GFP037: Farming Veterans or Veteran Farmers?

There are few others for understand order and efficiency better than our veterans. Today's guest is no exception. Terrell Spencer "Spence" of Across the Creek Farm in West Fork, Arkansas has a great many things to say about what it takes to be a truly sustainable farmer. "The real sustainable farmer is a profitable farmer."

Profit does not have to come at a sacrifice to the quality of your plants or animals. Rather it comes as a product of good planning and better record keeping. Spence has really been able to drill down into exactly what his net profit is per chicken, and that is helping him work toward his goal of financial success.

While the concentration of this discussion if that of finances and record keeping I think it is important to take stock of what I chose that topic. I did not get into farming to make money, but I do see it as a necessity to keep farming.

First and foremost in my life come my new daughter Mabel and my wife Kate. The most important duty I can serve is to be a good provider for them not only in bringing home the bacon, but making sure that bacon was raised in a healthy manner, haha. Hooray farm metaphors!

I farm because I love it, and I love my family. I focus my efforts on financial stability because I want to keep farming and I want to support my family. That is definitely something Spence and I have in common.

During the interview Spence shares with me his strategy for growing his farm as well as more information on a great organization connecting veterans with agricultural resources called the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

Right click here to download the MP3

In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • Supporting other farmers while cutting your own grain costs
  • 10,000 pastured broilers and growing
  • Creating a solid core to your farm business
  • Knowing your demographic and connecting with them
  • One way to find out what works for you
  • How to help a veteran(s) with your farm
  • Where to go to get more info if you are a veteran looking to get into AG

Interview with Spence of Across the Creek Farm in West Fork, AR

Across the Creek Farm is the Spencer family farm located in Northwest Arkansas. They focus on raising free range poultry on pasture. They're steadily transforming a rocky, highly eroded Boston Mountain holler into a place where life echos and good food is grown for good families like theirs and yours.

Spence is a US Army Vet and works with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to help other veteran farmers like himself.

Special thanks to Mark Widhalm!

Take aways:

At what point will you have "made it"?

Remember life is a journey, but it does help to work toward a goal. Keep records and make educated decisions.


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.