Alison Hansen

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Not currently farming

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Disabled Afghanistan Veteran, wife, and children seek opportunity to craft meaningful post-military life. Cody is currently using the GI Bill to attend a one-year intensive Learn to Farm program in Massachusetts. We believe that the opportunity to care for land, animals, and the people we will feed is too important to enter into without preparation.  Cody grew up with livestock on a hobby farm and is very comfortable around animals. Our family intends to raise pasture-based meat animals using multi-species rotational grazing. Would like to grow our own winter feeds and have a small market/kitchen garden. We believe that animals should always have access to the outdoors, clean water, and quality feed. Animals should be allowed to live instinctively, free from unnecessary human intervention. We plan to raise all heritage breeds of poultry, small ruminants, and eventually cattle. We would like to intergrate silvopasture and woodland product farming into the big picture. When feasible, we would like to expand to potentially offer FarmStay/AirBnB opportunities in the form of yurts and tiny houses. We are also eager to extend opportunities to the Veteran community, specifically those who are disabled. Our little family has endured a lot as a result of time spent in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we look forward to farming for health, healing, and hope.

Description of marketing method:

At first, our primary source of income will be from the sale of meat goats and pastured broilers. We will market directly to consumers via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and local publications. We will consider participating in Farmers’ Markets if there is not much in the way of direct product competition. We will contact local community and religious leaders to make inroads with populations who routinely consume goat meat, with redoubled efforts in advance of religious holidays. Our farm will make appearances at local fairs and community events to increase visibility and make direct contact with potential consumers. We will host local school groups for educational field trips and volunteer opportunities.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

Yes

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

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

Desired acreage:

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

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Farm equipment, Water access, Fencing, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

We absolutely need a house with at least 4 bedrooms (or the potential for 4 bedrooms) that would pass VA inspection for habitability. We would like there to be some type of safe, usable livestock housing and some hay/equipment storage. 

Description of farm equipment required:

A usable tractor, capable of moving hay

Description of water access required:

Potable water for the home and access to water out on the property to water livestock and/or irrigate.

Description of fencing required:

Perimeter fencing is highly desirable 

*Horse-high and hog-tight* ;)

 

 

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Hay, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

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

Description of livestock/crops:

Our hearts are with raising livestock! We would like to grow our own hay/grain/feed to utilize in over-wintering our animals. Multi-species rotational grazing is the ultimate goal. We plan to keep a variety of heritage breed livestock, mainly on pasture.  We will use multi-species grazing and soil renewing plants to improve pasture health and plant diversity. 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

We would ultimately like to own our own property but are open to other arrangements for the near future. We are imaginative, resourceful, and kind. 

Additional Information

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

Maybe

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm internship/apprenticeship

Experience description:

Raised caring for livestock in Utah. Raised a bummer calf every year for beef, kept horses, donkeys, poultry, and some exotics including camels and wallaby. Thorough research into farming best practices, online coursed in grazing, and high tunnels through Cornell Small Farms program, online beginning farmer course with the University of Vermont Extension. Extensive subject matter reading and a current online course in Animal Breeding and Genetics.