Counties of interestMissoula
Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersAgriculture-related college degree, Farm/Crop management (over 3 years), General farming (over 3 years)
Land TenureBuy/Sell, Lease, Partnership, Open to other arrangements
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've recently accepted a position as a natural resource economist, but my prior experience includes 10+ years of agricultural work on small (1-2 acre) and medium (10-20 acre) farms, ranches, and orchards, as well as a position as an organic certification specialist. I received a BA in Env. Studies focused in sustainable food and farming from the University of Montana, and an MS in Horticulture from Washington State University in 2022. Through my research I managed a ~2 acre cider apple orchard, and assisted in establishing (grafting, planting) an additional 1 acre of cider apples in the spring of 2022.
Below is a link to a presentation I gave on the cider research before and during my time at WSU:
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.Since finishing my Master's program, I've been excited to begin establishing cider apple trees with the intent to both distribute the crop to local cideries and create a small-batch cider business. While the cider business is several years down the road, I want to get the trees in the ground as soon as I can to set myself up for a supply of fruit looking 3-5 years ahead. My goal is to purchase dwarfing rootstock from a nursery, source grafting material from nearby operations I have established connections with over the past few years, and plant heirloom cider cultivars specifically grown for use in cider making. I plan to establish 1 high-density acre initially, potentially expanding to a maximum of 5 acres as time and space allows as I will retain my full time job. I have experience in managing cider apples organically and with USDA Organic regulations, and am interested in eventually certifying this orchard.
If you are interested in another type of business arrangement, please explainIdeally I would like to buy the land for this orchard at some point, and a lease-to-own scenario would be the ideal option. Alternatively, I would be willing to enter in to a long term (10+ year) lease agreement as I'm wary of the fact that establishing a perennial crop is a substantial financial commitment.
Please elaborate on the kind of additional training/information that would help you:Information regarding financing would be extremely helpful should I hear of opportunities for land between now and this coming spring.