Shanna Pickwick

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I have been a farmer for my entire life.  The majority of my years has been in the dairy industry, but since the sale of my 250 cow dairy herd, I moved on to lawn maintenance and farm sitting.  Within the next few years, I landed a job on a certified organic farm and now manage their organic vegetable production and animal care.  I am currently looking for pasture land for lease for a small herd of registered miniature hereford cattle (currently 8 animals with the hopes of 15 within 2 years).  The miniature cattle are much more efficient than their full size counterparts,  and offer a more sustainable approach for the environment for they require half of the pasture per animal and have less imact with a smaller frame (the miniature standard is no taller than 48" at the hip.)  The miniature hereford breed is very docile and these animals are halter broke with prospect of the show ring.  The market approach for these animals would be not only for beef but ultimately for sale to the homesteading person who may not have large acreage and would like to grow their own food...not to mention anyone that would like to have a kid friendly lawn mower.  These animals are of high quality and would also be marketed for the breeding world of miniature hereford cattle once the herd is established and reproducing.

Description of marketing method:

These animals are of very high quality and have great pedigrees. There will be three different marketing approaches. One will be targeted towards breeders who are interested in expanding or beginning, this approach will also offer educational information for people that are new to raising cattle.  Another approach would be to the farmer or homesteader that  would like to raise their own food or would rather have a pet that earns their keep by mowing the lawn and providing valauble compost.  This would give them the opportunity to do that regardless of small acreage.  The third approach would be for high quality beef that is raised as sustainably as possible.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia

Desired acreage:

6-10, 11-20

Infrastructure required:

Water access, Fencing

Description of water access required:

water would be necessary either pond/stream/well.  Water from pond or stream can be pupmed to stock tank that is moved with the animals.

Description of fencing required:

Outside fencing is required.  Internal fencing for rotational grazing will be provided by me.  Rotational grazing allows for the animals to graze an area without overgrazing, therefore optimizing the pasture performance while maintaining the health of the pasture.

Crops and Livestock

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef

Description of livestock/crops:

As mentioned above, the miniature hereford cattle breed is a smaller depiction of the well known white faced hereford.  They originated from selective breeding from quality stock with the objective of a more efficient breed of cattle with less of a footprint.  They achieved just that, for they range in height anywhere from 36"-48" as an adult.   The percent of yield per miniature is higher than a full sized animal while at the same time being more efficient and more environmentally friendly.  Their friendly, docile personality adds a country attraction that is hard to resist. 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease

Additional Information

Experience & education:

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

Experience description:

I have been a farmer for my entire life.  As a child, my family raised poultry and rabbits for the meat market along with a few pigs.  At the age of 12 I was introduced to dairy farming and quickly became the calf and heifer manager.  During high school I took some elective agriculture courses then went to SUNY Morrisville for an associates degree in animal science with a concentration of dairy.  I worked on not only the family farm but neighboring farms through college and after college.  All farms ranging from 90-300 head of cattle.  By the time I was 25 I purchased my own herd of dairy cattle that consisted of 250 head, but to my dismay, I sold them due to circumstances out of my control.  Since then, I have dabbled in beef cattle and horses, each with the same struggle for pasture land.  I currently work on a certified organic farm managing their organic vegetable production and animal care (horses, cows, goats and chickens).  I have happily been employed there for 10 years, and the knowledge I have gained concerning organic/sustainable agriculture has been priceless.