In This Episode:
Michael dives into how he got started in farming and how he built Kilpatrick Family Farm to over 20 employees and 500k in annual sales. We also dive deep into what happened to the farm after they decided to step away in 2015. We discuss how building a team was essential for us scaling, how we rented several properties to grow on, and the changes I would make if I was starting over again.
>> How Michael and his brother got started as just teenagers.
>> Why land selection is so key and the challenges they faced.
>> What the new business managers did that bankrupted them within 18 months
>> Why Michael is incredibly grateful for the years even though it ended with the farm shutting down.
>> Michael’s advice for any farmer who is running into a challenging business situation.
Quotes from the episode:
“A farm is a business and needs to be run like one”
“One of the mistakes we made is that we didn’t plan for the long-term health of the business, with the future of our customers in mind”
Michael is a farmer, presenter, inventor and leader who lives to help farmers apply business principles and practical, proven solutions to grow their businesses and simplify their lives. He has managed large certified organic farms and businesses, consulted for industry experts, and spoken at dozens of conferences.
In 2005, he started a highly diversified, year-round, vegetable farm with his brother. The business rapidly scaled until it was managing several hundred acres with over 20 employees, and sold to farmers markets, CSA, coops, and wholesale buyers. What set his farm apart was the systems that he put in place that allowed him to work less hours and leave for vacation without having to worry that plants were dying or customers didn’t get their products.
In 2012, Michael took a four-month leave from his farm and interned at Polyface Farm in Virginia. He met his wife, Savannah, there and they married in 2013.
In 2015, Michael and his wife decided to move to Ohio to be near family and pursue teaching other farmers who wanted the same kind of growth in their farms without the stress or tension of neglecting what matters most. Michael continues to keep involved in multiple agricultural projects. So, whether you are a beginning farmer who needs a start-up plan, or an experienced grower who needs to reduce the stress and hours you are working, Michael’s excited about helping you streamline your business and take it to the next level. You can find out more about our farmer education company at www.inthefieldconsultants.com andwww.michaelkilpatrick.com
Resources and mentions:
Paul and Sandy Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm
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