Young Agrarians is celebrating the sixth year of the Business Mentorship Network (BMN) program. The BMN offers business mentorships to a diverse array of new and young farmers across BC. Through one-on-one mentorship and peer networks, young farmers develops the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses. We love to profile our program participants and celebrate their efforts!
Our goals this year were to increase production while streamlining the business. We reached out to accounts we already held and sought out how to increase sales to those customers we already held relationships with. While increasing production, I wanted to create a better system to catalog farm data.
Yes we did meet our goals broadly, but next year will be even better. Every year you only have one go at it and it is a pretty full-on season. It is a great opportunity to grow and evolve as a farmer and entrepreneur. I believe that one should set out goals that are just a little out of our reach so that we fully have to extend our efforts and that helps to get the best results. It will always get easier next season.
Direct to consumer through Farmers Market and Farm Gate Sales were our most profitable avenues of sale and continue to be. CSAs are also a good contribution. We are expanding our wholesale avenues yearly and quite enjoy this aspect. Different markets are opening up with the demand for local and organic produce more and more prevalent. It’s a great time to be a small-scale organic farmer.
We grow a wide variety of certified organic produce in the West Kootenays and we are located right off of Highway 3a the Nelson – Castlegar corridor. There is a healthy appetite for local and organic products in our valley and we are lucky to be able to supply this community with some fresh veg.
The program really forced me to look at the numbers and look at the future and plan accordingly. It was encouragement in all the right ways.
I have been able to gather all the farm data, process it, summarize the year and plan for the next season accordingly. The program helped me walk through these steps.
All information is equally important and relevant. Farming is so varied that all little bits of information are important.
We had a great season. Overall, it was a great season for growing. We had ‘normal’ summer temperatures and no August smoke and this led to some healthy crops.
Just keep cultivating the relationships that we have built and FARM ON!
Rest, recuperation, recreating, training, skiing, planning, and getting excited about spring 2020 and all the growing that is going to happen.
This program is made possible with the generous funding support of Vancity, Province of British Columbia, and Columbia Basin Trust.