Farmer Profile for Philip Wagenbach

Please describe your past and/or present farming experience

Currently raise beef for retail/wholesale on small scale. Growing a small herd of Red Angus ideally suited for efficient use of marginal land. Pasture management focused on biodiversity above and below ground to stabilize and build topsoil. Representative with King's AgriSeeds with special interest in perennial forages and cover crops suited to help small grazing farms thrive. Past experience with industrial commodity agriculture. Have been grass finishing beef on/off since 1990s

Are you currently farming?

Yes

Are you interested in connecting with other farmers to explore collocation or collaborative farm ideas?

Yes

Counties being considered

Rutland

What is the primary agricultural enterprise you are considering?

Hay/Forage

What other enterprises are you considering?

Beef
Grains
Livestock
Maple Sugaring
Pasture
Poultry
Row Crops
Sheep
Vegetables
Woodlot

Total Acres Desired

300.0

Tillable Acres

20.0

Forested Acres

100.0

Acres in Pasture

200.0

Organic

Yes

Farm Structures Needed

Barn(s)

Farmhouse Needed

Doesn't matter

Which of the following arrangements are you considering?

Farm Manager
Lease with Option to Buy
Long-Term Lease
Owner-Financed Sale
Partnership
Short-Term Lease
Standard Sale
Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assets)

Have you been qualified by a lending institution? (if applicable)

No

Are you interested in conserved farms?

Yes

Do you have a business plan? Please write an informative description of your vision & goals for your farming future.

We have a home farm with highly productive pasture after only 3 years renovation. We use organic practices and holistically manage our pastures. We have tremendous demand for our beef locally and in CT due to both the quality of our finish as well as genetics. Our goal is to continue to finish 30-50+ beef animals for mostly local sale. We currently use purchased hay as part of soil improvement program but ultimately want to close the nutrient loop. Fertility must go back to the land We will likely partner with other farmers to produce beef animals for us using the specific genetic we are selecting for. This may include direct sale of seedstock animals. Our ultimate goal is to raise animals that are adapted to New England climate as well as the changing farming landscape. Well managed ruminants are critical to stabilizing our soil. We believe that small herds of spring calving cows can efficiently produce calves that will consistently finish before their second winter. We are already very close to this goal. As the dairy industry retracts, we must avoid exporting our local fertility to larger dairies or permanently offsite with hay only production. There is no doubt a limit to how long chemical inputs can sustain extraction. The solution must include thriving well managed biodiverse small farms with animals on the land. This will be good for our soil, water, economy, and communities.