Entering Farmer: 20178

I’m a first-generation farmer interested in livestock production as a means to improve land and mitigate climate change. I dived headfirst into farming in 2020 when I took an internship in the Adirondacks of New York on a goat dairy and diversified livestock farm. At the peak of the pandemic, I moved to live and work as an intern at Asgaard Farm & Dairy in upstate NY.

My responsibilities there varied widely, and I improved my skills in many areas: animal husbandry rotational grazing and pasture management; making and packaging hundreds of pounds of cheese daily; operating farmers’ markets and managing online sales and marketing; record keeping from animal chores to inventory upkeep; and more. It was during this season that I discovered my love of farming and committed to a lifelong career of producing and promoting food made well.

The next season, I was accepted into the Rodale Institute’s Farmer Training Program and relocated to the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania to work on this highly respected and well-known organic research farm. With a team, we grew a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers and served a 100 member CSA and a couple of markets in underserved communities in surrounding cities. This work was supplemented with educational experiences: classes on topics from soil health to financial management and drawing up a business plan, as well as visits to surrounding farms, retailers, and food system operations. My first year here was an absolutely incredible experience but I especially gravitated towards the livestock component of the program. I helped raise pastured pigs, broilers and laying hens, Thanksgiving turkeys, and a small herd of steers under the guidance of my mentors.

For this upcoming season, I am planning on following through on the second-year track of the RIFT program. The second year will hone in on team management and tractor skills and further develop my business plan and strategy for my own operation. With all the connections I have made at the Rodale Institute, I intend to find the right opportunity to develop a profitable and sustainable business. While the specific details of the future remain open-ended, I have a very clear idea of my values and goals and trust that my previous experiences will guide me along to the right situation.

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Additional Information:

Formulated Business Plan: Yes
Marketing Plan: Yes
Will use land for crop production: Yes
Years of Experience: 2
Agricultural Apprenticeship Program Details:

Cheesemaking Internship, Asgaard Farm & Dairy, Completed 2021

Rodale Institute Farmer Training Program (RIFT), The Rodale Institute, 2021-present

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