Blog Posts & Podcast Episodes to Help You Grow a Profitable Farm Business!

Thriving Farmer: Eden Creamery

Thriving Farmer: Eden Creamery

Cassie and Asaf are the farmers behind Eden Creamery, just outside of Boise, Idaho. “We’re a couple of scientists turned cheese makers,” Cassie says. “I guess you could call us “Curd Nerds.” Asaf is Israeli and settled on Eden Creamery as the farm’s name, after the Garden of Eden. There, he and Cassie raise a rare breed of goats, the beautiful Oberhasli.

Thriving Farmer: Holt Creek Jerseys

Thriving Farmer: Holt Creek Jerseys

“Even at that young age, I was serious about developing a top-tier production herd of Jersey cattle,” Ben says. “I set for myself the goal of having the highest-producing Jersey herd in the state of Nebraska. I bred my cows to high-production bulls and purchased cows and heifers from high-producing herds in the Midwest, and by 1997, as a senior in high school, I had the top herd in the state for milk.”

Thriving Farmer: Rolling Hills Cattle Company

Thriving Farmer: Rolling Hills Cattle Company

The mother and daughter team of Christina and Hailey operate two farm businesses in Minnesota.

“We named our farm Rolling Hills Cattle Company,” Christina said. “And we call our meat business Grillin Meats. The beautiful rolling hills of our property made our name easy. Everyone loves to grill, so Grillin Meats fit really well!”

At the ripe age of 2, Christina’s family made the move to her great-grandparent’s house to live. Part of the privilege of being next door to grandpa’s farm was being able to go with her dad to the farm to help feed the calves.

Thriving Farmer: Auburn Meadow Farm

Thriving Farmer: Auburn Meadow Farm

Some people grow up on a farm, so it’s natural they farm as adults. Not Jackie Cleary, who took a rather long and winding road to the farm. “Yep, it was a long, convoluted way, through food and animal welfare interests,” Jackie says. “It seemed a bit random, as I was working on real estate at the time, but I was raised showing and training horses, and worked in the horse industry for years before my real estate career, so I was used to the work and large animals, and really missed them.”

Thriving Farmer: Southwest Gamebirds

Thriving Farmer: Southwest Gamebirds

Michael and Christy Rose are the husband and wife team behind Southwest Gamebirds, a family farm that focuses on research and propagation of game birds. Whether it’s hatching eggs, live birds or even frozen quail, they have a passion for game birds, such as Coturnix quail. So, how did these guys find their way into the world of gamebirds?

Thriving Farmer: Our Local Farm

Thriving Farmer: Our Local Farm

Kimmie and her husband, Phil do pretty much everything on their Raleigh, NC area farm..with the “help” of their three children. Originally from Mattawamkeag, Maine, Phil moved to North Carolina nearly twenty years ago. Though trained as a master automotive technician he became interested in regenerative farming after becoming friends with several Polyface Farm associates. Phil’s desire to farm grew as he researched and studied more about our food and farming systems in America.

Thriving Farmer: Freedom Valley Farm

Thriving Farmer: Freedom Valley Farm

Ryan Hamby farms in Maryland with his mom, dad, and three younger brothers. Ryan says they chose the name Freedom Valley Farm because their farm is in a big valley and farming in it has given his family freedom from the “rat race.” Like many modern farmers, Ryan’s path to farming started not outside…but inside, watching documentaries such as Food, Inc. But rather than doing what most people do (such as just supporting a local farmers market), Ryan’s family went in whole-hog, so to speak, and started farming themselves!

Thriving Farmer: Fort Rock Farms

Thriving Farmer: Fort Rock Farms

Joel, his wife Amy and daughter Sadie are the farmers near Lake Havasu, Arizona. Several years ago, Joel’s family began an adventure in search of wholesome food. That led them to form Fort Rock Farms as a way to produce and distribute nutritious, naturally grown food to their Lake Havasu City friends and family. The same food we set out in search of so long ago. Joel’s path to farming began with being lured by, as he says, “Joel Salatin’s silver tongue.”

