Karlee Shields

I am 27 & grew up in Columbia County. I have a MS in Sustainable Food Systems & spent 2 years livestock farming. Worked 4 years in kitchens & now as Director of Ops for a Manhattan Restaurant Group. Farming & food production is where I see my future.

Preferred counties/regions

  • Capital Region
  • Columbia County
  • Greene County
  • Hudson Valley
  • Dutchess County

Desired acreage

  • 11-20
  • 21-50

Farming Status

Emerging farmer: 2 years or more of on farm work experience

Not currently farming

Primary reason for farming

Farm will generate the majority of my income

Farming status, plans, and practices

My goal is to raise livestock sustainably in cohesion with our ecosystem. While farming, I worked rotational grazing daily. I focused my study on this in graduate school, as well as soil health and the importance of humanely raised and slaughtered livestock. I am looking to raise livestock for a dairy operation that would focus on value added products, as well as for meat. 

The two years I spent farming was when I was happiest and realized that this is what I want long term. I am looking to lease, with the intention to purchase a farm and/or business in Columbia County specifically since I grew up here and my family is here. 

Grazing land is essential as well as water and barns. I would like to work with someone to learn the cheese making process. I would plan to raise goats, sheep, and water buffalo with the hope to create a sustainable dairy business and meat business. I would also like to have pigs and feed them whey bi-product in order to reduce waste. 

Farm Experience & Education

  • Formal agricultural education
  • On farm work experience

MS in Sustainable Food Systems. I compelted my thesis on Sustainable Meat Production.

I spent 2 years farming full time at Little Ghent Farm where I was in charge of daily livestock chores. I also helped out at Kinderhook Farm frequently and all on farm process and packing days. 

I have knowledge on equipment operation, livestock care, rotational grazing, property maintenance, food production, HAACP, Food Safety Manager Card. I have also spent 2 years managing restaurants and am now directing 7 restaurants for a group in Manhattan. I have great accounting skills, administration/office skills, communication, eye to detail, and am innovative, hard working, and driven. 

Farming Plans and Practices

Farming method or practice

  • Organic (certified)
  • Organic (not certified)
  • Regenerative/Sustainable

Primary crops

  • black outline of a carrot Vegetables
  • black outline of a wheat germ Grains
  • black outline other crops icon Other Crops

Primary livestock

  • black outline cow icon Cattle - Beef
  • black outline dairy icon Cattle - Dairy
  • Black outline of a sheep Goats/Sheep
  • Black outline of a pig Pigs
  • Black outline of a chicken Poultry
  • black outline llama icon Other Livestock

Marketing Method

Social media platforms, website, email list, word of mouth.

Farm business plan or farm resume

My business plan or farm resume is in progress

Farmland Needs

Infrastructure required

  • black outline barn icon Barns - Equipment Storage
  • black outline barn with silo icon Barns - Livestock
  • black outline electrical icon Electrical access
  • black outline tractor icon Equipment
  • black outline house icon Farmer housing
  • Black outline of a fence Fencing
  • Black outline of a water drop Water access

Barns for milking and winter housing for livestock as needed. 

Desired Tenure

Tenure options desired

  • For Lease
  • For Sale
  • Business Partnership

I would like to lease to own. 

Will this operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?


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