Mike Champagne

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

10+

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

We are a group of four friends who have trained on, worked at, and currently manage some of the best organic farms in the North East. Combined we have worked at over a dozen farms and have three decades of full time experience. Most of our expertise is in organic vegetables, but we also have background with pasture raised meats, eggs, and dairy.  

We are looking to hit the ground running in 2021 growing about 10 acres of vegetables.  We envision building a farm where no artificial inputs are used, and instead cover crops are grown and animals rotationally grazed in order to build organic matter, minimize our carbon footprint,  and sustain the integrity of the land and soil.

Description of marketing method:

Our marketing strategy will be focused on supplying CSA shares to community spaces in Brooklyn. We have both extensive experience with this type of direct marketing and community connections, making us confident that this will financially support our operation. Additionally, we have worked directly with loyal chefs to supply restaurants in our area. This local revenue stream will supplement and diversify our income as a business.  

Does this farmer have a business plan?

Yes

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Capital Area
    • Albany
    • Schoharie
  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Greene
    • Ulster

Desired acreage:

51-100

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Electrical Access

Description of infrastructure:

Housing would be a plus, but not a must if the farm is in an area with affordable housing options. We will not consider a property without barns and out buildings. Existing greenhouses would be a huge bonus. 

Description of buildings required:

A barn with electricity and drainage for a wash shed. Additional buildings for storage and/or animal housing. We will need at least two greenhouses, if they are not currently on the property owner must be okay with us building them

Description of water access required:

Both well water for washing vegetables and ponds or streams for field irrigation are required.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Hay

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Pigs, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

 We will start our farm with the primary focus of growing diverse organic vegetables.  Within the first 2-3 years we will integrate the production of small fowl for eggs and meat, with the goal of adding larger animals by the 5th year.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

We are looking for an initial 5 year lease, and are open to longer term options if the circumstances work for both parties. 

 

Additional Information

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

Yes

Experience & education:

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

Experience description:

We have experience at the following farms, references available upon request. 

Merrifield Farm (ME)

Hancock Family Farm (ME) 

Brookford Farm (NH)

Hearty Roots Community Farm (NY)

Roxbury Farm (NY)

Sparrowbush Farm (NY)

MX Morningstar Farm (NY)

Letterbox Farm (NY)

Abundant Acres Farm (NS)

Sankanac CSA/Camphill Kimberton (PA)

North Star Orchard (PA)

Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Gardens (QC)

Mountain Heritage Farm (VA)

Whisper Hill Farm (VA)

Hawthorne Valley Farm (NY)

Relevant documents: