Ray Tyler farms and educates at Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN with his wife Ashley and their children. In this interview, we break down how Ray got started farming, their drastic shift into a much more focused production, their diverse marketing to make it in a very rural area of the country, and the challenges they have faced along the way.
In This Episode:
>> The big change that Ray made in 2015 to simplify his life and give him back time on his farm
>> How they attract and keep high-quality help on their farm and who Ray likes to hire
>> The niche marketing channels that Ray is seeing explode for them and how they make that work for their farm
>> The importance of a mentor and how to make sure you value their input
Quotes from the episode:
“We live in a remote part of Tennessee, in fact, the poorest county where farmers sell tomatoes for 50 cents a pound”
“The number 1 reason we decided to farm was to spend more time with our family”
“We simplified our processes to the point that anyone who could read and see could run the farm- it ensures that we don’t have to be around at all times.”
“We don’t measure success by just dollars but by how much fun we are having, time spent with our family, and the freedom it gives us”
About the Guest
Ray started farming full time in 2009. At first, it was a wide focus with tractors, vegetables, animals and more which resulted in an extremely chaotic lifestyle. Early in the spring of 2015 right at transplant season, Ray and Ashley’s 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a very aggressive life-threatening stage 4 cancer.
After a radical diet and lifestyle change that followed their daughter’s health crisis they started to consume large amounts of vegetables, a lot less meat and in the fall of 2015 we made a leap of faith to sell their meat business, stop using a tractor, and farm using only one acre.
By focusing on creating better growing systems in their produce operation and changing their farming practices, Rose Creek farms now focuses on year-round production, a near weed-free farm and being really aggressive and creative about their sales outlets they have been able to live a sustainable and enjoyable life, rarely working in the fields more than 8 hours a day.