Our big goal: Giving back to veterans

By Hannah Becker, Willow Springs Farm It’s that time of year— a new year, new goals. For many entrepreneurs, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a time to reflect and clarify goals. What have we accomplished? Where are we headed? What’s the best way to get there? A quick recap of 2015 Willow Springs Farm has developed from a 24-page business plan to an actual farm. This time last year, I recall telling my husband that, “if... Read More

Our farm is debt free … but that wasn’t the plan

By Hannah Becker, Willow Springs Farm Like many startups, my farm’s business plan has been tweaked a time or two. Initially, I wanted to start a commercial cow-calf operation, but I was unable to secure the financing necessary to get it off the ground. So instead I decided to explore a grass-fed beef operation and direct marketing opportunities, which offered lower startup costs plus higher profit margins. The downside was, the production cycle... Read More

Capital: the high cost of getting started – BOOTSTRAP AT WILLOW SPRINGS FARM

By Hannah Becker, Willow Springs Farm A neighboring farmer likes to joke, “You know how you make a million dollars as a farmer? Start out with two million!” While my comedic neighbor’s joke isn’t accurate, farming does take a LOT of money just to get the ball rolling. Start-up costs for a small-scale agriculture operation can quickly get into six or seven figures. Land, equipment, operating capitol, property improvement, livestock, seeds—it... Read More

New Guide: Learn what FSA loans can do for you

Fall Line Farms; cooperative, co-op; Richmond, VA.Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture The FSA has just released a clear a concise explanation of its different farm loans and policies in an online publication entitled “Your guide to FSA Farm Loans.”  The guide is specifically written for those considering assistance for starting, expanding, or purchasing land for a farm or ranch.  While the best thing for you to do is get in touch with an... Read More

Bootstrap @ Hartwood Farm: How We Bought the Farm

Not owning farmland should not keep anyone from farming.  There are amazing land matching opportunities that make farmland accessible to potential new operators, and we have been lucky enough to participate in some of them.  As long as we’ve been working on other farm operations or leasing land, we’ve had an urge for permanence that we couldn’t shake.  We wanted to own the land we farmed.  And we don’t think it’s that crazy to try to... Read More