spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today in the headlines: Rain's toll on crops heavy

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080611/BUSINESS/806110391

Indiana has been hit by devastating storms this past week, as has most of the midwest since about Mid April. Farmers further west of here haven't been able to get their fields planted or have suffered great losses from the rains. Farmers here in Indiana had their crops in, but now thousands of acres of land are underwater and probably lost for the season.

This in contrast with sky rocketing crop prices--due in part to the weather, and in part to eco fuels. Farmers over the past few seasons have been clamoring for more land to plant as they want to reap the benefits of high yields and high prices. Of course, the prices are soaring even higher now that so many fields have been devastated. The few who manage to pull this growing season off in even an average way will be seeing a bumper year in profits.

It just strikes me as an interesting paradox. Just last night I was reading my June edition of Progressive Farmer, which features an article about farmers removing their lands from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and putting those acres to crop. Why? It would be stupid not to, from an economic standpoint. The prices of crops versus the pay out from the CRP is too great! For many years, it was smart to keep land in the CRP--they paid well, often much better than the open market would for crops. But now, as demand raises the price of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops, farmer are making the only smart economic choice they have--plant those fields.

Yet here we are. Land prices are astronomical, crop prices are the best they've ever been, and most of the land in the midwest is underwater! What a paradox. What a very sad paradox. My heart goes out to all the farmer that will be hurting this year due to the weather. On a brief tour of our land on Sunday, it appears that we will be fine. Our land is on high ground with exceptionally good tile under it. Everything is draining well and the crops look great. Our one disaster is the hay field. It is our first year growing our own hay. While the field looks great, we have yet to get in for our first cutting because the water content is so high and because of the exceptionally wet weather.
spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today in the headlines: Rain's toll on crops heavy

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080611/BUSINESS/806110391

Indiana has been hit by devastating storms this past week, as has most of the midwest since about Mid April. Farmers further west of here haven't been able to get their fields planted or have suffered great losses from the rains. Farmers here in Indiana had their crops in, but now thousands of acres of land are underwater and probably lost for the season.

This in contrast with sky rocketing crop prices--due in part to the weather, and in part to eco fuels. Farmers over the past few seasons have been clamoring for more land to plant as they want to reap the benefits of high yields and high prices. Of course, the prices are soaring even higher now that so many fields have been devastated. The few who manage to pull this growing season off in even an average way will be seeing a bumper year in profits.

It just strikes me as an interesting paradox. Just last night I was reading my June edition of Progressive Farmer, which features an article about farmers removing their lands from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and putting those acres to crop. Why? It would be stupid not to, from an economic standpoint. The prices of crops versus the pay out from the CRP is too great! For many years, it was smart to keep land in the CRP--they paid well, often much better than the open market would for crops. But now, as demand raises the price of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops, farmer are making the only smart economic choice they have--plant those fields.

Yet here we are. Land prices are astronomical, crop prices are the best they've ever been, and most of the land in the midwest is underwater! What a paradox. What a very sad paradox. My heart goes out to all the farmer that will be hurting this year due to the weather. On a brief tour of our land on Sunday, it appears that we will be fine. Our land is on high ground with exceptionally good tile under it. Everything is draining well and the crops look great. Our one disaster is the hay field. It is our first year growing our own hay. While the field looks great, we have yet to get in for our first cutting because the water content is so high and because of the exceptionally wet weather.
spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
Today, the Indianapolis Star wrote an editorial about farm subsidies: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080516/OPINION08/805160390/1291/OPINION08

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I myself want to be a farmer. My mother grew up on a farm and continues to manage the few hundred that remain. I have friends who farm and make it their living. No farmer that I know is making $90K a year. Yes, they are making a living, but it's no better than the average Joe with a desk job. Maybe $50K a year. That's not a lot considering the expenses and unpredictability that accompany farming. And raising a family these days is getting more and more expensive. It's a tough market and a tough time. Yes, crop prices are sky rocketing, but so is the price of fuel, land, and taxes. It's hard for a farmer who has 2500 acres or less to get by--especially if that's the only income. So in that sense, I think the small (yes, 2500 acres is small!) family farmer probably needs some sort of subsidies to get by.

