I am a veteran looking to make a positive difference and inspire others to learn about, and implement small-scale, organic and regenerative farming practices that support personal health, community access/involvement, and caring for the planet. I grew up in an underserved family without access to land or resources that would allow me to start a career as a farmer, which has inspired my mission to “grow” these opportunities through education and access in local communities.
I am currently an intern in the “Veteran Organic Farmer In Training” program through the Rodale Institute. This is a full-time, on-site program built around classroom lectures, field lectures, animal chores, market garden, high tunnel production from seed to harvest, and selling at markets. Each farmer-in-training also works on developing a viable farm/business plan that is evaluated throughout the 9-month program, in order to start a farm upon graduation. As I write this bio (in mid-July), I am halfway through the program and have begun to develop my farm plan to include several focal points. Currently, my plan includes a startup operation around organic microgreens for a quick ROI. As I grow my funding and resources, I plan to incorporate a flower & honey business that includes cut flowers, pick-your-own, and growing native pollinators to display and sell. As I finish my B.S. in Education, I am looking to incorporate education (via non-profit) in various facets of my farm. I plan to do this via community workshops, small scale summer day-camps, a young entrepreneur farmer academy and a scholarship opportunity for underserved youth interested in a 4-H program. The summer day-camps will teach regenerative farming, as well as offer older children an opportunity to be counselors-in-training and/or young adult counselors. The young entrepreneur farmer academy camp will enable members to develop small-scale business plans & sell their products. I will also offer land/resource access for the 4-H scholarship opportunity. The facets for the non-profit/educational sector will include (on a small scale): microgreens, a small market garden, cut flowers/herbs, potted plant sales, Jersey cow and Nubian dairy goats, layer hens and the access for an agricultural 4-H student’s choice of animal/crops.
I own a 1/3-acre piece of property that supports a personal garden and ten laying chickens. All of my practices on my land have been organic and regenerative; however, I simply do not own enough property to grow my dream farm business. Please note that the formulated business and marketing plan questions answered below, were left blank, simply due to the fact that they are not 100% completed; however, will be by the conclusion of my course on 3 November 2021. I am looking for land that is between 5-10 acres to facilitate this plan.
Looking For Arrangement Type:
Buy / Lease / Lease To Own
Looking For Farms With Acreage:
Veteran or Active Military: Yes
Will use land for crop production: Yes
Will use land for dairy operation: Yes
Years of Experience: Smallest scale homesteading (4 years); larger scale market (less than 1 year)
Agricultural Apprenticeship Program Details:
Heroes to Hives through Michigan State University completed 11/2021
*currently in Veteran Rodale Institute Farmer-In-Training program