Thriving Farmer: Peaceful Heart Farm

Thriving Farmer: Peaceful Heart Farm

Scott and Melanie Hall met in 1999 in western North Carolina and become life-long friends. They apprenticed together at a spiritual training center learning how to teach a meditation technique. That is where they developed a deep desire to be close to the land. While apprenticing, they dreamed of a sustainable farm and producing good food as close to nature’s intended way as possible.

Thriving Farmer: Kirkwood Heritage

Thriving Farmer: Kirkwood Heritage

Seth is a 8th generational farmer, but we recently got hitched, and bought a farm together. Being our second marriage, and wanting to do something new and special with this small farm, we decided to specialize in rare and endangered heritage livestock breeds, of which Seth has some experience. So in several ways, this farm is a second chance, or a chance for Redemption.

Thriving Farmer: Longbottom Farm

Thriving Farmer: Longbottom Farm

Jason & Lexi Feyerherd are the dynamic duo living their farm dream at Virginia’s Longbottom Farm. But not long ago they were living a different dream…the typical “suburban dream.” As Lexi describes on their beautiful website, “We had a growing family in a wonderful neighborhood, with good schools, nearby amenities and all the Netflix our wi-fi could handle. It was a wonderful life, but something was missing. Little did we know that a seed had been planted in both of our hearts. And what started as a spark of desire to move to the country, grew into a full fledged passion for farming. There were many factors at play, but ultimately the desire to responsibly raise safe, nutritious food was the reason we started our small family farm, Longbottom Farm.”

Thriving Farmer: Restoration Acres

Thriving Farmer: Restoration Acres

Rachel and Matthew Palma are the can-do farmers behind Virginia’s Restoration Acres, a farm with the tagline “Food that Restores.” Their passion through our regenerative farming practices is to see restoration happen to our earth and ecology, to the health and well being of those who consume their products, to the animals they raise, and ultimately in our community and their food and farming systems.

THE FARM ONE-PAGE BUSINESS  PLAN TEMPLATE

THE FARM ONE-PAGE BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE

Okay, so it’s strategy week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And nothing says “strategy” more than business planning, so that’s the focus this week. Now, the first thing you’re told to do when starting a business is to write a business plan. But should you? Do traditional business plans help? Or is there a better way.
Yes, there is a better way, and in this episode I’ll walk you through how to create an actionable one-page business plan.

8 Logo design mistakes

8 Logo design mistakes

What do most people think of when they think of branding? They think of logos. In fact, many people think that their logo is their brand. And you can’t have a great brand without a super cool logo design, can you? Today, I’m gonna tell you the mistakes you’re making with your farm logo design and what you really should be doing, instead.

Learn to become a farm entrepreneur

Learn to become a farm entrepreneur

What can you do if you have a business but you’re not a natural entrepreneur? In this farm podcast, I’m gonna show you how to stop working ON your business rather than being a slave to it so you can avoid burnout and realize your entrepreneurial dreams. And I’ve got a special, awesome download to help you do just that.

How to Create an Email List for your Farm

How to Create an Email List for your Farm

One of the challenges I hear most often expressed from small farmers (really any small business, actually), is how difficult it is to create an email list of potential customers. In this episode, we’ll discuss three keys to putting your list-building efforts on autopilot so you can grow your email list.

Why You Must Create a Great Farm Brand

Why You Must Create a Great Farm Brand

Is branding important for your farm business?

Let’s start with what I mean by the word “brand” because it’s a word that we hear often, but we may not understand the meaning.  I mean, what does the word “brand” mean anyway?

7 Habits of Successful Farm Marketers

7 Habits of Successful Farm Marketers

So what’s the secret to marketing farm and local food products? Today, I’ll tell you, and set you on a solid foundation for marketing your farm and/or food products. Because, if we produce great food and farm products and there’s no one to buy it, what’s the point?

How to Grow Your Farm’s Email List: Farm Podcast

How to Grow Your Farm’s Email List: Farm Podcast

An email list is your most important communication asset, and email marketing is a great way to sell your farm products. But how do you build a list in the first place?

In this episode I walk you through the four not-so-simple steps of email list building for your farm business.

