Marlow Farms

Farm in Opdyke, IL

Farm Facts

Type: Family Crop and Livestock Farm

Years in operation: 18

Annual revenue: 10k-50k
(Average over last three years)


Marlow Farms was started over 50 years ago, when my great grandfather traded his small general store for a herd of Hereford cattle. Since then the farm has seen good years and bad, and time has taken its toll. 18 years ago, the farm began to transistion to my parents and my sisters, and we're endeavoring to bring it back to its former glory. We started a pumpkin patch, and we're working on adding goats for quality meat and cheese products. In addition, we're laying the groundwork for a farmer's market stand.

Inside the Farm

How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
Our approach is 110% family oriented. We work hard to mesh opposing off the farm job schedules so that we can spend time together doing what we love. Also, while my parents keep an eye on the overall operation, my four sisters and I each have a different leadership role. I'm in charge of managing the goats. My sister Erica is in charge of the cattle. My sister Ellie tends to the mums we grow for our pumpkin patch. Our two littlest sisters (Elicia and Emerie) are 11 and 9, so they're in charge of the comic relief that is sometimes much needed when the weather isn't great or the livestock isn't cooperating.

How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
Our key to profitability is that we can divide and conquer. The joke was my parents wanted their starting basketball team, but between myself and my four sisters we can really work on problem solving. Things tend to get done the most efficient way possible. The phrase "time is money" is very respected here. In addition, our parents and grandparents are able to offer years of wisdom. The modern agricultural education my sisters and I were able to receive at our high school (and for myself, in college), perfectly complement that, and we're able to maximize potential. By maximizing potential, we're able to maximize profit.

How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
Our pastures are tired, and regardless of the amount of the grant we receive the first priority would be to reseed and replenish the nutrients in them. Any additional funds would be first put towards a greenhouse so that we could start the seeds for our produce stand sooner, and then new fencing for the pastures.

Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
My family are I are all very different individuals, but farming brings us together. Plus at the end of the day, when you're gathering up the bottles after feeding the newest round of bottle kids or walking back from the field underneath the sunset, farming allows a peace and satisfaction that can't be matched.

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Current rank: #32 of 54 farms

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