Yup, the leaves are changing. You don't need the fan on at night and Claire starts school tomorrow.
Dave had a conversation with the Manhattan boys yesterday. They wanted us to beg them to buy the farm. We don't need to. They wanted us to sell them a fully outfitted farm, fully staffed and all. They wanted the cheese plant, a CSA staff, logistics, etc. All for $295,000. Basically, after 2 post-visit phone calls, these guys are morons. Yup. Not as smart as they want to think they are. The failed the first rule of business.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING.
Don't insult the seller and don't keep insisting that you know what you are doing. Also remember, we all deal cash in agriculture. It does not make a difference if you pay cash or not. We are still talking about depreciable expenses and we will still claim all of the money. We also use an attorney and we will be buying another piece of land. The biggest thing, we own the farm outright. We aren't selling because we own too much. We own all of this.
OK. What is this talk of buying and selling?
Well. It is not secret that Dave and I want to get a little closer to family. My mom is alone in MA and her health is not as great (for someone who is still 39years old). Ken and Marcia are too far for Claire to visit regularly and we want to be closer to them as well. It has been a hard year for us. There are responsibilities 4 hours away in one direction and we are here.
The thing is we don't HAVE to move. We do like this farm. We do have great customers and friends here. WE want someone who will continue what we are doing. I like to see completion (rather than closure) on this whole local food thing in central NY.
The farm has been cleaned up a lot. The house is starting to get all of the cosmetic stuff done to it. Structurally it is great now. The barn has had a lot done and will continue to get a lot done to it. The deal shipping milk to Hood has been fine. The cheese business does offer an on-farm income to me. It also stabilizes the milk price for the dairy. We have rented land that is next door (and one field 6 miles away). You can also buy that land if you want to.
One theory is to drop back to 8-12 cows seasonally. Make 6-7000# of raw aged cheese and do veg. for the rest of the acreage. You can make a very nice income that way. It is also a great lifestyle. Kinda like the model Orb Weaver has in VT. I really like that model. It is also quite a sustainable one, without working the person into the ground.
I don't know. I think one of the biggest reservations about these guys from Manhattan was not that they do not understand dairy farming, the dairy industry or any of that. It was that they only saw that you get money up front (probably $850) for a CSA and that the wetlands were a liability. A liability! They are an asset to the watershed. They also provide wetland habitat to wood ducks, wetland species of plants and are where you grow cedar. The CSA is also a relationship between community and farmer. They missed that. F&^$ hated the flies and the whole thing about the farm, constantly asking if Tom's half starved cows were "happy". They have no intentions of being a farmer. They missed the crucial thing about linking the consumer and food. They were just about the money. The irony is that they don't know how to make it farming. They don't want to farm. They don't care about the environment of their consumers getting the best food.
We are still hare and will still keep producing food for sale. If it sells, it sells. If not. We are here and happy to make food. We also will not talk about honest people interested in being a part of the food shed in CNY and our farm on the blog if they are interested. These guys just missed the whole picture and it made me loose sleep because they don't care about the upstate farm economy, the environment or the crucial link between farmer and consumer. THey sell organic milk into NYC and only see it as a commodity and not getting their consumer a food product that they believe in. M*$$ though organic was a joke. That rotted dirt.