However, I have also been reading about and discussing with fellow farmers that the soaring crop prices are drawing out irresponsible decisions from new and experienced farmers alike. They battle it out at land auctions, raising the price of tillable land near to that of land being sold for development. Folks, your average farmer is going to have a tough time paying the mortgage every month on $50K a year. When farmers fight over land and make irresponsible decisions about how much debt they can manage, I don't agree that the government should bail them out. They need to be more responsible. You don't see our government bailing out the thousands of families that purchase homes they can't afford. Can't pay your house mortgage? Bank takes your house. Yes, I know that can happen to farmers too, but these subsides can keep them afloat a lot longer, and on the taxpayers dime to boot.

Furthermore, the corporate farmer with many more thousands of acres who really does make $90K and more per year...folks, no one making $90K or more a year needs help from the government. They're making it very well on their own.

But it's kind of hard to give hand outs to only the family farmer who is responsible. So what do we do? I have long stood by farm subsides, but even I admit this doesn't look like a good plan. This country is struggling in so many ways. Perhaps it's time for the farmers to stand on their own. I don't know. Like I said, I have mixed feelings.
spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
Today, the Indianapolis Star wrote an editorial about farm subsidies: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080516/OPINION08/805160390/1291/OPINION08

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I myself want to be a farmer. My mother grew up on a farm and continues to manage the few hundred that remain. I have friends who farm and make it their living. No farmer that I know is making $90K a year. Yes, they are making a living, but it's no better than the average Joe with a desk job. Maybe $50K a year. That's not a lot considering the expenses and unpredictability that accompany farming. And raising a family these days is getting more and more expensive. It's a tough market and a tough time. Yes, crop prices are sky rocketing, but so is the price of fuel, land, and taxes. It's hard for a farmer who has 2500 acres or less to get by--especially if that's the only income. So in that sense, I think the small (yes, 2500 acres is small!) family farmer probably needs some sort of subsidies to get by.

However, I have also been reading about and discussing with fellow farmers that the soaring crop prices are drawing out irresponsible decisions from new and experienced farmers alike. They battle it out at land auctions, raising the price of tillable land near to that of land being sold for development. Folks, your average farmer is going to have a tough time paying the mortgage every month on $50K a year. When farmers fight over land and make irresponsible decisions about how much debt they can manage, I don't agree that the government should bail them out. They need to be more responsible. You don't see our government bailing out the thousands of families that purchase homes they can't afford. Can't pay your house mortgage? Bank takes your house. Yes, I know that can happen to farmers too, but these subsides can keep them afloat a lot longer, and on the taxpayers dime to boot.

Furthermore, the corporate farmer with many more thousands of acres who really does make $90K and more per year...folks, no one making $90K or more a year needs help from the government. They're making it very well on their own.

But it's kind of hard to give hand outs to only the family farmer who is responsible. So what do we do? I have long stood by farm subsides, but even I admit this doesn't look like a good plan. This country is struggling in so many ways. Perhaps it's time for the farmers to stand on their own. I don't know. Like I said, I have mixed feelings.
spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today I have learned about dairy cows, keeping dairy herds on grass pastures, and seasonal dairying. I have also learned about several different organizations I can and will contact to help me with this venture. No. 1 on the list was my local extension agent ... I just sent her an email. I asked her to give me more information of grass-based and seasonal dairying, as well as alerting her that I wanted more information on starting a CSA in general.

It's all very exciting. My reading list for the next two years appears to include almost nothing but non-fiction books about farming. spiffy.

Who needs a degree in higher education? The public library is my new best friend (actually, it was already a very good friend), and I will be getting in touch with all kinds of experts on this that and the other, all concerning agriculture ... and a few business executives too. Cool.
spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today I have learned about dairy cows, keeping dairy herds on grass pastures, and seasonal dairying. I have also learned about several different organizations I can and will contact to help me with this venture. No. 1 on the list was my local extension agent ... I just sent her an email. I asked her to give me more information of grass-based and seasonal dairying, as well as alerting her that I wanted more information on starting a CSA in general.

It's all very exciting. My reading list for the next two years appears to include almost nothing but non-fiction books about farming. spiffy.

Who needs a degree in higher education? The public library is my new best friend (actually, it was already a very good friend), and I will be getting in touch with all kinds of experts on this that and the other, all concerning agriculture ... and a few business executives too. Cool.
spirithorse21: (Natural Horsemanship)
I'm looking for some advice on starting a farm. My goal is to get up and running 2-3 years from now.

I want to run a Community Supported Agriculture farm that also has a horse riding and training program. I plan to keep dairy cows, horses, chickens, and produce. My goal is sustainable agriculture and then community education.

