Small Farms Struggle in Getting Startup Funding

There are a lot of people who love vegetables and farming because this is really fun. One can enjoy it as well as it adds some good money to his/her pocket at the end of the month. In addition, leaving near a farm is a very good idea as it gives you fresh air and keeps you healthy.

Six years ago, a woman named Karen Archipley started an organic vegetable farm with her husband in lush Escondido, California. Archipley says “We’re looking at luciano kale and rainbow chard… we harvest it every Saturday for Sundays farmers markets. Now we are selling more to the stores as well.”

Archipley’s farm is not very big. It’s only three acres, but it provides enough for Archipleys, plus a few employees. She loves farming and she says, “You can take the size of a parking lot and make a good living”. She also tells about a neighbor farmed called Amber Waves Organic which is run by Ray Shields who is a retired Navy.

Shields says “This is the lifestyle I want to pursue. I would like to have a sustainable organic farm that can provide opportunity for maybe 8, maybe ten veterans.”

But traditional farm loans are not available, that can make his vision come true, says Elizabeth, the author of the forthcoming book Finance for Food. “Financing either goes to large scale industrial farmers or to farmers of commodity crops that are not even aimed for human consumption.”

Big banks don’t show their interests in small farming and startup farmers like Shields looks too risky for most small business loads. “A lot of startup farmers go into credit card debt which is the one form of capital available to them.”

However, a new microloan program from USDA intends to fill this gap. Small, startup farmers can get up to $35,000, at only 1% interests. Ray Shields has already put his application and he is expected to get about $30,000.

Lainton Family Gets 2013 Farm Award

Paula and Stan Lainton received the award of 2012 Farm Family during the 48th annual Estevan Chambers of Commerce Farmers Appreciation dinner at Days Inn Plaza. The evening featured speeches from the minister of Government Relations, Jim Reiter and the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, David Marit. The presentation of the award was the highlight of the evening.

When announcing the award, Michel Cyrenne told that Stan Lainton was raised on his family’s farm north of Bienfait. He began farming with his father after completing high school. Meanwhile, he was working in a handful jobs including driving a schools bus and that particular job let him to meet with Paula. The relationship turned into marriage in 1977.

Michel also said, they purchased 2 quarters of land from Stan’s parents and started building a herd of Simmental Cattle. At that time, they also started gathering their own equipments.

After Stan’s father died in 1990, Lainton’s took over the family farm and continued to run their thriving operation, which has grown to 80 Simmental- Red Angus cross cows and just under three thousands acres of land on which they grow canola, wheat, barley, oats, peas and flax.

Cyrenne said that the couple is not only highly experienced in family farming, but they also have a number of extensive community involvements. Paula is involved with local community theatre groups and also treasurer for the Estevan Wildlife Federation and works as a substitute teacher.

On the other hand, Stan Lainton is heavily involved in the RM of Coalfields as council member. He is also a director in the St. Joseph’s Hospital board, a director in the St’ Joseph’s Hospital foundation board, a director of the Beinfait Curling Club board and a member of the Southeast Health Community.

When accepting the award, Stan described the recognition as “beyond belief” and said his family is honored with this award. He also said, the farm would not be exactly what it is without everyone’s involvement.

There’re Still 1 Billion Hungry People in the World

The recent studies say that, approximately 1 billion people around the globe are still starving. Most of them run family farms to produce food for themselves as well as for their communities. Why this is happening? Food expert, Marita Wiggerthale, says the reason is clear. They are not getting enough support to evolve their opportunities.

They need to improve their access to the land or water, but sadly, they get very little support at this point. The big companies are focusing on solving their major issues. This is the biggest reason why there are a billion of people on this planet still hungry.

In Berlin Germany, business and government representatives from all around the world came together and discussed the challenges to reduce the hungry people on the world. There are many small farm owners possess the ability to integrate themselves with modern value chains, but in the most cases, it is not happened. What they need is better access to the market credit and seeds. But the politicians are focusing on the big businesses.

The big companies only invest in agriculture when they feel that they are legally secure. As the nations are often changing traditional legal systems in to a formal system, the poor farmers don’t have the money to purchase these title deeds.

Another reason is the poor distribution of the foods. The world presently produces food that may feed nine billion people. But these foods are not being distributed properly. What is needed is to ensure a good distribution. Uganda can be a great example because it is fertile country and can supply the food to its neighbors. The farmers in Uganda don’t have a good infrastructure. For an example, large amount of milk is wasted because there is no electricity that can be used to keep the milk cold so that it can be transported to the market.

