Emma Smalley pictured in a field with one of her goats

Finding Land to Raise a Family and a Herd

Emma Smalley is a first-generation farmer located in Western New York. For the last two years Emma has been managing her own goat operation while gaining the experience and skills necessary to expand her business. Currently Emma is renting a small amount of pasture and barn space from a friend in Alden, NY for her herd of 50 Boer and Boer/Kiko cross goats. She raises these meat goats primarily for sale as Halal meat to customers in Buffalo and throughout Erie County. Emma has taken numerous courses from the Cornell Small Farms Program and completed a meat goat production certification from Langston University to further her own education and prepare for her new business.

Emma recently completed an exhaustive search for her “forever farm” and is in the process of purchasing 176 acres in Allegany County. This property is closer to her customer base and meets Emma’s needs for housing for her family and lots of pasture space for an expanded herd of 150 goats to roam and “express more of their true goaty nature.” Throughout her land search, Emma has been working closely with Regional Navigators at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County and American Farmland Trust to decide which type of land tenure was best for her and develop a business plan. Emma says that “finding a farm where I can raise my family and goat herd on the same land is the manifestation of my dream.”

Published in February 2021