Curtis Mraz

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

6-10

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I currently operate a business called Smoke & Honey Co. in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and the Hudson Valley of New York. Smoke & Honey Co. is a socially and environmentally conscientious agricultural and beekeeping business that focuses at the intersection of food production, education, art, and activism. We've been in operation since the start of 2020 but I have been farming since 2014. I am a fourth generation beekeeper and have learned the skills of the trade at my family's operation with 1,000+ colonies in Vermont. I've also farmed organic produce for grocery store whole sale accounts and raised sustainable meat products for high end NYC restaurants like Blue Hill. Currently looking to expand the agricultural and apiary management branches of my business by hosting hives at different locations throughout the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires and providing mentoring and management services. 

Description of marketing method:

Smoke & Honey Co. is already funded and established. Offering agricultural services to high end clients, beekeeping management and mentor services, and honey/vegetable sales.

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:

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, Electrical Access

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Pigs, Poultry, Other livestock

Description of livestock/crops:

Integrated livestock and vegetable production with a heavy focus on native habitat restoration and honey bees

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

Open to managing a parcel of land, managing a specific garden, or managing an apiary on a farm. Long term goal is to find a farm in the Hudson Valley to establish a permanent home base for the business to operate out of.

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, Farm internship/apprenticeship, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

Studied biology and environmental policy in college. Worked as an agricultural innovation intern at the largest mint extract producer in the world. Interned on a small scale educational farm then later worked as the Executive Administrative Assistant at that farm and was responsible for farm management and running educational programs. I later worked at a wholesale and CSA vegetable production farm in the Berkshires of Western, MA where I kept bees and began to establish my beekeeping business. At the same time I worked for North Plain Farm on tomato and meat production efforts where we would sell our products to Dan Barber's infamous restaurant: Blue Hill.