Case Studies of Sustainable & Organic Beginning Farmers

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture is producing a new series of case studies that provide a unique online resource to beginning farmers. Each case study is intended to be a "one stop shop" resource for beginning farmers by combining personal narratives of individual farmers with technical details and information on their production, marketing, and financial practices plus embedded links to essential online resources. CASE STUDY #1 OVERVIEW: Loon Organics was established in Minnesota in 2005. It is a certified organic vegetable farm that provides product to consumers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions, a farmers market, and wholesale outlets. This case study describes how the husband-and-wife team became interested in farming, how they got their training, and how they transitioned from farming on land rented from mentors to buying their own 40-acre farm. Diverse aspects of their operation are described, including business and production planning, infrastructure and equipment, horticultural practices, and marketing models. The finances section is particularly detailed and valuable due to the financial data made available by Loon Organics. The unique challenges of managing an organic CSA operation are highlighted throughout the case study. Please visit the project website for more details at sustagprofiles.info

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