Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersInformal apprenticeship, General farming (less than 3 years), Other experience/license/agriculture or business training
Other experience/license/agriculture or business training:I am a successful small business owner as well as a seed potato inspector for the Dept of Ag.
Briefly describe your current occupation(s) and responsibilities and list previous agricultural employment and experiences. If you are currently farming or ranching, please state the size, type(s), and location of the operation.I have been living on a 70 acre farm outside Ronan for over 9 years where I've had the opportunity for informal apprenticeship from my father in law who has over 50 years experience farming and ranching. He farms wheat, hay and alfalfa and has been teaching me about managing these crops as well as pasture management, irrigation, weed and pest control. I've taken agricultural classes through Annie's project and the NRCS covering aspects of farming from financials, insurance, employee management and more. I have several mentors available to me that farm vegetables, medicinal and indigenous plants, and orchards as I've networked within the local community and attended many of the local NRCS sponsored farm walks and gotten to know some of the small farmers in my area.
I am also a seed potato inspector for the State Dept of Agriculture, and have developed contacts within the ag dept that are useful for my plans.
Counties of interestMineral, Missoula, Sanders
Acreage1-5, 6-10, 11-40, 41-100, 101-500
Planned OperationHay & Forage, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other
Farming PracticesConventional, Organic, Other
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.Montana has an abundance of medicinal plants, almost half of the over 3000 identified medicinal plants are indigenous to our state as well as several hundred more that have been introduced in the past couple hundred years. Cultivating several of the most popular varieties for commercial use is one of my goals as well as vegtables, edible perennial's, berries, table grapes. and an orchard for markets and/or u-pick, as well.
Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.I plan to use sustainable methods drawn from organic and permaculture practices that preserve farmland, don't damage nearby habitats and reduce or eliminate the need for outside resources like synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. But I am also realistic and know that their may be a time and a place for conventional methods as well.
I plan to have a small flock of sheep and pigs, which will be integrated for weed management, fiber, food and fertilizer.