operate our facility and keep our delivery truck on the road.
Who can grow for TRACTOR?
- Can bring us produce or is near enough to our delivery route for us to pick up produce from you. Currently most of our growers are in Yancey and Mitchell Counties, but we also have growers in Burke, McDowell, Avery, Madison, and Buncombe Counties.
- Has completed Tier 1 GAP training. The extension office offers periodic GAP training sessions for free.
- We also recommend that you have crop liability insurance.
If you’re in our area and have completed Tier 1 training, we’ll work with you to go over crop standards and specifications, and we’ll train you in health and hygiene for our facility.
Note: Our main focus is on providing area grocery stores with high quality local produce. We encourage you to talk to us about any crops you have, and we’ll work with you on determining types and quantities that grocery stores will purchase. We also encourage our growers to diversify—not only in the crops they grow, but also in the outlets they sell to. Even if you sell produce to other places as well, we can by all means still work together!