We have a lack of infrastructure in place to support small scale farm operations. There is no safety net or crop insurance that applies to a small farmer who perhaps raises a dozen different crops or has a multi-species grazing plan and value-added operation. But that is okay, that is how it should be for pioneers such as ourselves.
We don’t need endless hand outs to get things done, in fact any handouts at all will make us weaker and slower to act. We become better operators by going through the fires of hell so that we can shine like angels. We don’t need these things, but we really need each other.
We need the support of fellow farmers of course, but we really need the support of our fellow human beings more then anything else. Commiserating with fellow farmers can help us blow off steam but our businesses are built by focusing laserlike on our operations in order to provide the best products & service to our customers. Our fellow farmers, in the end, are an incredible support network, but they won’t make or break our businesses. Only we can do that.
There are no riches that comes to us like in a fairy tale, we have to go out and get them if we want them. Cinderalla stories are fiction, and what the real world teaches us is that the only way we can achieve anything is to reach out for it. Take that one step that begins it all.
We have a huge dearth of supportive roles in our small scale farming endeavors. What relationships do we need to cultivate in order to create a professional image of this incredible world of small farming?
- Computer experts – We need graphic designers, website developers, and networking pros
- Financial experts – We need to either become good accountants or hire it our. We also need lenders and tax preparation people.
- Marketing – Either we create our own brands or we consolidate with other farms to create a strong brand. We have to choose one or the other, and we need real relationships with folks who have PR and advertising skills. We need communicators and advocates.
- Photographers/Writers – These are the people who will create the story of the regenerative agriculture economy.
- Commercial Kitchens Space – Value-added everything is the future, we need access to all the options we can get.
- Butchers and Packers – We need to funnel our products through the appropriate regulatory channels and get them on the shelves of grocery stores or in the farmers market or online. Products sitting around in storage increase the farm liabilities.
- Everything else that goes with running a business, as well as growing food. Endless opportunities are right there in front of your face.
Perhaps you have a passion for farm fresh foods and the beauty and ideals of farming, but have huge skills with one of the above and do not want to farm yourself. That is awesome because we as farmers really need you in these other roles – Come to us with discounted prices and we will give you a chance. Work with a few farmers and you may end making a living with us, co-creating this rich and rewarding sector of the new economy. You can contact me if you have a service mentioned above and I will try to connect you with someone who needs it. Folks, all of this has to happen right now, there is no waiting until the right time.