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Old 10-23-2009, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,538,452 times
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It sounds like (to me) that you have already made the decision to buy and work that land... grin.

What about your co-op? Are they working to bring in another food company?
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:32 AM
 
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Land was still selling quite well recently in our area ( central Minnesota)

Basically, there were only 2 types of buyers driving up the prices.

#1--farmers who already owned lots of land and used their previosly owned land as collateral

#2---farmers who sold their farms for $millions cuz they were located close to a metro area and moved here with lots of cash.

BrokenTap-------- I can't really remember ( in my area) when the price of land was low enough to make it " pencil out"

A couple farms close to me got sold in the last 5 years.
Both were similar-------about 200 acres dairy farms,nice buildings, and set up for about 70 cows.

Both sold for over $700,000.
Both were sold to farmers who sold their previous farms for metro developement.

If they had to borrow the money, it would have been impossible for the income of 70 cows to pay off a $700,000 mortgage.

Since they don't have a mortgage, they will survive ( they both are excellent dairy farmers)
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:31 PM
 
263 posts, read 670,236 times
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bigger isn't the answer, diversity is. and direct to the consumer local sales.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,096 posts, read 22,613,580 times
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Well BrokenTap, sounds like the real problem here is....the government. Shocking news (not). They're taxing and regulating you to death. But don't worry, once the socialists destroy your economy entirely they'll move on to another state to work on...

And I'll add, the farms here in VT doing best are those that diversified instead of relying on one or two things. It's the only way they can stay afloat now, between taxes, regulations, low prices, and all the fruits and nuts moving in to get married or looking for their marxist paradise complaining about everything from the smell of the cows to the sound of gunshots to "why'd you let that trapper kill that cute coyote?"

Farming in New England is just dying a slow and painful death.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebreadlady
bigger isn't the answer, diversity is. and direct to the consumer local sales.
Sounds like the ‘wisdom’ of corporate motivational posters.

Some farmers produce one crop and have a stand alongside the road; like apples or strawberries or corn, and that seems to work for them.

I know of a few operations where they each produce a dozen crops; and then one person spends most of every weekday babysitting a parking lot. Each weekday is spent in a different town’s ‘Farmers Market’ [FM]. On weekends everyone on those farms goes to different FMs and they each spend weekend days babysitting parking lots.

It takes a strong desire to baby-sit parking lots. Some folks are cutout for that kind of stuff; others are not.

Without the FMs, you would be spinning your wheels trying to market a dozen different things at once.

CSAs are a marketing scam, but they do seem to work.

I recently spoke with a fisherman who started up a CSF [a Co-op of independent fishermen] who are collectively marketing their week’s catch together focusing mostly on church groups in each town. It is working for them.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: The Woods
17,096 posts, read 22,613,580 times
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You know BrokenTap, I remember something else some dairy farmers in Northern Vermont did to make ends meet (I suspect they're still at it too): rental properties. A miserable business to deal with if you ask me because the laws are so slanted in favor of bad tenants but it kept them afloat during bad years. They each had a couple rental properties, usually in town, sometimes out in the country too. Rents are real high in Vermont so even with the taxes they made some money off it.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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--"rental properties"--

kinda hard buying rental properties when one is struggling to pay the farm mortgage.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:49 AM
 
263 posts, read 670,236 times
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we are full time farmers and 90% of the things we produce on our 200 acre farm has been sold at the local farmers market on saturdays, year-round, for the past 20 years. before that we farmed 1000 acres, sold only milk and went broke at about the age you are now. (flood year, followed by a drought year, no feed equals no milk equals bankruptcy)
diversity is the key to our survival, and our local customers. added value products help, too. more money is there to be made on flour and bread than a bushel of wheat.
the more things you have to sell on the table, the more you will sell. don't just sell a bag of black beans for soup, sell them cornmeal and eggs to make the cornbread to go with it. don't just sell a chicken, but the potatoes and onions to cook it with. and don't forget a loaf of bread.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:43 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,096 posts, read 22,613,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
--"rental properties"--

kinda hard buying rental properties when one is struggling to pay the farm mortgage.
Yeah, kind of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. No easy way out.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:51 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Farming in New England is just dying a slow and painful death.
There are some positive signs in Maine anyway. I am not saying I don't agree with you, but the number of start up farms here is the highest in the country, and our farming age is the lowest in the country, so not everything is looking terrible at this time.

I do see the vegetable stands and farmers markets and see people getting by, but how much more can the market accept without being saturated? I think its close to saturation at this point, but maybe I am wrong.

There is a big push in the Maine Sheep Breeders Association to get an active market going and one lady on the board is pushing that through. Its been an uphill battle for her but I got some sheep going through her next week so I will see how those sales pencil out.

I am thinking now about actively looking for rental farms and just take the risk of losing the acreage later. It might be less risk then buying the land out right. Far less control, but some neighbors yesterday got my spirits up when they requested my sheep be run on their land. I figured these people were anti-livestock but I had it wrong. They want to see the "cute little sheep grazing". Sheep are less intimidating then say big cows and holsteins so I see their point. Either way it reaffirmed that maybe I can make it work via rented pasture.

Who knows. Roll with it I guess. ???
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