I have written a basic business plan, but there are so many pieces to the puzzle that need to be completed, and I'm sure I don't know about them all. Currently, I am doing lots of research on the internet and reading a lot of books. I will need to buy the land yet. I'm looking between 40-100 acres. I know that's a big range, but I think it's reasonable. I have researched agriculture loans from Farm Service Agency and I think I will qualify for one of them.



So, for those that started your own business, what is some invaluable advice that you can give? What unexpected things cropped up for you?

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] equestrian
spirithorse21: (Natural Horsemanship)
I'm looking for some advice on starting a farm. My goal is to get up and running 2-3 years from now.

I want to run a Community Supported Agriculture farm that also has a horse riding and training program. I plan to keep dairy cows, horses, chickens, and produce. My goal is sustainable agriculture and then community education.

I have written a basic business plan, but there are so many pieces to the puzzle that need to be completed, and I'm sure I don't know about them all. Currently, I am doing lots of research on the internet and reading a lot of books. I will need to buy the land yet. I'm looking between 40-100 acres. I know that's a big range, but I think it's reasonable. I have researched agriculture loans from Farm Service Agency and I think I will qualify for one of them.



So, for those that started your own business, what is some invaluable advice that you can give? What unexpected things cropped up for you?

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] equestrian
spirithorse21: (Dash: The Look)
stolen from [livejournal.com profile] wldhrsjen3


1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top results:

We all know that I really want to be a horse trainer. What you may not already know, though, is that the outdoor guide suits me well too. About two years ago I started saying that if I ever did go back to school, it would be in outdoor education, tending toward the ecology half of things. The outcome of the two: A working farm where I train horses and teach people about living in harmony with the land. Something tells me I should actually pursue my dreams. They just keep coming back to me in unexpected ways ...

1. Outdoor Guide
2. Horse Trainer
3. Window Washer
4. Personal Trainer
5. Zookeeper
6. Animal Caretaker
7. Animal Trainer
8. Mover
9. Nursery / Greenhouse Grower
10. ESL Teacher

3-10 are pretty much rubbish though. :)
spirithorse21: (Dash: The Look)
stolen from [livejournal.com profile] wldhrsjen3


1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top results:

We all know that I really want to be a horse trainer. What you may not already know, though, is that the outdoor guide suits me well too. About two years ago I started saying that if I ever did go back to school, it would be in outdoor education, tending toward the ecology half of things. The outcome of the two: A working farm where I train horses and teach people about living in harmony with the land. Something tells me I should actually pursue my dreams. They just keep coming back to me in unexpected ways ...

1. Outdoor Guide
2. Horse Trainer
3. Window Washer
4. Personal Trainer
5. Zookeeper
6. Animal Caretaker
7. Animal Trainer
8. Mover
9. Nursery / Greenhouse Grower
10. ESL Teacher

3-10 are pretty much rubbish though. :)

Very cool

Dec. 13th, 2003 10:34 am
spirithorse21: (Default)
I got to listen to the coolest speaker yesterday. I was just rolling in glory-- right up my alley. I'm probably gonna get my ass kicked on Monday for taking so long with this guy on a production day, but I really don't care!

Anyway, the speaker was Dr. Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, and subsequently Founder of Greenspirit. This guy rocks. His idea is subsitance through consensus. In other words, we can't fight the fact that billions of people live on this earth and have needs-- food, water, shelter. So, why fight it? Let's create environmentalism that is human friendly. Check out his website-- www.greenspirit.com. Very cool stuff, very cool ideas, very cool innovations in progress. And I got a total education yesterday. I don't entirely agree with everything, but I'm definitly rethinking my stance on many things, including GM foods.

Now, off to the presses to write a column! I get to express my opinion in the paper and I get paid for it! wha-ha-ha-ha!

Very cool

Dec. 13th, 2003 10:34 am
spirithorse21: (Default)
I got to listen to the coolest speaker yesterday. I was just rolling in glory-- right up my alley. I'm probably gonna get my ass kicked on Monday for taking so long with this guy on a production day, but I really don't care!

Anyway, the speaker was Dr. Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, and subsequently Founder of Greenspirit. This guy rocks. His idea is subsitance through consensus. In other words, we can't fight the fact that billions of people live on this earth and have needs-- food, water, shelter. So, why fight it? Let's create environmentalism that is human friendly. Check out his website-- www.greenspirit.com. Very cool stuff, very cool ideas, very cool innovations in progress. And I got a total education yesterday. I don't entirely agree with everything, but I'm definitly rethinking my stance on many things, including GM foods.

Now, off to the presses to write a column! I get to express my opinion in the paper and I get paid for it! wha-ha-ha-ha!

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