An Introduction to the Farm Finance Challenge

So what exactly is the Farm Finance Challenge? The FFC is a group of farms aiming to solve the problem of financial sustainability in small scale agriculture. While all the farms involved come from different backgrounds and have different business models, we found really quickly that we all aligned on a small set of very specific goals.

ffc starts tomorrow

Record Keeping

Record keeping can be dull, tedius, and at times just completely forgotten. This is a problem that spans most small businesses. Without accurate record keeping you do not know how to set prices, determine the viability of what you are doing, and can put you out of business without you having a clear idea of how you got there.

There are a lot of "solutions" out there that are both digital and analog. There are smartphone apps, software solutions, and businesses built on organizing your information. There is also the other end of the spectrum with notebooks, envelopes, and folders. The problem is that no one has really "nailed it" yet, or if they have they're not sharing their secrets.

The FFC aims to test these solutions and share what we find effective and ineffective so that we can provide the tools farmers need to succeed financially.

 

Acountability

The hardest part about record keeping is discipline. No matter how you do it, if you don't actually do it, then what good is it doing? None.

Think back to when you were in school, when you had a test coming up you crammed and studied and organized all your thoughts and information. Having a monthly deadline forces us to maintain the discipline of proper record keeping and keeps us accountable to our peers.

This has already proven effective as we move into the first post.

 

Case Study

With the growth in the small scale AG area of the world there is a lot of "this is how you farm"and "you should farm, it's great" information going around but no clear view of just how much money does a farm make. We will be building a case-study for young and beginning farmers to use to help support and grow the sustainable AG movement.

I know it would have changed my life to have clear numbers on the actual profitability of different farms when I was starting out. We are a community unlike any other with lofty goals of saving the planet. By letting budding agriculturalists peak under the hood we are providing the necessary tools of information to make educated decisions.

Remeber, G.I. Joe said, "Knowing is half the battle."

 

This is about US and YOU

While the FFC will highlight only a tiny percetage of farms in America the potential reach is global. This is about all of you as much as it is about the dozen or so of us.

I encourage you to follow and support your favorite farms in the challenge. Leave comments on their pages to give them advice, feedback, and positive reinforcement.

Use the FFC to your own benefit by learning from our numbers and our hard lessons learned. Follow along and use the accountability deadlines to keep your own farm on track.

 

Participating Farms

 

Berube Farm

Berube Farm

  • Dracut, MA
  • Vegetables including squash, tomatoes, and beans
  • 1/2 acre
  • Farm Finance hub
Bird Creek Farms

Bird Creek Farms

  • Port Austin, MI
  • Organic vegetables, 200 chickens, and alfalfa
  • 2 acres
  • Farm Finance hub

 

Camps Road Farm

Camps Road Farm

  • Kent, CT
  • Hops, apples, pasture-raised poultry, and events
  • 52 acres
  • Farm Finance hub

 

 Candy Girl Chicks

Candy Girl Chicks

 

 Fresh Farm Aquaponics

Fresh Farm Aquaponics

  • Glastonbury, CT
  • Greens, herbs, fish, and events
  • 1,000 square ft.
  • Farm Finance hub

 

 Humble Hill Farm

Humble Hill Farm

  • Spencer, NY
  • Mostly vegetables, some fruit
  • 170 acres, 4 tillable
  • Farm Finance hub

 

Little River Eco Farm

Little River Eco Farm

 

 Loony Acres

Loony Acres

 

Morganic Farm

Morganic Farm

  • Fife Lake, MI
  • Eggs, pastured pork, and English Shepherd puppies
  • 30 acres
  • Farm Finance hub

 

 Naked Ginger Farms

Naked Ginger Farms

  • Glen St Mary, FL
  • Vegetables, fruit trees, eggs, and livestock
  • 10 acres
  • Farm Finance hub

 

 Rockin' H Farm

Rockin' H Farm

  • Statham, GA
  • Vegetables, fruit, livestock, eggs, and honey
  • 20 acres
  • Farm Finance hub

 

 Sandia Pastured Meats

Sandia Pastured Meats

 

 Squash Hollow Farm

Squash Hollow Farm

 

 Sugarwood Acres

Sugarwood Acres