A groundbreaking ceremony is slated this week for a new business incubator that is billed by its promoters as the first food hub for the Paso del Norte region.
In a press statement, the American Friends Service Committee of New Mexico annnounced the construction kick-off at noon December 3 of the new Anthony Youth Farmers Market and Business Incubation Facility in southern New Mexico.
Building on the existing, 14-acre Anthony Youth Farm, plans for the food hub include an indoor and outdoor farmers’ market, vegetable processing facility, and commercial kitchen to spawn new businesses. Learning and recreational spaces will also be featured.
“The building will serve as a business incubator, providing small-scale farms and community members with training and micro-financing opportunities to propel indepedently owned business and provide broader access to healthy food,” said Jose Terrones, Anthony Water and Sanitation District supervisor.
Loren Schoonover, water district manager, added that apart from providing “valuable training and education,” the food hub is envisioned as a force for cultivating leadership and renewing interest in “our deep agricultural heritage.”
Located off Interstate 10 in the Mesilla Valley between Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, the small town of Anthony has a long farm heritage that has been more recently challenged by drought, creeping urbanization and global shifts in the food economy.
The Anthony Youth Farmers Market and Business Incubation Facility will be built at 1570 Highway 478.