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Diversification: Using a Sawmill Brings Profitability for Farmer

| 1/18/2019 3:12:00 PM

Grange Farmhouse 

Henry Brown has worked the Grange Farm with his father and now as sole proprietor in the village of Rosedale Abbey in England for more than 20 years. On the 300-acre farm located in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Henry and his wife manage 400 mule breeding sheep, 1,200 pigs, horses, two bed & breakfast cottages, and a timber business. “I have such a varied job description,” Henry laughs. “Whether it is managing the cottages, the farming side, the timber side, every day is different.” However, diversity to keep the farm consistently profitable was not always the case.

“As a young man, it’s a great idea to spend your days farming, running around on quadbikes, tractors, and it all seems great fun,” recalls Henry. “The next minute, you have a wife and children. And suddenly, it was appearing [to us] that a hill farm was not going to generate the income that our family required.”

Wooden garden furniture

In the early 2000s, Henry and his wife began looking into ways they could supplement farming to raise their profits. “[Profitability] while farming is a common problem, certainly up in these areas,” Henry shares. “I have two or three friends that have also diversified – one into steel fabricating and another into stone. I wanted to make sure that when I diversified into something else, that it was actually a love, and not just because I had to do it.” His wife Jane had always wanted to run a bed & breakfast and holiday cottage. Together, they remodeled an old barn into a charming B&B, which they now rent out to people looking to get away from the bustle of city life.


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