Why Small Farms Fail: Farm Podcast

Why Small Farms Fail: Farm Podcast

Small businesses routinely fail in every industry segment, but what   causes small farms to fail? In this episode I share 7 reasons why small farms fail, so you learn what not to do so that your farm thrives.

I’ll walk you through seven reasons why small farms fail.

Is your farm a money-sucking hobby or a profitable business?

Is your farm a money-sucking hobby or a profitable business?

The phrase hobby farm is cute and all, but what’s the difference between a hobby farm and a farming business? In this episode, I’m going to tell you why you might have a farm hobby that costs you money rather than a thriving farm business that earns you money.

How Farmers Use Coolbots to Keep Products Cool: Farm Podcast

How Farmers Use Coolbots to Keep Products Cool: Farm Podcast

Whether you’re selling market vegetables, pastured meats or raw milk and farmstead cheese, one thing’s for certain. You gotta keep your products cool to preserve shelf life. In this episode, we learn how farmers use Coolbots to do just that.

Should you start a Facebook page or a Facebook group?

Should you start a Facebook page or a Facebook group?

This week I’ll answer a listener’s question on whether it’s best to start a Facebook page or a Facebook group for her farm. I cover the pros and cons of each and describe what you can do with a Facebook page that you can’t do in a group, and vice versa.

Random Acts of Farm Marketing

Random Acts of Farm Marketing

Let’s discuss a crisis in small business. A crisis in most businesses, actually, but particularly in farm businesses. It’s a problem that creates undue stress, panic and results in farmers not building their brands, getting enough customers and growing their farm business.

I’m talking about Random Acts of Farm Marketing.

Selling meat by weight online & taking payments for farm tours

Selling meat by weight online & taking payments for farm tours

This week I tackle three questions. One is about the tricky issue of selling meat by product weight online. A related question is about managing inventory of meat when selling both online and at a farm store. And the third question is about managing the reservation and payment process for farm tours.

Robert Brady on Marketing Your Farm with Google Ads

Robert Brady on Marketing Your Farm with Google Ads

This week I’m speaking with a farmer turned online marketing expert about how to use Google Ads to attract customers to your farm business. If you’re interested in farm marketing, you’ll get a lot out of Robert’s expertise, as I did.  Enjoy the episode!

How to Write a Great About Page for Your Farm

How to Write a Great About Page for Your Farm

Lots of farmers struggle with how to share their story. In this week’s farm podcast, I share the advice I gave to a farmer about how to share her story and create a great about page for your website.

When to Avoid Sales Funnels and Marketing Gimmicks

When to Avoid Sales Funnels and Marketing Gimmicks

In this farm podcast, I discuss why you may not want to use automated sales funnels and marketing gimmicks in marketing your farm business. I describe the Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula, what it’s designed to do and why I recommend that farmers exercise caution with this strategy.

Joel Salatin on How to Swap a Depressing Job for a Rewarding Farm

Joel Salatin on How to Swap a Depressing Job for a Rewarding Farm

In this farm podcast, Joel Salatin and I have a provocative discussion about how to quit an unfulfilling job and start a farm business. Joel offers some real gems in this episode, as he outlines his seven rules for starting a profitable farm. We talk at length about his latest book, Your Successful Farm Business, which can be thought of as a graduate course to the book that got so many people started in farming, You Can Farm!

How to Start a Profitable Flower Farm

How to Start a Profitable Flower Farm

People have been talking about the importance of local food for years but what about local flowers? In this farm podcast, I’m speaking with a “farmpreneur” who found the courage to quit her job and start a thriving flower farm. Even though she had never farmed before.

How to Start a Farm Tanning Sheepskins

How to Start a Farm Tanning Sheepskins

As sustainable livestock farmers, we want to honor the whole animal. But what about when it comes to using the animals hides? Joining me in this farm podcast, is Sarah Scully founder of Vermont Natural Sheepskins. Sarah and her husband, Rick, started the first commercial organic tannery in America.

How to Scale Up Pastured Poultry

How to Scale Up Pastured Poultry

Guess what? You CAN start a pastured poultry business and scale it to a size that supports a family. Or multiple families. Tune in as Paul Grieve from Pasturebird and Primal Pastures shares the story of how his family has done just that.

