65. Bonus Episode – Robert Arnold On Modernizing Farming Operations

How do you thrive and stay thriving as a small family-run, fully-diversified, year-round organic fruit and vegetable farm? 

Robert Arnold, son of Pleasant Valley Farm founders Paul and Sandy Arnold, joins us today to speak about the farm and the role he plays in keeping it thriving!

Pleasant Valley Farm runs everything like a business by focusing on efficiency, lean principles, customer-driven marketing practices, constant improvements, crop research, and use of cutting edge technology. Robert is largely responsible for the cutting edge technology part. Join us today to hear all about how Robert infuses traditional farming operations with modern tech to great effect!

You’ll Hear:

What it’s like on Pleasant Valley Farm 0:34

What the COVID-19 shutdown is like for Pleasant Valley Farm 3:06

What Airtable is and why Robert uses it to boost farm efficiency 5:31

How Pleasant View Farm is handling pre-orders and home deliveries 10:11

Why Robert chose Local Line over other distribution softwares 12:05

How Robert goes about ensuring customers know how to properly use the farm’s systems? 14:08

How the implementation of new systems has changed harvest/pack procedures 16:51

How these procedures have impacted sales? 18:28

Some of the drawbacks of Local Line? 28:53

Robert’s advice for farmers thinking about making the pivot to ecommerce? 37:40

How Robert implements farm tech installation into his business 41:03

About the Guest:

Born and raised on one of the most well known, profitable, small organic vegetable farms in the country, Pleasant Valley Farm (Paul & Sandy Arnold, Argyle, NY), Robert spent most of his childhood and early adult life being immersed in what it takes to farm successfully. Handling everything from weeding, tractor operation, finances, to sales, Robert took his unique scope of detail-oriented small-scale farming and extensive technical training and founded Smart Farm Innovations while still at college in 2016.

Resources and mentions:

Pleasant Valley Farm Website

Smart Farm Innovations Website

Pleasant Valley Farm Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pvfproduce/

Smart Farm Innovations Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/smartfarminnovations/ 

Pleasant Valley Farm Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pvfproduce

Smart Farm Innovations Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/smartfarminnovations

Local Line – http://growingfarmers.localline.us/

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

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 property, etc), which you can download here.