HorseStable/ Agritourism

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

10+

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Do you want to make some money?? I do!!
We are looking for a landowner/partner who is SERIOUS about wanting a thriving farm business on their property. 
We have;
Trained, safe lesson/trail horses
A small but active breeding program with a purebred, registered Connemara stallion
Gorgeous youngstock
A lovely, gentle assortment of other livestock, PERFECT for agritourism and education. If you want to;
Learn about exotics
Milk a goat or cow
Pet a yak
Enjoy a lovely rainbow of chickens and eggs
Rub a friendly pigs tummy
Pet soft, wooly sheep
Basically visit a little bit of Ol' MacDonald's farm...

Than we have you and our PAYING CLIENTS covered!! 
Listen, even - no, especially - in the current climate, people want to get back to nature. They want to escape, even if it's just for the weekend. They want to learn about their food and it's production (and we can also offer classes on growing, canning, cheesemaking, jam making, etc) so they can feel safer. They want activities they can safely do - like horseback riding, with its inherent social distancing.

And we need a place to do that. Our current farm is for sale, and the owners don't want the public on it. This, obviously, has put an extreme damper on our business....
 

Description of marketing method:

We market online and through word of mouth/iphone - our happy clients post a LOT of Instagram pics and tell everyone what a great time they had! To honor the request of the owners of our current location, we don't currently have a website for the horses/riding. But we did put up a website for our other animals, www.BessieTheCow.com
When we can again offer horseback riding and classes, we will link a sister website to that.
We also like to be active in the community and have previously worked with 4H clubs and other youth. We have contacts in NYC and clients who would LOVE to be able to do farmstays with us if we were again in a position to offer them.

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Adirondack Region
    • Clinton
    • Essex
    • Franklin
    • Hamilton
    • Warren
  • Capital Area
    • Albany
    • Fulton
    • Montgomery
    • Rensselaer
    • Saratoga
    • Schenectady
    • Schoharie
    • Washington
  • Central
    • Chenango
    • Cortland
    • Herkimer
    • Madison
    • Oneida
    • Onondaga
    • Oswego
    • Otsego
  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Delaware
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

11-20, 21-50, 51-100

Infrastructure required:

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

Description of buildings required:

We're going to need a barn. We do not need an official stable with stalls for every horse - no worries there. Connemaras are a hardy breed and our horses prefer to be outside 99% of the time. But the small stock needs cover, the dairy animals need somewhere to come in and be milked, we need hay storage, etc. We can convert any sturdy, usable, weatherproof barn to our needs.

;) And unless you have really tolerant neighbors, we'll need some fence, too.

Last, but not least, housing. Now, I'm going to be REALLY upfront here, and to some people that seems rude, but I don't want to waste anyone's time, so when I say housing, I mean "Of my very own".    As in, if there is a house on your property, and you live in it = there is no house. The room with a separate entrance = not housing. The tiny apartment in the barn that was good enough for the WOOFer = not housing. I am an adult, with a family and business of my own. I have company over, I sometimes cook with garlic or curry, I play music loudly when I vacuum - I do not put up with all the inconvieniences of country living so that I have to worry about bothering the people downstairs.

Housing CAN be; that rustic cabin with wood heat. A singlewide. A fixer-upper. Uncle Harry's old place at the end of that rutted up, half mile driveway. That's fine. So long as me and mine are the only folks living in it. And yeah, of course we have pets.

Description of fencing required:

Definitely gonna need at least some horse-proof, cow-proof fence.

Crops and Livestock

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Dairy, Equine, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

We have lesson/trail horses that can go from beginner to advanced. Two of our horses are even suited for therapuetic riding, and a third is being trained for that (ie, to take voice commands from a ground handler, regardless of any sounds or motions a disabled person may make, when they are wearing certain tack). We also have young horses in training, from foals on up.

We have two dairy cows in milk, 2 heifers and 2 calves. Bessie, our biggest cow, is trained for "Cow Cuddling". Annabelle, our older Jersey, is trained to hand milk, and has been used for milking lessons/experiences for clients.We also keep a small herd of dairy goats, and give lessons in goat care. We have 2 yaks, who were used in a petting farm, 4 wooly, spotty Jacob sheep, and several pigs ranging from miniature to small. Penelope, our main sow, is a HUGE hit with guests, as she is very, very friendly, and, at 70#, not intimidating. We also keep an assortment of poultry and can provide chicken, duck and quail eggs! Even though we do keep a variety of friendly, handleable animals for education, we are not vegatarian, and do raise some for meat (not Penelope ;)  )

We do not currently have a market garden, but woud like to add one.

A word about "organic". We don't use broad spectrum herbicides or pesticides - but we are not organic, because we love our animals. And what organic means for animals is they can NEVER have ANY medication EVER. No, not if they're sick. No, not if a vet prescribes it. No, not for pain. 
I'm sure that if your dog got a cut, you would like to have the vet stitch it up, and you would like for them to have that nice numbing shot first and some bacitracin to clean it out .... that is NOT organic! If we wanted to keep organic animals, we would have to either find a way to hold the poor thing still while the vet stitched away, put it down, or sell it. Same if they should get sick - no antibiotics, nothing, we could 1) Hope & herbs, 2) Kill or 3) Drag them to the auction and cross our fingers that someone not organic takes pity on them (we have bought animals in that state)

So, no. Never. Our animals cannot be certified organic. I know it's a buzzword that everyone loves, but I hope you understand that we love our animals too much to deny them the best healthcare we can give, should something happen.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

I'm pretty open with types of tenure, I just don't have a big down payment to buy a place (yay, divorce!), so I'm here. I'm happy to have a partnership, where we split profits, or to lease outright. I'd love to eventually own, but mostly I'm just looking for something really long term. Moving a farm sucks.

Additional Information

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

Yes

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm owner, On farm work experience, Other

Experience description:

YES! We can TOTALLY get you the ag exemption. The whole point is to have an actual business where I make money and you make money. Can I do this, hon, listen;

I graduated with a degree in horse care and stable management in 1995. I studied at Anne Gribbon's stable, when she owned Knoll's Farm. I have worked in agriculture and agritourism up and down the east coast, including SeaWorld, FL (no fancy job description, but learning a lot) to being a wrangler at the Triple W in Hawley PA. I owned my own farm in AR for 7 years until divorce, but I managed to keep all my animals and have rented farmland since.

This is what I do.

I have a business plan and it has been gone over by (and I still work with) the great folks over at FarmNet NY. I can, and will, tailor make a business plan for a particular piece of land and situation. I am flexible and if you will (please read in the nicest possible way) get out of my way and let me do it, I will make us BOTH money.

I run this business with my 20yo daughter, and in an ideal situation, will have an intern, a couple of working students and there's no reason I shouldn't make enough to have a seasonal employee or three (assuming, y'know, I can have clients, which I can't in my current location. When I owned my own farm, it ran in the black. Consistently.