Brian Bates farms with his wife Anne at Bear Creek Organic Farm in Petoskey, Michigan. In this episode, we dive into what it takes to run a successful farm business, how Brian innovates constantly on his farm, how he believes that his team is his most valuable asset and the process he uses to train them, his foray into super sustainable packaging, and why his favorite tool is a calculator.

In This Episode:

>> Why their original farm plan had no plans for a team and why that changed

>> The simple schedule that Brian follows and why it makes his farm work better

>> The number one mistake that new farmers make and how to avoid it

>> How Brian and his wife Anne split responsibilities on the farm

>> Brian’s number one focus in his business and why that has made him successful

>> How one of Brian’s key decisions on where to locate his farm came from a conversation he had while stocking groceries.

Quotes from the episode:

“You might want to think twice about growing arctic kiwis ”

“You are hiring a human- not a washer, a cultivator, a weeder, so treat then like one”

“All our enterprise budgets are built with $25 an hour labor included so we can afford to pay well”

“Because we are in far north in Michigan, in a small community, with already established farms, we wanted our own market, and not to step on toes”

“Asking for money through a loan filters out many bad ideas”

“If we didn’t focus on our customers we would be out of business”

“Self-care is so important, – you can’t keep a farm going for long going to sleep exhausted and waking up tired”

‘The importance of saying no is more important than saying yes’

About the Guest

Salatin is the editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer, granddaddy catalyst for the grass farming movement. He writes the Pitchfork Pulpit column for Mother Earth News, as well as numerous guest articles for ACRES USA and other publications. A frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts targeting preppers, homesteaders, and foodies, Salatin’s practical, can-do solutions tied to passionate soliloquies for sustainability offer everyone food for thought and plans for action.

Resources and mentions

USDA Micro-loan

Lighting resources from Michigan State University

Lumagrow lights

Eisenhower Matrix

Lean Farm Book

Salanova Lettuce

More About Bear Creek Organic Farm

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We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm prooperty, etc), which you can download here.