Farm-Incubator Experiment Is Working for Abundant Fields Farm, Part 2

| 11/25/2015 11:03:00 AM

Tags: sustainable agriculture, greenhouses, beginning farmers, market gardening, business, John Clark Vincent, Oregon,

abundant fields greenhouse

The greenhouse Rick Reddaway, owner of Abundant Fields Farm, built on his small farm.  

Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

In farming, as in most business endeavors, increasing revenue is the result of successfully expanding your market. But when one is just beginning, it’s hard to know how much expansion is needed. Is the goal to find an acre to lease somewhere? Or maybe shoot for the moon and actually try to buy a dozen acres with a house. Most likely the reality lies somewhere in between the two, but only research will provide an accurate gauge. So to get a sense of what kind of money might be needed and what opportunities might realistically exist, Rick has begun exploring the possibilities.

Recently he spoke with a representative from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency about one of that agency’s farm ownership loan programs. What he discovered is that he’s a long ways from where a loan manager would want him to be in order to achieve the high end of the success scale.

“He asked me what my gross sales were,” related Rick, “so I told him where I was. He didn’t say anything right then, but a little later he said he’d like to see our gross sales in the $30,000 to $50,000 range to start talking about a farm loan. I’m nowhere near that, and I’ll admit that kind of put a damper on my dreams a little. But I have to keep in mind that’s just one loan program. There are lots of other possibilities.”

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