How this Maryland farmer embraced relationship marketing
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!
“We started with just a few backyard chickens and it grew from there!” Ryan said.
Today, Freedom Valley Farm produces grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and turkey and woodlot pork.
Ryan found and joined the Small Farm Nation Academy back in 2018 because, as he says, “We were struggling to figure out farm marketing and websites, and just didn’t even know where to start!”
But that was then. Since joining the Academy, Ryan says they’ve learned so much that has helped their farm to really get growing!
“Tim is awesome, and his courses have taught us best practices and how-to for relationship farm marketing! He has also helped us build a state-of-the-art farm website!” Ryan said.
Today, Freedom Valley Farm has a slick, modern farm website with an online store and is selling out of product. This has proved critical as the Coronavirus pandemic hit, as it made it easy for Ryan’s farm to take and manage a rapid increase in orders. But with their online WordPress store, they can easily take orders and even allow customers to choose their pick-up dates and locations.
When asked what he sees as the most challenging part of running a profitable farm business, Ryan says:
“Right now, the struggle is in getting to a large enough scale to support a healthy economy of scale. We are getting there faster than ever now, but it certainly can’t come soon enough. Cash flow has also been a big learning curve as we grow, and figuring out how to finance that growth.”
As all farmers know, figuring out marketing and growing a profitable business is challenging. But, as Ryan says, it’s good to have help when you need it.
“Small Farm Nation has been an invaluable tool to have in our back pocket,” Ryan added. “Without it, we’d be stumbling in the dark when trying to figure out how to market and sell our farm products.”
Small Farm Nation designs and
hosts custom websites with online stores
for farmers across the United States,
Canada and beyond. Our web designs meet the needs of each individual farm.