Meg Whiteford

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Currently I manage harvest, sales and outreach on a 28 acre organic certified fruit and vegetable farm on the island of Kauai. The past few months I have spent building a new website for online sales and CSA share organization, restructuring our daily routine according to the changing needs of the community regarding the crisis, integrating a commumity work day as an option for customers who have financial concerns or want to be involved and volunteering, upscaled our social media presence, and secured long term relationships with new essential accounts. Post covid, we were selling at 5 markets weekly, delivering to restaurants and stores 4 days/week, and constantly hosting WWOOFers. Now we have a relationship with a non profit running a farm to school program that we are selling 120 shares of veggies to each week along with about 200# of fruit. Tourism and sales beside these are down, but we are attending 2 markets weekly and still delivering to health food stores and some restaurants. I have worked on this farm for 3 years total and spent time working on both sides, field and harvest. I have gained experience running multiple tractors. A 1920s kubota farmall I have the most experience on, but i have also worked with an older john deere and some newer kubota models with a bucket (though not much bucket experience). I am looking to move back to the ny area to be near family. My recent ag experience is in tropical setting, but I began farming while attending UMass Amherst. I have a BS in Plant Soil and Insect Science with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture. I have also worked on farms in Oregon and California, over the past 8 years. Focusing my learning experience on organic and sustainable approaches, I have my experience rooted in production agriculture. Within this, I have practiced biodynamics, JADAM/Korean Natural Farming, orchard management and care, permaculture, animal care and pasture rotation, and so much more! I am cultivating a vision of how to integrate all of the values around these approaches into creating a sustainable, secure, beautiful and abundant food system. I am looking for an opportunity to live and work on an existing project where I can be compensated for my work and provided housing, or an opportunity to lease with housing and either financial support or a break from a lease for a few months while things are getting prepared and starting in the ground. Another option could be someone who is open to me working somewhere else while putting in a certain amount of hours weekly to start things off as trade for rent/lease. Which could eventually shift towards not working off the farm and leasing. I am thinking about options for the upcoming months. It would be nice to get plants started before Fall to have winter greens growing or maybe some animals. If you have a vision or questions or ideas you want to talk through, give me a call!

Description of marketing method:

Willing to travel for markets and would also start by reaching out to local businesses to see if there is a potential partnership. Restaurants, grocery stores, florists. Future long term would like to eventually work with high school age group in a after school garden program.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Ulster

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50, 51-100, >100

Infrastructure required:

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

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Ornamentals, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

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

Description of livestock/crops:

Interested in starting with a diverse organic veggie garden. With a focus on perennials as much as possible. Herbs. Flowers. Have experience with floral design. Would love to slowly plant perennial fruit crops; berries and trees. Someday try tropical crops in greenhouses. Have a source for ginger and turmeric seed and would definitely like to try planting that in hoop houses/ a greenhouse. Not much animal experience but a will to experiment and learn! Some work with cattle, goats, sheep, chickens. Could definitely build a chicken coop/ start with heritage breed laying hens. If there is a barn and fencing, could manage goats or other animals.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership

Description of tenure options desired:

Open to talking about options!

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

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

Experience description:

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
Moloa’a Organica’a 2015-2017, 2018- present, Anahola, HI
Harvest, Sales, Outreach Manager
➢ Daily harvest planning for market, communication with restaurant and wholesale accounts
➢ Hire/oversee/train employees in harvest, field, market, nursery, marketing
➢ Coordinate and plan garden needs with Field Manager
➢ Communicate directly with general managers/owners about priority tasks and developments
➢ Delegate tasks and float where training/energy is needed
RECENT RELATIVE EXPERIENCE
Solstice East 2017-2018, Weaverville, NC Residential Treatment Center for girls ages 14-18.
Mentor, Garden Coordinator
➢ Supervise, uphold expectations, and provide a positive role model and guide for 4+ girls throughout their daily schedule and treatment
➢ Start up garden (building, planting, maintenance)
➢ Lead teams of 12+ students in garden tasks, 3 hours/2 days a week
Wai’iti Soaps and Botanicals 2016-2017, Kilauea, HI
Apprentice/Volunteer Assistant
➢ Assist in soapmaking, hydrosol distillation, plant harvest, market sales, product preparation
Winter Green Farm 2015, Noti, OR
Biodynamic CSA/Market farm, 30 acre garden/100+ cow pastureHarvest Crew/Marketeer
Live Power Community Farm 2014, Covelo, CA
Biodynamic certified, educational CSA farm, 4 acres garden/30 pastureApprentice
➢ Active involvement in Biodynamic Association of Northern California
Growing Crazy Farm 2013, Roseburg, OR Farm Intern CSA/Market 10 acre farm and orchard
Farm Intern
UMASS Student Farm 2012, Amherst, MA
Class on farming with immersion in field/management of weekly Fall CSA, direct sales to campus cafe Focus and research for 3 crops
EDUCATION
University of Massachusetts Amherst January 2013
BS in Plant, Soil, Insect Science focus in Sustainable Food and Farming Minor in Linguistics
Bioneers Conference Volunteer 2014 Biodynamic Conference 2014 (Medicine for Earth and Man)
TECHNICAL SKILLS
Tractor operation (kubota old and new) • Landscape/construction power tools (chainsaw, bcs, weed whip, drill) and human powered tools • Farm irrigation/plumbing • Orchard pruning • Strong background in diverse Fruit/Vegetable/Herb varietals
Google Drive - Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint - Quickbooks - Facebook/Instagram marketing - Website design/management