So, this farm is just another of hundreds of small dairy farms that have gone belly up over the last few decades. My predecessor made ends meet by selling of 10 acre lots for quite a few years leaving the farm with 17 adjoining neighbors and the old core of the farm along with the original outbuildings. I showed up in 2005 and set about trying to find a new lease on life for this place. We've tried a lot of things over the years and succeeded modestly at a few. To enumerate the things we've done here, sheep, pigs, beef cows, goats, chicken eggs, duck eggs, geese, goats, small vegetable CSA, sugar beets, wheat, barley, and more before hitting upon rice in 2010.
Since 2010, rice growing has taken up a larger and larger portion of my attention and at this point it's really my primary farming interest. It's an adaptive use of flat, heavy clay lands such as we have and the economics tend to work out really well. This is a kind of farming I can also train and mentor in so in addition to being able to offer the infrastructure and pasture that rice doesn't use, I can also offer involvement in small scale rice growing, and eventual equity in the rice operation.
The farm is in a quiet neighborhood on a dead-end road with almost zero traffic so it is not suitable for an enterprise that depends on a lot of through-traffic.