Years in operation: 3
Annual revenue: < 10k
(Average over last three years)
We are a small, 2 acre chicken farm located in Northern New York State, just a few miles from the Canadian border, operated by myself and my husband. We currently have 70 laying hens that give us enough eggs to sell to the community, and we have just started to raise specialty chickens so that we can offer chicks as well (both Polish and Silkie). We are just adding Bourbon turkeys to our farm in hopes to raise turkeys in 2017.
Inside the Farm
How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
People are more health conscious now than ever before. We feel that by offering farm fresh eggs, and home grown chickens and turkeys, as well as chicks, we offer people an option other than buying from a big grocery store. In this area, in northern New York, there is not a lot of growth in these areas. People are struggling up here to make ends meet and survive. Our prices are lower than most stores and we try and help people if they need it.
How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
We started 3 years ago with 24 chickens for eggs. As the demand for our eggs grew we kept expanding. Now we have local restaurants who use our eggs as well as community members. Adding farm raised turkeys this year will be a huge boost for us and next year we hope to add meat chickens.
How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
If we were fortunate to win this contest we would add on a few more coops so that we could expand our chicken production, our special chick line and add coops to raise meat chickens and turkeys. We also need a storage area for supplies so we would build a small barn to house our equipment and feed. We would also add a processing room for processing meat chickens and turkeys.
Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
I am 55 and my husband is 67. In 2006 I lost my job due to complications from a brain tumor. In 2011 we moved here to our little slice of heaven. Having been someone who worked 2 jobs, coached cheerleading, coached softball, ran the Booster club, and was the Union President for our school district,I know the meaning of hard work and I loved it. Then all of a sudden my life came to a screeching halt and I was considered a liability due to uncontrollable migraines and fainting spells. I suffer from panic attacks and even something as small as a visit to the ER can send me into a fit of panic, but our small farm helps me control these. Being with our animals and raising the chicks and living in the woods where it's quiet and peaceful has helped me control these episodes. I also have a very sensitive stomach and I suffer from episodes of diverticulitis and I have to be very, very careful what I eat. I usually don't eat anything that we don't grow, raise or hunt ourselves. The love I have for these animals is like no other and I would rather clean my chicken coops than clean my house. People say that my coops are nicer and smell better than a lot of homes they have been in. My chickens are not just "chickens" they are my family. People who know me say that in their next life they would like to come back as one of my chickens or dogs. This year we were able to add another large coop and a beautiful new run. We live on a fixed income as my husband is retired (to stay home and take care of me). I love our life and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Expanding would me my dream come true. I have applied for different funding but most think we are too old and "not worth" the effort. We love our small farm and people love to come and visit us. If we had the chance to expand, we could do a lot. My husband and I do all the work ourselves. We hire nothing done and we scrape, barter and utilize recycled materials. In 2014 we took our 14x80, 1998 mobile home and made it into a gorgeous log cabin. People cannot believe how beautiful it turned out and that our "trailer" is underneath it all. We can take $20,000 and turn it into $40,000 by doing the work ourselves. We also hope that our young grandchildren will enjoy the farming life. Raising specialty chickens will afford them the option at showing at the fair and also learn where our food comes from and the responsibilities that go along with it. As a child I spent a lot of time on my grandparents farm and I am hoping that my grandchildren will want to spend lots of time at our small farm during their childhood as well.
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