Adrien Lapointe wrote:I am going for a tour of New Forest Farm on Wednesday and attending the Restoration Ag short course afterwards.
If people have good questions that they would like me to ask, I might be able to get some answers (no promise though).
R Scott wrote:If you can ask him about scale and mechanization. He has talked about how they have to get a lot bigger to justify machinery, but are also at their limits for manpower during peak harvest. Has he figured out how to make that jump in scale or did he figure out a different answer entirely?
Ann Torrence wrote:Anything he might have to say about tweaking his model for arid lands and short season climates (like at altitude) would be of interest.
Ann Torrence wrote:Also curious, breakdown of revenue from top 5-10 crops in percentages (not dollars). Would be very curious to know if the first crop is say 25% vs 40% of total revenue and how the curve tails off.
Ann Torrence wrote:How high does a new opportunity have to forecast to get his attention?
William James wrote:1. I'd be very interested in a more detailed description of his business model. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how he has multiple entrepreneurial activities and an umbrella company that he uses to get bigger bank loans. Also property-development fits into the model somewhere, but that also remains vague to me. There also seems to be a lot of trading of services and loaning of materials under the umbrella company that (I presume) helps to add substance to the umbrella organization and helps get bigger loans.
William James wrote:2. I'd also be interested to know if he feels that this approach works, or has the potential to work economically for the people involved and could keep them on the farm. I think he said a significant amount of his farm income comes from teaching and presenting, which doesn't figure into the economies of most farms.
William James wrote:3. I'd be interested in more detail about the nuts and bolts of mass selection. Which cover crops? How many square meters can 1-2 people manage well? Ripping or plowing? What does planting-out look like? What does maintenance and selection look like? As I'm planning on doing this in the fall, any details would be of great help.
Adrien Lapointe wrote:
I feel like I did not do a very good job at answering any questions. I am sure glad I put a disclaimer in my initial post to lower the expectations