Wade Bridger

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Not currently farming

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I've been a long-time organic dairy farmer - moving in and out of the lifestyle over the years. I became hooked on dairy cows as a child on my Grandfathers dairy in Oklahoma. I've recently become excited by organic vegetable production, inspired by the work of Elliot Coleman and Curtis Stone. I will always have a soft place in my heart for milk cows and such, and would like to include them in the mix if I come up with a place with enough land base. So I'm looking for a place to start a little farming operation of my own or partnering with someone else. I have a wide range of interests in relation to farming: produce, berries, orchard, dairy etc. And have varying amounts of exposure and experience with them. I've been driving a truck for the last few years, planning to get back to farming. I just learned that my fiance and I have a suprise coming in 9 months(a late in life suprise for me) so I need to find a way to be home every day and build a life that we would want to raise a child in. I believe in organics as a starting point - and suspect that there might be much more to bio-dynamics and other wholistic practices that we can imagine. Would be excited about building a tiny house if housing is not otherwise available.

 

 

 

Description of marketing method:

In the begining I would stay away from the CSA model. I would look at farmers markets and home delivery of orders. I also have a concept of a food truck on the streets offering juiced produce and mixed salads. I think one could market much of a farms production this way and  create enthusiasm for home orders.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Sullivan, Ulster, Washington, Westchester

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50, 51-100, >100

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Ornamentals, Hay, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Cattle - Dairy, Equine, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry, Other livestock

Description of livestock/crops:

I'm looking for a place to start a market garden specializing in high turn over/high value crops like leafy greens, lettuce, cherry tomotoes and micro greens. I would use a lot of season extending/enhancing structures like mobile greenhouses and row tunnels. I feel like no-till is the future of market farming. I don't feel like I have to have animals on the farm per se. We would like to have a milk cow or a couple of goats if it would work out, or I would be open to managing someones herd. If I came up with a land base that needed grazing animals to properly utilize the land I would be interested devoloping them as land/resource improvement venture - turning roughages into compost for example.

 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

I'm most hopeful of finding a farm lease - with or without an option to buy at some point. I would also be open to a mangement arrangement in which I had the freedom to develop a possibily complementing enterprise.

Additional Information

Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?

Maybe

Experience & education:

Farm owner, Farm management, Farm employee

Experience description:

I grew up on a 100 acre farm in Oklahoma. It was primarly a dairy farm, but we raised grain, hogs and hay, as well as a huge garden. Since then I have worked on farms at various levels of responsibility. I rented a little farm for a couple of years and milked a small herd of organic cows.