Location: Mecklenburg, NY
Products: Vegetables, herbs, and a vegetable CSA
North Country Creamery is a 100% grassfed, Non-GMO, & Animal Welfare Approved dairy in Keeseville, NY. They produce and sell an array of farmstead cheeses, creamline yogurts, & RAW milk! All of their products are made exclusively with the fresh milk from Milking Shorthorn and Jersey cows, and other ingredients are limited to cultures, local herbs, maple syrup & organic extracts–no added colors or stabilizers.
North Country Creamery cows receive the utmost care through the use of tinctures, essential oils, and homeopathic remedies, if ever they are in need.
Location: Keeseville, NY
Top 3 Products: Yogurt, cheese, and an on-farm cafe,
How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: We’ve just begun the program, so we envision the profit team helping our farm with our ideas for expansion.
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: I hope to be milking ~30 cows and buying in more milk to process a wider variety of dairy products. Our cafe will be open year-round, and the farmhouse will be converted into a Bed & Breakfast. I would like to maintain a thriving and supportive community, and further balance our quality of life.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: That’s the most difficult question I’ve been asked in a while. I’ll have to get back to you!
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Start as slow as you can stand, have superb mentors, and work on a variety of other farms before starting your own.
Location: Munnsville, NY
Products: Vegetable CSA, grass-feed beef, chicken eggs
Bree and Rich Woodbridge own McCollum Orchards, nestled below the Niagara Escarpment in Lockport, NY (just north of Buffalo). The farm was established in 1827 by Rich’s great-great-great-grandfather, Hiram McCollum and his brother Joel, one of Lockport’s founding fathers. It has been passed down through the generations ever since. McCollum Orchards, LLC is Bree and Rich’s effort to save the 6th-generation family farm property and make it a place of community pride once again. Their goal is to reestablish a thriving family farm and share its unique history. To do that, they are becoming farmers, restorers and business owners all at once.
Location: Lockport, NY
Top 3 Products: Summer CSA, Season extension shares, heirloom apples and pears
How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: The Profit Team Program has helped us clarify our farm goals and stay on track to achieve them.
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: A thriving, diversified farm that honors that past and embraces the future.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: We had previous careers in corporate market research and international development.
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Running a farm business involves constantly anticipating and meeting the needs of the land, plants, customers and farmers and being able to make decisions that have effects on future seasons.
Location: Schenectady, NY
Products: Mushrooms (oyster, lion’s mane, shiitake)
Maplestone Farm CSA and Pastured Meats LLC is a small family farm located seven miles southwest of Geneva, NY. Since 2012, they have been providing pastured poultry, naturally grown vegetables, and pastured pork to area consumers through their 60-member CSA and local farm-to-table restaurants. We are also passionate about advocating for local agriculture and educating chefs about where there food comes from and how to work with farmers on a seasonal, crop-available, whole-animal philosophy.
Location: Stanley, NY
Top 3 Products: Pastured poultry, vegetables, and pastured pork.
How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: We are just getting started, so we are excited to find out!
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: I would like to be able to be known as THE premier local foods producer in the Finger Lakes. I would also like to be well-known as an agritourism destination for barn-weddings and events and farm-stays.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: Being a farmer is my dream job!
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Don’t grow too quickly (business-wise) and know your numbers! Also, take the time to network and make connections within the industry. It’s always important who you know.
Location: Cortland, NY
Products: Vegetables, Summer and Winter CSA, Tilapia
At Mace Chasm Farm we raise livestock, do our best to care for our environment, & also do the butchery here on the farm. Our beef and sheep are grass-fed, and our pigs, chickens & turkeys forage on pasture and eat grains and whey, which makes for excellent meat and eggs. All of the animals are rotationally grazed. A variety of fresh & smoked cuts are prepared and fresh sausages & sandwich meats are made each week for market using fresh herbs from our fields and 100% organic spices.
Location: Keeseville, NY
Top 3 Products: Beef, Lamb, Pork, & Poultry production. We do our added value work in a 20C on the farm, direct marketing cuts & sausages. We also feature our meats in a farm food truck.
How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: It hasn’t yet!
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: Some year-round job opportunities offered here, Some time off for myself and my partner during the year, Fully separate employee housing, The addition of cured meats to our line of added value products has added pleasant & profitable winter work for us and has found a strong market, A part time or full time partner helping to manage the Butcher Shop, Bigger herds, Permanent fencing is built, A functional permanent lane-way to our sorting systems is working, Winter shelter for our sheep and pigs has adjoining functional composting sites to conveniently muck out to & manage. Drainage issues in Spelt Field have been addressed, and the field is becoming more productive. Our truck is reliable and well-maintained. We have paid down much of our debt and have a good system with a line of credit for spring deposits, etc. The fresh herbs that we use in our sausages are grown here on the farm, and our hedge rows and riparian areas have been planted to fruit trees.
Our Butcher Shop on the farm has become a popular destination for folks visiting the area and locals alike to stock up on good meats, and thus we are able to drop a farmers market that we’d rather not attend from our schedule. We have tightened up our egg production systems. We have begun to track soil health. We are keeping pace with the grazing land we are managing. We are very much in tune w/ our hay suppliers. Our sheep genetics have improved and we are weaning nice sized lambs during our busy market season. We have a chill, well-trained shepherding dog to help us w/ the flock.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: Farming encompasses most of my dream job criteria. If I weren’t farming I would be working as a union pipe fitter.
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Work in other trades as part of farmer training – especially construction – because farm infrastructure demands all of that know-how, and the more you can do or at least diagnose yourself, the better off you’ll be with the small margins a farmer works with! It will also improve your versatility in problem solving in the systems you develop on your own farm.
Erin Enouen and Sam Zurofsky have been farming in the Hudson Valley since 2008. They founded and managed Second Wind CSA, a thriving 50-member CSA program located at the Four Winds Farm. After three years, they passed Second Wind on to another couple and went in search of a place to establish more permanent roots.
In March of 2013 Erin and Sam closed on a property in Kerhonkson, which is now Long Season Farm. For their first two seasons at Long Season Farm, both Erin and Sam worked full-time jobs at wonderful farm-based local companies. Now, Sam works full time on the farm with lots of help from Erin in the early mornings, late nights and on the weekends. Long Season Farm focuses on growing fresh greens and storage crops for their Winter CSA and the Kingston Winter Farmers Market. Additionally, Long Season Farm grows flowers, mushrooms and other specialty crops for market and wholesale during the summer months.
Location: Kerhonkson, NY
Top 3 Products: Winter CSA, Winter Market, and Specialty Summer Crops.
How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: I hope that Profit Team will help us identify and plan to meet specific market and on farm demands. We are primarily focusing on how best to build out and invest in scale appropriate infrastructure and systems.
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: I see a much more streamlined and efficient farm that has built out infrastructure and efficient systems. I see a farm that is profitably growing an array of great vegetables for sale in the winter months.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: I left a job as the production manager at a distillery to farm full time. That was a pretty good job!
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: 1. You will almost always be wrong about what will be hard and what will be easy. 2. Even if you have been farming for 20 years, you’ve only done anything 20 times – no other job is like that.
Location: Hudson, NY
Products: Various CSAs and vegetables