Family farming: Importance and Way to Preserve the Tradition

In every social heritage, all of us have direct family ties to agriculture somewhere to our blood. Let’s go back a long time ago, when we all were hunters and gatherers. Humans lived their life living off the land to feed the families. Since the dawn of the human civilization family involvement in the agricultural sector remained unchanged. With the passage of time we got civilized, invented numerous technical equipments and now we deal with our agriculture with education, technology and inspiration.

Just a century ago brothers, sisters and all of the family members worked side by side to create better life for the future generations. Most of them were farmers, and our today’s society, civilization is standing on their sweat, blood and tears. As technology approaches, new equipment and better opportunity arrived. Numerous people shifted to the cities and towns for the betterment. But we didn’t forget our roots. Our root lies in the field where our great great grandfathers worked hard to maintain our families.

Now-a-days, we all are running like machine to win the race and most often we forgot who we were once. We don’t spend time to think about our agriculture. We got the food on our table and don’t give a single thought about where they came from.

It’s quite interesting in the recent time, the scenario is changing. Lots of families have got involved in the agricultural sector to benefit their family a bit more and some from hobby. With the proper use of technology and standard knowledge they become successful and without even knowing they are playing an important role in the growth of the country. Family farming was always a great way to improve family growth and now it’s clear once again with the performance of the numerous families inside the US.

Hurt Farmers are Getting Support from Farm Rescue in North Dakota

Farm Rescue a nonprofit organization aids family farmers in need of planting and harvesting in need. The 45 year lifelong pilot Bill Gross formed this organization to support needy farmers. Farmers play the most important role in any country’s socio-economic growth. But most of time they don’t find the best support in case of emergency.

Farmers work hard to put food in our table. But it’s really a shame that government and administration didn’t pay enough opportunity for them. In lack of support they couldn’t give the best output. It’s our duty to be in their side. This awareness drives Bill Gross to form this innovative group. Over the years he collected interested and motivated personals and assembled them whenever a farmer needs plating support.

Just a few days back Dan Dotzenrod a small farmer fell from his semitrailer and broke his neck. He won’t be able to his planting all by himself. Farm Rescue was there for him. They helped him planting and harvesting. It was the 200th good deed done by this group.

Farm Rescue was created to be supportive for the North Dakota farmers and from the very beginning they’re helping farmers. Their dedication and hard work has created an avenue for people and businesses to help farm families in the region.

In a very short time they were there for the 200 needy farmer families. Around 100 volunteers work on a regular basis. Most of them are from in South Dakota. Also supportive people from different places take part in it. Don’t get astonished if you see a minister driving semi or an information technology specialist working in the field with tractor and rig. They’re the volunteers came to support the family farmers.

New Policy on Egg and Poultry Sales

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service held a workshop in last Thursday. It was on a new rule that will allow small farm owners to sell limited amount of eggs ad dressed poultry directly to the consumers. The workshop held at Department’s Winter Heaven Office. If this new policy comes in action buying farm fresh eggs and poultry get a lot easier in the next years.

Currently, the policy about this matter only allows direct sell if they are labeled as pet food or the farm is a licensed processor. If they aren’t labeled or licensed selling them directly is illegal. With the new rule small farmers will get the opportunity to produce, conserve and market their eggs and poultry.

Under this new policy up to 1,000 laying hens in any year can be directly sold by the farmers to consumers. Also more than 20,000 poultry birds can be sold and slaughter on that farm. Chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowl plus domesticated game birds, such as pigeons and quail usually rose for meats are subject to poultry.

Implementation of this new policy will be helpful to meet the demand of meat and most importantly it will help the small farmers to produce more and be a part of the supply chain directly. This will create a positive impact in the economy as well as the development of more and more small farmers.

Around a dozen small farm owners have attended in this workshop from Polk County. Also the Department took workshop in Gainesville and Tallahassee where about 15 farmers attended in each. The new policy aims to lose the costs and regulatory burden on small farms and give them fair payment on their hard work of productivity.

Colorado Family Farms Are Thriving in These Days

Over the last two decades, CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – has become one of the popular ways for most of the consumers are out there to purchase local and seasonal foods directly from the farmers. A good example is the Grant Family Farms which is located near the Fort Collins.

Now how the CSA concept works? A farmer has to offer a specific number of the “Shares” to the public. Generally a box of vegetables is consisted in the Share; however other farm products can be included. The consumers who are interested, buy a share and receive a box seasonal of food each week throughout the season of farming.

There is no doubt it is a pretty simple idea, but it has put a great impact on the family farming. Tens thousands families have already joined CSA’s. It has been seen that there are some areas where the CSA farms’ demands are very high and there not enough CSA farms to fill it.

Some farmers include the option for the shareholders to purchase shares of homemade bread, meat, cheese, eggs, flowers, fruits along with their veggies.

