Sunday, November 11, 2012

Small Farming Futures Look Healthy

Despite how you feel about this last weeks political results, it looks like one obstacle to starting a small farm is going to be gone soon.  As a small farmer and businessman one of the greatest risks I take each day is relying on the individual health insurance market to protect me from the costs of getting sick.  Today I am covered if I get sick the first time, but am subject to cancellation the second time.   In a few years the risk of NOT having health insurance because I may have got sick in the past will be mitigated because access to coverage will be guaranteed.  Having paid into the system all my life, I think this is a good thing.

Why is this good news for small farms?
Well because there are many of you who may read this and not like working in a cube, or working for the man, or not making a difference with your work and would be farming but for risk of loosing your health insurance benefits   That is changing and I hope that it will bring more people to sustainable agriculture.

While our area Organic farms have grown in numbers since I started my first season in 2009, 3 to 6 and maybe 7 by spring, we still have a great area of opportunity to capture any significant share of the local food market.   We NEED more Organic growers.  Entrepreneurs like Pat Thompson (below) are starting out Organically faster then any conventional farms are considering converting.
Pat is taking the leap this winter and hopes to be at the spring markets. 

The first three years were a challenge for our farm but this year a corner has been turned.  This year is ending well and North Pulaski Farms LLC will turn a profit for the first time ever.  All be it not much more than we used to pay our Help Desk personal when I was leading a software team, it's still a profit.  With the addition of Bamm Bamm, next year looks very promising and my personal goal of earning a living close to what my average customer earns is within reach.  

What this means is that it's possible to leave the cube, cash out of the stock market , invest in sustainable agriculture, make a difference and money at the same time.  It's doing what you would love to do AND earning a good living doing it.  So if your reading this and your heart is saying work the dirt, listen to it.

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