Wade Bridger

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Hello, I’m Wade Bridger. I have a long history of organic farming, focusing mostly on rational grazing and sustainable methods. I grew up on a dairy farm in Oklahoma and have operated small scale dairy farms and worked on grazing farms in the Mid-west as well as New York and Vermont. I was also a cattle breeder in New York and Vermont. I am currently experimenting with no-dig vegetable farming on a small plot in Iowa. I am seeking a land use opportunity in New York to return to grazing and animal agriculture. My ideal situation would a pasture based farm raising grass-fed beef, pork(using a ‘grazing type’ pig like the Large Black) lamb and chicken. My heart belongs to dairy cows but I don’t “have” to do a dairy, but given the right circumstances I would love to include a very small dairy operation. I am a true believer regarding organic and alternative agriculture. I feel that all farming should be focused on the health of the land and community rather than the profit at any cost model of modern ag. I also believe that we have only scratched the surface of what truely farming with natures cycles could look like if we only could get our heads out of the concept of battling nature. 

Description of marketing method:

I want to market direct from the farm to the eater. I’m interested in building a community around the farm and with customers,  neighbors and other farmers. That is one of my reasons for selecting this area to establish a farm - access to markets and like minded people that value the same things.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Capital Area
    • Albany
    • Rensselaer
    • Saratoga
    • Washington
  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

21-50, 51-100, >100

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Ornamentals, Hay, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Cattle - Dairy, Equine, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry, Other livestock

Description of livestock/crops:

I’d be selecting livestock breeds that do well on a grass based farming plan using rotational managed grazing. That would mean seeking out heritage breeds - I’d like to try out Milking Devon and Belted Galloway cattle, and Large Black hogs for example. The cattle is reported to produce a high quality beef on pasture alone - and the Large Blacks are a grazing pig that can get much of their needs off of pasture and are not rooters. I would probably make hay, depending on the available land base. Don’t know that I would do any cropping, I don’t have a lot of experience with tillage and would want to do some research into alternative methods of growing that would be more friendly too the land.  

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, Other Tenure Agreement

Additional Information

Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?

Yes

Experience & education:

Farm owner, On farm work experience, Farm internship/apprenticeship, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

I have a wide range of experience in livestock husbandry, herd health and rotational grazing-managed grazing. I grew up on a small pasture based dairy, and have operated an organic dairy in the past. I’ve worked on dairy farms in the mid-west and in Upstate New York - both conventional as well as organic. I was also a AI tech in New York and Vermont.