Advantages for farmers:
• The great advantage of this concept for the farmers is that they start receiving payments early in the season so it helps them with the cash flow of the farm.
• They can have the idea that, who eat the foods they produce.

Advantage for consumers:
• Consumer can eat fresh food which is great for their health.
• They have to visit the farm at least once in a season.
• They might be introduced with new vegetables which they have not tasted before.
• They can develop a good relationship with the farmers and it helps them in learning how the food is grown practically.

The number of CSA-farms is unknown because US government does not track them.

Plan for your Vegetable Garden

Small family farms or vegetable gardens can be a huge opportunity to add more in the family income. With a little effort, you can enjoy fresh delicious vegetables from your garden. Also, the garden energy can reduce the grocery bill and put some bucks in your pocket. If you have enough land to raise a vegetable garden, this idea seems to be tempting. But without proper planning all your effort will be in vain. Before start digging your field, you must know the general guidelines and plan for the best.

Get your head straight on what you like to eat. When you’re on to collect the seeds, it’s natural to get carried away by the charming and delicious food profile variety. If you’re so much to experiment with new seeds, placed it in the corner or one dedicated area that’s way it won’t affect in your farming.

Take a look at your family meal and measure the amount of how much of an item your family need in a week or month. Make it count for one year. Then you’ll easily understand how much seeds you gonna need to fill your family requirements or if you want to earn some cash by supplying some of it.

You can fill your family needs in the growing season, but for the whole year supplement you must put a good thinking on how you will preserve the vegetables for off-season. Tomatoes, green beans, apples, berries can be easily preserved. Also, any vegetable can be freeze up in proper way.

Calculate your total area and make plan for various vegetables you wanna plant in your lands. You can visit and take advice from the experts available in your nearby field office.

Keep a good record of your gardening. So, you don’t have to worry about off seasons preserving. Do necessary adjustments in your plants when needed. Success in small family farming pretty much depends on the care and proper plans. Take good care and stay fresh with vegetables of your own raised garden.

A Family Farm Can Enhance Its Role in the Local Economy

The term “value-added” in the agricultural circle means that an agricultural producer or a group of producers of a business further processes a commodity in the value-chain which leads to the ultimate consumer. Sometimes, this can go way beyond the processing of a commodity.

A great example is the McCarty Family Farm that received Rural Economic Development Load and a Value-Added Producer Grant.

The family behind this family farm is McCarty family and the family members are father and mother, four sons, their wives and children. They are together operating 3 dairies with approximately 7,200 cows. They are also operating an evaporation plant (constructed recently) with the help of USDA.

The plant is used to remove the extra water from the raw milk, as result quality and sustainability of the milk increase. The cream is then transported to sour cream manufacturer, and they pasteurize the condensed milk and make it ready for shipment.

That processing is normal for any farms, but there is more value contributed when it creates additional jobs and the additional wages put impact on the local economy, and it builds a rural school where the children are getting learning facilities. The term “value-added” doesn’t stop here. The farm has taught us how to use water more efficiently. Remember the water that is extracted from the raw milk? About 39,000 gallons are produced and re-circulated each day in the processing of the dairy, minimizing the use of underground aquifer. Because of the condensation, the farms achieve a seventy five percent reduction in the number of vehicles needed for the shipment. Fewer vehicles mean less fuel and less fuel means it provides benefits to the environment.

This is how the McCarty family is providing great benefits to the country and increasing the opportunities of family farming.

Great tips on small farming

You might have known that how small farms play a great role in annual national economy. These farms are indeed the most efficient sector of agriculture, expanding the food supply of the world in safe, sustainable and healthy ways.

Perhaps you are thinking that large farms have greater contribution than small farms, but the actual data shows us opposite scene. The production of small farms is far more than large farms. In United States, about ninety one percent farms are small farms and 60 percent of them are very small, providing a great support in the food business.

In these days, many people are starting small farm for their hobby, taking it as a way to have fun. These farms not only provide food, but can also be small income source of family. However, starting farming business needs few things to be considered. If you can come up with a good plan and set up, you will definitely enjoy it. Additionally, it can be a source of making handsome amount of money.

If you have a low budget then bee keeping and Christmas tree farms can be great choice as both of them needs low start up costs. Bee keeping is a fun, and bees and equipments are inexpensive. And also selling honey is profitable. On the other hand, Christmas plants are cheap and they don’t take so much time for growing. After 5-6 years, the trees become good enough for selling.

Indeed, it doesn’t matter what your budget is. The matter is to have proper knowledge on what you are gonna do. As a small farmer you will need some education and a good exchange of practical and theoretical matters. Further more you will need marketing assistance, legal aid, advanced techniques, appropriate equipments and tools. Once you have an excellent set up, you can earn good money by small farming.