David McGhee

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Not currently farming

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

My Farm is Rocky Daniel Gardens Lodge and Learn

I'm a year and half into planning a regenerative, holistic, organic, heritage breed farm. I expect to start a mid-range operation this Fall that brings to the 2020 wholesale market these products;

  • 40-60 feeder pigs Year 1; then scale down to year round Heritage breeds year 3; Savory model 
  • 400 broilers (Cornish Cross); Salatin model
  • 400 lbs of gourmet mushrooms;  Callow model
  • 0.5 ac permanent bed no till market garden;  Crickmore model

2 Seasonal (Spring and Fall) Agro-tourism events supporting actual farm activities. McGhee model. Workshops ins;

  • Pigs on Pasture;
  • Earthworks;
  • Appropriate technology;
  • Natural Building.

I've found my farm future and learned that I can't and don't want to do it alone. So I'm also looking for partners. I do hope you'll engage me to share your thoughts.

Thank you for considering my Farm Plan. I look forward to discussing partnerships with you.

Contact me;

 - if you want to partner to buy land together where you work your bit and I work mine; and we share resources, or;

 - if you want a stake in a farm that is profitable within three years on Ag and agrotourism income, but you aren't interested in actually working the farm 100% of your time, or;

- if you have 25+ acres for sale under $350,000 developed or $150,000 undeveloped in Dutchess, Columbia, or Green; 15+ acres wooded (10 in conifer or maple or oak); 10+ acres grass pasture or so; with wetlands, or;

- If you have an other farm scheme to save the world to discuss, perhaps a Community Conservancy?

I put this demo together as a study to frame the farming I'm interested in and to start communications with similarly minded folks. Your comments and contact are encouraged and welcomed.

 Kind regards,

- David

[email protected]

Rocky Daniel Garden; Conservancy Trust - Demo


Wix; https://cakebabygardens.wixsite.com/rockydanielgardens

Facebook;  https://www.facebook.com/dwmcghee

Linkedin; https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidwmcghee

ps. below is a bit more about me in answer to Cornell Small Farms farming reflection questions.

Why do I want to farm? What's most important to me about having a farm business?

Farming is a return to roots for me. Farming accomplishes my altruistic goals to contribute to healthy habitats and the people that occupy. I believe I can create a sustainable future for my family and partners through farming.

I exited Manhattan two years ago after fifteen years and began studying regenerative farming so I could begin my third career. My second career of seventeen years was as an instructional designer for higher ed; government; military; and corporate domains. Prior to that and for fifteen years I was a cost and schedule engineer in power generation projects worldwide.

Life was unsustainable. I believe now is the time for me to; "return" to farming; secure mine and my families future;  and give back. I remembered what I had forgotten; I am of the earth and stars. Starting their turns out to be a good place to end up.

Farming isn't a complete non-sequitur, having been away for so long. My family comes from Tennessee and South Carolina. My mother's father was my link to the earth and sky. Granddaddy did it all, including; Preacher; Junkyard owner; Homesteader. People called him Reverend Cleve though he quit preaching for the most part when I was twelve and Dad returned to Vietnam for his third tour. With his absence, Mom would bundle the four of us kits into the Rambler and return to Winnsboro. It was '62 then '67. The soil was packed red clay. But, Granddaddy made it work.

It's important for me to have my own farm and farm business because I'm on an accelerated timeline expecting exponential results. At my age, 62, starting a farm with financial resources that will expire within ten years requires thoughtful consideration toward how to overcome has been necessary. But, doing so assures mine and my partners' sustainability because I'll steward with no motivation other than to create sustainable habitats for the life that occupy.

I want to care for the soil with free hands as Monet or Matisse would in their kind, should I be so bold to suggest such eco-literacy.

What makes you happy? 

Seeing life grow healthy, and knowing I had a small part in that.

How do you want your financial situation to be? What is your feeling about debt and financial security?

The small scale plan/demo demonstrated in the plan below produces $36,000 in year one with a start-up $80,000 investment in a property similarly resourced as described in my Demo Farm Plan. I may be interested in scaling by 300%, depending on my partner's interests.

I'm in the process of collating the plans, timelines, lists, ... for these three income streams; pig, chicken, and mushroom. When done I'll have a shareable "Farm Kit" , if you will, on profitable regenerative farming practices that scale, in kit like calculator fashion, for deployment by farmers (cognizant, engaged agro-ecologist).


How do you want the relationships in your life to be?

Fulfilling for all.

What are the most important things in life?

Leaving my family and my community some food and shelter security. leaving sustainable habitats.

Kind regards,

David ( [email protected] )


Description of marketing method:

Marketing Plan underdevelopment.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Eastern, Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Southeast, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester

Desired acreage:

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

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Ornamentals, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

Rocky Daniel Garden; Conservancy Trust - Demo


Additional Information

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


Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm internship/apprenticeship