Bonnie Walker

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Previous experience of working on a dual dairy milking cows and goats. Had managed the goat herd, and interested in starting a goat dairy of my own. Particular interest in rotational grazing, grazing to improve land, and herd health management. Experience with different levels of infrastructure, so happy to start from scratch.

Description of marketing method:

Ideally would wholesale milk to local cheesemakers for greater profit from value added product. Until that level of production is reached, the focus would primarily be on selling offspring of proven does and sale of meat from unproven does. Preferably meat would be marketed to local restaurants, CSA's, markets, or other similar operations.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Delaware
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

11-20, 21-50, 51-100, >100

Infrastructure required:

Water access

Description of infrastructure:

Willing to start from scratch.

Description of water access required:

Running water preferred, can work with ponds/streams.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Hay

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Cattle - Dairy, Goats/Sheep, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

Primarily interested in goat dairy, but happy to work with other livestock.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

I am primarily looking to lead the management of the land.

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

On farm work experience, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

5 years full time experience farming, as well as 5 additional seasons. I managed the goat herd on a dual dairy artisanal cheese farm. Within a year I had increased milk production 15% while reducing cost utilizing rotational grazing, managing feed and mineral supplementation to maximize herd health, and other factors. I have participated in many farm workshops through NOFA, and have lead many educational programs in relation to farming, biology and the environment. The farm I worked for was also an educational facility, which was well integrated into the farming operation. I am particularly interested in humane husbandry and improving the land through grazing. Through rotational grazing we saw a resurgence of native plants in the pasture.