Interest: beef cattle, goats & sheep, pasture poultry, horticulture, land preservation.
- Hudson Valley
Beginning farmer: 10 years or less of experience managing a farm business
Currently farming part-time
Primary reason for farming
Farm will generate the majority of my income
Farming status, plans, and practices
Our current operation focuses on specialized goat and sheep production for Holiday Markets. We have a loyal customer base that preorders livestock for their festivals. At our leased location, we have a small ruminant scale of around 60 animals. As our livestock needs to meet certain requirements, we raise and slaughter them according to specific guidelines.
Due to a significant number of orders for Halal pastured poultry, we are introducing broilers starting this April. All our livestock, including beef cattle through shares, are pasture-raised with some grain supplement during winter months.
As part of our efforts to ensure quality assurance, we are working on selective breeding of certain livestock breeds to establish a good breeding herd.
In addition to our livestock production, we plan to utilize our background in Horticulture by establishing an acre for U-pick strawberries. We plan to use the varieties we have experience with to offer our customers a unique and enjoyable experience.
With our knowledge of the South Asian diet, we aim to grow turmeric, red chili, and baby ginger, which are three important spices in South Asian cuisine. We plan to turn them into powder for longer shelf-life unless we have a market for freshly picked spice.
Furthermore, we have identified preferred varieties of pumpkin, watermelon, amaranth, eggplant, and pepper that have a good demand in our niche market. All our horticultural sales will be through U-pick, providing our customers with the opportunity to select and harvest the freshest produce.
Farm Experience & Education
- Farm internship/apprenticeship
- Farmer training or workshop
- Formal agricultural education
- On farm work experience
Rutgers University: BS in Agriculture & Food Systems May, 2021
Relevant Courses: Soil Fertility, Horticulture, Pathology, Entomology Agro ecology, Microeconomics, Statistics for Research, Farm Business and Operation Plan, Applied Systems in Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture.
Krishok’s Harvest LLC - Founder/Farmer January 2022 – Present
- Qurbani Eid al-Adha 2022
- Successfully founded and operated a business focused on ethnic and religious practices, generating $47K in revenue by direct marketing to over 70 customers during the Eid holiday.
- Supervised and trained a team of 10 employees and 6 volunteers on animal handling, ethical slaughtering, and waste disposal, ensuring a smooth and efficient 2-day sale period.
- Demonstrated strong financial management skills by creating and balancing budgets, establishing a billing strategy, and collecting over $20K in preorders.
- Built a loyal client base by employing a variety of marketing strategies, including direct farm marketing, social media networking, and personalized customer visits.
- Capitalized on a growing market by focusing on the Muslim holiday market, Eid al-Adha, leveraging personal experience and surveys conducted by Rutgers to target the Muslim populations in NYC, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
- Year-round Operation
- Maintain pasture health through manure management, livestock load, rotational grazing, seeding mixed pasture species.
- Utilized NRCS soil mapping to gain a comprehensive understanding of the soil types across various sections of the farm, and applied this knowledge to effectively manage livestock grazing patterns.
- Proactively attended livestock auctions and sales stables to establish valuable connections, gain deep insights into livestock market rates, and develop expertise in identifying and procuring healthy livestock
- Monitor the health of animals by performing maintenance tasks such as administering dewormers, supplementing feed with trace minerals, trimming hooves etc.
- Construct intensive browsing areas using portable electric fencing in order to clear brush piles and invasive species.
- Expanding the revenue stream through offering multiple products and services such as: composted manure, weed clearance through goats, breeding buck rental, and beef cattle shares.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County (Earth Center) - Intern June 2019 – December 2021
- Cover Cropping Project:
- Performed thorough research utilizing NRCS soil mapping to analyze the soil profile, and tailored seed blend ratios per acre to maximize soil amendment and promote crop diversity.
- Transformed 10 acres of fallow land into productive arable plots by implementing a mixed species cover cropping strategy featuring rye, sorghum sudan, clover, sunhemp, tillage radish, field peas, and switchgrass.
- Rutgers Strawberry Research (Rutgers Fruit Research, Cream Ridge Experiment Station):
- Collaborated with geneticists, breeders, and extension agents to advance a 35-year-old strawberry breeding research program, improving fruit quality, increasing production efficiency, and reducing environmental and biological hazards.
- Conducted research trials at various Rutgers locations, managed field operations, and coordinated taste test trials to evaluate cultivars based on their scores.
- Rows For The Hungry (Donation Garden):
- Managed a team of 15 volunteers to cultivate and harvest 15,000 pounds of marketable produce, which was donated to Elija’s Promise and MC Foods donation center.
- Trained interns and volunteers in the use of horticultural tools, a walk-behind tractor, and sustainable production practices such as crop rotation, composting, minimum tillage, mulching, integrated pest management, and weed identification.
Farming Plans and Practices
Farming method or practice
- Organic (not certified)
- Breeds: Boer, Savanna, ND cross, Nubian cross
- More than 12 months
- Customers prefer 60-90lbs live weight
- Bangladeshi customers highly prefer wethers
- Breeding herd: Exclusively Boer does with Boer, Nubian, Savanna bucks
- Customers highly prefer Dorpers
- Some customers prefer 6 months old lamb, and some prefer more than 12 months old
- Customers prefer 60-90lbs live weight
- Have been sourcing easily from auctions. Not planning on breeding
- Open to any breed I can find at the auctions, or locally
- Grass finish
- I have family members and customer base that I can sell Halal beef shares every couple of months. Targeting to sell around 10 or more steers annually if pasture is available.
- Have to rely on processors nearby who would comply with Halal requirements (I do the killing, processors don't cross contaminate the equipment with pigs)
- Pastured broilers (red rangers, Royals, Cornish X)
- Around 200 birds annually
- On farm processing
- High tunnels: Ginger and turmeric
- 5-10 100' rows of June bearer strawberry varieties
- Small scale niche Asian vegetables
Our primary target market is the Muslim community, and we primarily market our livestock to them. We use various marketing channels, including social media, flyers, and word of mouth in the community, to reach out to our target audience.
To keep our customers informed about our sales and special events, we maintain a directory of past customers and reach out to them as needed. We believe in building strong relationships with our customers, and this has been instrumental in our success so far.
We leverage social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to promote our products and services. Through educational posts and advertisements, we keep our followers updated about our latest offerings and any upcoming events. This approach has helped us build a strong following on social media, which has contributed to our success.
Farm business plan or farm resume
- Pasture with fencing for livestock grazing.
- Barn/shelter for livestock.
- Farmhouse on the property.
NICE TO HAVE:
- Farmland Preservation.
- Fully fenced property.
- Livable farmhouse.
- Access to farm equipment/machinery.
- Utility in the barn.
- High tunnels/hoophouses.
Looking for a leasable property with option to purchase in the future.