Business Mentorship Network – Simon Answerth, Lightfoot Farm, BC

Posted by Kristen Nammour on March 22, 2017

The green fields of Lightfoot Farms stretch out towards the blue sky

Name?  Simon Answerth

Where do you farm? Kelowna, BC

What do you farm? Market garden vegetables.

What type of business structure is your farm? Husband and Wife partnership.

What is your land tenure? I am involved in an incubator farm program where growers are given the chance to develop their skills on a quarter acre plot with very low land costs (i.e. lease fees, irrigation, fencing) and assumed risk.  Each ‘student’ is allowed to participate for 1-3 years after which they must move on to find their own land to lease and to hopefully one day buy.

How did you seriously get into farming? The incubator program gave me the leg up I needed.  Without it I’d probably still be just growing in my backyard.

Why did you apply for the YA Business Mentorship Network? I am hoping to make a full time career out of farming this season so I knew that any additional support and information I could get would help make that a reality possible.

What is the greatest business challenge you face as a young farmer?  Making time to keep my records organized and on top of my books. I don’t want to walk into the accountants at the end of the season with a shoebox full of receipts!

New Farmer Simon Answerth poses with his First CSA Sale at Lightfoot Farm

What are your business goals for the season? I plan to sign between 10-15 CSA members as well as vastly expand my market and restaurant sales.

What business tools could you not live without? Since completing the crop planning spreadsheets I’m sure I will find the information on those invaluable in the season to come.

If you had a farming super power what would it be? To be in two places at once!

What is your favourite farm book? Permaculture, a designers manual – Bill Mollison

How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products? We are operating this year under the name “Lightfoot Farming”. Check out our bio at soilmate.com where you can also check out what we have available on a weekly basis as well as where the farm is situated.  We will also have an ad on our Facebook page for the CSA boxes coming in the next week or so.

2015, 2016, & 2017 Funding for the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Network Pilot is provided in part by Vancity, Salt Spring Coffee, Rotary Hastings Sunrise, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada & the BC Ministry of Agriculture through programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.

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