Looking back at our whirlwind first season

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  As we head into our second year as a farm, I am amazed at what we accomplished in just one short year. I remember back to our first few weeks on the farm, when our main field was just a cow pasture; we had yet to put up a deer fence, hoophouse, or wash station; and were thick in the process of starting up a business. When we got started in January 2015, I was often overwhelmed by the amount of work we needed... Read More

Funding our farm: loans, grants, and a gamble

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  When Brandon and I decided to start Furrow Horse Farm last January, we knew we were about to spend a lot of money. We were moving onto leased land that had no infrastructure, and we needed to build hoop houses and put up a deer fence. Since we had both been working for other farmers in the years after graduating from college, we didn’t have very much money saved, nor did we have inheritances or farmland... Read More

So You Want to Be a Farmer? First, know this….

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  You want to be a farmer? That’s great news because we need a lot more farmers! But there are some things you should know before diving in: 1) Farming is really, really hard. (Let me stress that one more time….) Seriously. The hardest work I’ve ever done. You will work longer days then you ever have and take less time off then ever before. You will be perennially sore and exhausted. You will... Read More

Planning for the short-term– BOOTSTRAP AT FURROW HORSE FARM

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  Before I dive into this post, the farm has a big announcement: We now have our first team of draft horses! Lady and Abby, two Belgian mares from Sandpoint, Idaho, were delivered to us a few weeks ago. So far they are doing great, and we have already used them in the garden to harrow in our cover crop. We are so excited to finally have them here and realize our dream of owning our own team. Now we can truly start... Read More

The Best and The Worst: Bootstrap at Furrow Horse Farm

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  Being a farmer comes with ups and downs to the extreme. Every day we simply hope to wake up prepared for any and all situations and well rested enough to deal with what comes. Sometimes, what comes is disaster. The story of one of the worst days on the farm this season comes from Brandon: A few weeks ago we had an epic windstorm. Caitlin was away for the weekend, and I was all set for our Saturday market. I... Read More

The numbers game – Bootstrap at Furrow Horse Farm

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  Brandon and I started Furrow Horse Farm this year not entirely sure where it would take us, or where we would take it. We are farming on leased land, and signed a one-year lease to start out with. It is difficult to plan long-term for the farm and business when we don’t know how long we will be on this land or even how long we want to be on this land. We also both have off-farm jobs to help pay the bills, so... Read More

My Grandpa and the New Family Farm – BOOTSTRAP AT FURROW HORSE FARM

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  On February 13th of this year, I came home from work and played the new messages on our answering machine. My mom’s voice came across the line crying and hysterical, informing me that my grandpa had died that afternoon. My grandpa, Richard Norton, grew up farming cherries and apples in the Yakima Valley of eastern Washington State. He witnessed the transition from draft horses to tractors and the arrival... Read More

Bootstrap at Furrow Horse Farm – Meet Caitlin

  Welcome to our 2015 Bootstrap Blog series! We’ve been introducing you to our four Bootstrap Bloggers, who are all in their first or second year of running a farm. Throughout the season, each Bootstrap Blogger will write about the highs and lows, glory moments and curveballs that come with farming.   My name is Caitlin Arnold, and I am a young farmer in Washington State. This year I’m celebrating my tenth year of farming and my first... Read More

Whitehouse.gov Guest Post – Bringing Young Americans Back to the Farm

2014 Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change, at a White House ceremony. This post, by NYFC’s Lindsey Lusher Shute, was originally published on whitehouse.gov, where Lindsey has been named a Future of American Agriculture Champion of Change. With record farmland prices, climate instability, and an agricultural economy often working against them, today’s young farmers and ranchers are all Champions of Change. They are taking tremendous... Read More

Part Two – Guest post from Washington – Taking lessons from a killer crop mob

A lot of folks have gotten in touch with us about coming up with practical ways young farmers (and their communities!) can help each other out.  One amazing – and simple – solution is to use crop mobs to focus a large group’s energy all on one specific project.   This is part two in the story on crop mobs in Washington State. Put simply, a crop mob is a group of farmers, farm interns, or community members who come together on... Read More

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