Starting Up a New Farm

Starting Up a New Farm

In this farm podcast, I talk about the sometimes long and steady process of setting up a new farm. My guest is Jenn Colby of Howling Wolf Farm in Vermont. We also tackle the touchy issue of why it’s sometimes more challenging for women farmers than men. Listen in to see what you think.

Craft Meat With Crowd Cow

Craft Meat With Crowd Cow

In this farm podcast, I examine one of the biggest problems consumers face when wanting to buy directly from farmers, the problem of convenience. I talk with Joe Heitzeberg, co-founder and CEO of Crowd Cow. It’s an interesting business model that is endeavoring to make it easier for farmers and consumers to come together and celebrate what Crowd Cow calls “craft meat.” Tune in for a great story.

Meat Rabbits

Meat Rabbits

Today I’m speaking with Callene and Eric Rapp of Rare Hare Barn in Kansas. I love this topic of raising rabbits for meat because, in general, our society has become very disconnected from our food—and what food is, right? Nowhere in the meat world is that more evidenced than with rabbits. We discuss many fascinating aspects of running a rabbit enterprise on a small farm. Whether you’re a consumer, chef, homesteader or farmer, this is a thoroughly interesting discussion about the life (and death) of rabbits.

Sheep & Artisan Cheese

Sheep & Artisan Cheese

In this episode I’m joined by Sarah Hoffman of Green Dirt Farm in Missouri, where she raises sheep on pasture, milks them and turns their milk into award-winning cheese. We discuss Sarah’s journey to farm life and how her desire to raise children in that setting led her and her husband to make some courageous career choices.

Greg Judy: Leasing Farm Land

Greg Judy: Leasing Farm Land

Greg Judy went from having $8 in his pocket after a long divorce to now farming over 1,600 acres. In this episode, Greg and I recap how he got started, mistakes he’s made and what he looks for in terms of farm properties. He shares his best tips on negotiating leases, what fencing tools to use and even what type of cattle to raise.

7 Winter Farm Marketing Tips

7 Winter Farm Marketing Tips

So it’s December and we’re winding down the farm season. Let’s take advantage of this time to focus on one of the most strategically important areas of our business—of any business. And that is marketing. In this episode I’ll walk you through 7 Farm Marketing tasks you can perform this winter to get your farm in great shape for next year.

A huge email list mistake

A huge email list mistake

Today I want to cover a critical mistake that almost everyone makes with their email list. Not just farmers, but over 90% of ALL businesses. And I don’t want you to continue making that mistake, so we’re gonna set you on the right path today. Because, as you no doubt know why now, building a thriving, engaged list of email subscribers is hugely important to the success of your business.

How many farm brands?

How many farm brands?

So it’s branding week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And we’re going to talk about not just branding, but how many farm brands you should have. So this isn’t a super long episode but it is super important. Because farming lends itself to multiple enterprises and multiple products more than any industry I know of. I mean, imagine you raise cows and only cows. Sounds like you have one product, right? Well…

How to be an entrepreneur

How to be an entrepreneur

What can you do if you have a business but you’re not a natural entrepreneur? In this farm podcast, I’m gonna show you how to stop working ON your business rather than being a slave to it so you can avoid burnout and realize your entrepreneurial dreams. And I’ve got a special, awesome download to help you do just that.

How to Create an Email List

How to Create an Email List

So it’s marketing week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And one of the challenges I hear most often expressed from small farmers (really any small business, actually), is how difficult it is to create an email list of potential customers. In this episode we’ll discuss three keys to putting your list-building efforts on autopilot so you can grow your email list.

Website Platform Comparison

Website Platform Comparison

It’s online marketing week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And this week we’re talking websites, or, more specifically, what website design tool you should use. And we have plenty of options, right? There’s lots of website builders out there—you know, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, and WordPress. I’ll walk you through all the options and help you decide what’s right for your farm business.

Logo design mistakes

Logo design mistakes

What do most people think of when they think of branding? They think of logos. In fact, many people think that their logo is their brand. And you can’t have a great brand without a super cool logo design, can you? Today, I’m gonna tell you the mistakes you’re making with your farm logo design and what you really should be doing, instead.

