Rasaq Abiola

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

10+

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am an experienced farmer, having farmed in both Nigeria and in the US. As an example of the latter, I worked at Saratoga Farm in Brooklyn as Lead Farmer during the 2017 season. I would like to establish my own farm for the 2020 growing season, where I wish to grow both American and African vegetables. Eventually, I would like to diversify the farm to include chicken, rabbit, and honey production. An even longer-term goal would be to add larger stock like cattle and goats. As I would like to be within a short distance of NYC area, for market purposes, I am primairly looking at farmland in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Orange counties, but I am open to good opportunities in other nearby areas.

Description of marketing method:

Restaurants, food markets, immediatete family members/friends, communities where the farm is situated, CSA

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Dutchess
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

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

Infrastructure required:

Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Fencing, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

I hope to find a farm that has farm worker housing, but this is not absolutely required. I would also like to find land that has space for processing small livestock, though I could also establish this infrastructure if needed.

Description of farm equipment required:

Any general farm equipment would be helpufl

Description of water access required:

I will need access to water for both vegetable and livestock production. I can establish a well, but would prefer to find a farm property that has access to water already in place.

Description of fencing required:

Basic perimeter and/or deer exclusion fencing is preferred.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

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

Description of livestock/crops:

Vegetables are my initial priority. Eventually, I would like to diversify the farm to include chicken, rabbit, and honey production. An even longer-term goal would be to add larger stock like cattle and goats.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

My preference is to own the farm, either immediately or eventually, but I am open to other arrangments.

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm owner, Other

Experience description:

I owned a farm back home in Nigeria.I established this farm in 2001. We planted all types of vegetables/crops, among which are yam, cocoyam, beans, maize, groundnut, cowpea, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet potatoes. We had a sucessful rabbit production program. We also raised goat, ram, sheep and chicken (we raised day old chicks for other farmers as well as broilers). At Saratoga Farm, where I was the Lead Farmer in 2017, I participated in the daily running of the farm, including managing the nursery, transplanting,  harvesting, marketing, training of young farmers and record keeping. 
I have a degree in Accounting and a Masters Of Business Administration. I have additional proffessional qualifications in Business/Administration. I also completed GrowNYC’s farm business class in 2017/2018 and I have taken other crop and livestock courses offered online by Cornell University. Lastly, I am working with Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell’s NY FarmNet on developing and updating my farm business plans.