One-Page Farm Business Plan

One-Page Farm Business Plan

Okay, so it’s strategy week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And nothing says “strategy” more than business planning, so that’s the focus this week. Now, the first thing you’re told to do when starting a business is to write a business plan. But should you? Do traditional business plans help? Or is there a better way.
Yes, there is a better way, and in this episode I’ll walk you through how to create an actionable one-page business plan.

10 Reasons Farms Struggle Selling Product

10 Reasons Farms Struggle Selling Product

Okay, so it’s Marketing week here on the podcast. And it’s an important episode, and if you’re a farmer, this is gonna really resonate with you. I want to talk about why small farms struggle so much to sell their products. If you’re a small, family farmer, you know what I mean. I’ve created a list of ten reasons why small farms struggle to sell their products. Listen in and see what you think.

How to Create an Email List for Your Farm

How to Create an Email List for Your Farm

One of the challenges I hear most often expressed from small farmers (really any small business, actually), is how difficult it is to create an email list of potential customers. In this episode we’ll discuss three keys to putting your list-building efforts on autopilot so you can grow your email list.

12 Fatal Flaws of Most Websites

12 Fatal Flaws of Most Websites

Okay, so it’s Online Marketing week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast, and we’re gonna discuss the dirty dozen…the 12 Fatal Flaws of Most Farm Websites. I’d say at least 90% of farm websites commit these sins. Do you?

How to Choose a Name for Your Farm

How to Choose a Name for Your Farm

One of the most common things new farmers stress over is what to name their farm business. Well, in this week’s episode I’m going to tell you there are lots of WRONG names to choose, and give you a tool for choosing the right name for your farm. We’ll also cover how to choose product names and taglines.

Wal-Mart’s NOT the problem. Your business model is!

Wal-Mart’s NOT the problem. Your business model is!

Farmers love to blame Wal-Mart, regulations and unpatriotic consumers as reasons why their farms struggle. But is that really the case? In this episode I explain why it is not the case, and I also share some structural changes I’m making to upcoming podcast episodes.

Talking Farm Marketing on the Modern Acre Podcast

Talking Farm Marketing on the Modern Acre Podcast

This week I’d like to introduce you to an awesome new podcast. I really enjoyed my conversation with Tim and Tyler Nuss of the Modern Acre podcast recently. If you haven’t heard their podcast, here’s your chance. Then hit their site and subscribe.

Talking Farm Marketing on the Modern Acre Podcast

Talking Farm Marketing on the Modern Acre Podcast

This week I’d like to introduce you to an awesome new podcast. I really enjoyed my conversation with Tim and Tyler Nuss of the Modern Acre podcast recently. If you haven’t heard their podcast, here’s your chance. Then hit their site and subscribe.

Talking Pastured Poultry with John Suscovich

Talking Pastured Poultry with John Suscovich

In this episode, I talk with John Suscovich of Farm Marketing Solutions. We discuss John’s new book on Marketing Pastured Poultry, how to start a pastured poultry business, the critical success factors to achieving profitability and much more.
And, of course, we discuss what Howard Stern has in common with pastured poultry.

Random Acts of Marketing

Random Acts of Marketing

Today I want to discuss a crisis in small business. A crisis in most businesses, actually, but particularly in farm businesses. It’s a problem that creates undue stress, panic and results in farmers not building their brands, getting enough customers and growing their farm business.

I’m talking about Random Acts of Marketing.

Announcing the Small Farm Nation Academy

Announcing the Small Farm Nation Academy

Where oh where can you go to learn all the skills you need to market your farm business? Today I’m going to tell you about the greatest farm tool you can invest in this year, the one that will help you to get growing! A membership site full of training videos, Mastermind interviews and resources to teach you how to market your farm business.

Why Your Farm Needs Great Brand Recognition

Why Your Farm Needs Great Brand Recognition

Is branding important for your farm business?

Let’s start with what I mean by the word “brand” because it’s a word that we hear often, but we may not understand the meaning.  I mean, what does the word “brand” mean anyway?

Foundations for Farm & Local Food Marketing

Foundations for Farm & Local Food Marketing

So what’s the secret to marketing farm and local food products? Today, I’ll tell you, and set you on a solid foundation for marketing your farm and/or food products. Because, if we produce great food and farm products and there’s no one to buy it, what’s the point?

11 Farm Business Rules

11 Farm Business Rules

Serving the local food community and reconnecting heritage breed animals to neglected farmland was, and is, a worthy pursuit, and it’s one that a growing number of people are drawn to.

If you’re one of those people, that’s awesome, and I encourage you to follow your dream.

What farmers need to know about 2018 Facebook changes

What farmers need to know about 2018 Facebook changes

Facebook is now focused not on the brands…or those of you who have farm Facebook pages, but rather focused on the individual FB user.

Learn how to use Facebook effectively with the end in mind. And the end is getting people to conduct a transaction with you.

Email List Building 101 For Farmers

Email List Building 101 For Farmers

An email list is your most important communication asset, and email marketing is a great way to sell your farm products. But how do you build a list in the first place?

In this episode I walk you through the four not-so-simple steps of email list building for your farm business.

Farm WordPress Site Case Study – Franchesca’s Dawn Farm

Farm WordPress Site Case Study – Franchesca’s Dawn Farm

“My website had very poor SEO and very little traffic was coming to it. I had no idea how to make things better and get more people to find us and buy. I discovered that I had too much information on the website and that my copy writing needed a lot of work, images needed to be properly sized, and that I needed to not only provide more places for visitors to opt-in, but give them a better reason to opt-in.”

7 Reason Why Small Farms Fail

7 Reason Why Small Farms Fail

Small businesses routinely fail in every industry segment, but what   causes small farms to fail? In this episode I share 7 reasons why small farms fail, so you learn what not to do so that your farm thrives.

I’ll walk you through seven reasons why small farms fail.

Farm Law, Liability & How to Protect Your Assets

Farm Law, Liability & How to Protect Your Assets

A lot of people dream of starting a family farm and selling directly to customers, but how do you protect yourself from getting sued?

In this episode, join me and the Food Lawyer as we discuss farm law, liability and how to protect your personal assets.

Do You Have a Farm Business or a Farm Hobby?

Do You Have a Farm Business or a Farm Hobby?

The phrase hobby farm is cute and all, but what’s the difference between a hobby farm and a farming business? In this episode, I’m going to tell you why you might have a farm hobby that costs you money rather than a thriving farm business that earns you money.

Farm WordPress Site Case Study – East West Farm

Farm WordPress Site Case Study – East West Farm

“My previous website was very basic and I knew very little about web design. I wanted to have some optimization of web searches and to make it easier for customers to get to know us plus to help me better manage my business.”

How to Build Your Personal Farm Brand

How to Build Your Personal Farm Brand

We’ve all heard the term corporate branding, but what is a personal brand, and do farmers need one? In this episode, I’m going to tell you why you need to develop your own personal farm brand, and how to do it. Because, from a marketing perspective, a sustainable farm business is quite unique in the scheme of business models.

Farm Website Case Study – Parkelm Farm

Farm Website Case Study – Parkelm Farm

“My prior site was not SEO optimized very well, the store functions were clunky and not ideal for our product, too busy. It was hard for people to find our products. I chose FarmPress to get better SEO, a better store and a fresher design.”

When to Start Marketing Your “Future” Farm Business

When to Start Marketing Your “Future” Farm Business

If you’re planning to start a farm—or any small business—when should you start marketing it?

In this post, I explain why you should start marketing your farm or small business BEFORE you even open for business.

Farm Website Case Study – My Barefoot Farm

Farm Website Case Study – My Barefoot Farm

“My prior website was not geared toward a business model at all. It was all blog! I have a fair number of readers, but they were not buyers. Most of the readers were also far away and not local enough to purchase anything from me anyway. FarmPress has allowed me to make that switch to a more business framework while still maintaining to blog aspect. SMN has helped me make the mental switch to farming as a business.”

Farm Website Case Study – Rafter W. Ranch

Farm Website Case Study – Rafter W. Ranch

“Things that I wanted to do with my prior website were not available to me, such as WordPress plug-ins, list building tools, and KingSumo. Also, changing the look of pages as I desired. FarmPress solved all of that.”