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J D Horn

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since Jan 23, 2012
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We are looking for a person or couple that wants to be part of our farming startup on 120 acres in northeastern Alabama.
The farm is about 45 minutes from Birmingham.

Necessary Practices and Skills:

• Must be honest, hardworking, and have good communication skills.

• Must have an entrepreneurial spirit.

• Must be a self-starter, problem solver, and good at working alone or with others.

• Must have ability to work collaboratively with remote managers.

• Must have livestock experience.

• Must have good "people skills" and high comfort with public interaction.

• Familiarty with and willingness to learn/utilize organic principles.

• Familiarty with and willingness to learn/utilize Holistic Managment practices.

• Must treat animals and livestock in a humane and respectful way.

• Ability to manage intensive grazing of livestock.

• Willingness to grow pasture-based slow food.

• Must have comfort with multi-species integration.

• Must have committment to continued learning and process improvement.

Farm chores will include:

• Feeding & caring for cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and dogs.

• Working cattle, sheep & pigs.

• Employing and adjusting a rotational grazing plan on a daily basis.

• Using electric fence effectively.

• Castrating, vaccinating and doctoring, trimming hooves, etc. as necessary.

• Handling hay, both square and round bales.

• Maintaining fencing.

• Repairing buildings and new construction (depending on skill level).

• Maintaining equipment.

• Planting/renovating pastures.

• Gardening.

Other necessary factors:

• Must be in good health.

• Ability to handle 50lb bags of feed.

• Must have a valid driver's license.

• No criminal history (and willingness to submit to a background check).

• No drugs.

• Other experience in equipment maintenance, construction, carpentry, and gardening is desirable.

• AI experience, or willingness to learn, is desirable.

The position comes with salary/stipend, housing (with utilities), and meats produced on the farm.

There is space for you to raise chickens for meat and eggs and to produce a kitchen garden to cut down on food bought off the farm.

There is a possibility that you can run stock alongside ours, within limits.

This a startup operation, but we intend to provide you with the ability to have a great lifestyle if you like living the farm life!

If you meet the skills required, please email us with your work history and resume, work references, and tell us a little about yourself and your experience.

The email is We will provide pictures of the property and cabin once we open a dialogue. Thanks for your interest.
4 years ago
Here's an updated article on the intergrated BBQ owner. The live weight price per pound is $1.40.
4 years ago
I think so. Cider and perry are the fastest growing segment of the adult beverage market. Check out Albemarle and Foggy Ridge in Va. They are looking for growers. Albemarle offers a cider workshop in the spring that hashes out some of the issues.

Also, Virginia Tech has a professor on staff to help the apple and cider industry develop there. This page has a couple of studies and surveys.

There are several side businesses including nursery stock and selling premium vintage apples to customers.
4 years ago
If you lease it, make sure the grazier is providing free choice mineral supplements to the animals. That way the animals will rebalance the mineral content for you.
And as an FYI, Greg Judy puts fencing and water up on the land that he leases. But the minimum lease is for 7 years. Otherwise its not worth the trouble and expense to him as lessee.

Depending on where you are at, here are a few linkup sites for land owners and seekers.
(organized by region)
4 years ago
I have read several different sources that state the fainting goat breed tends to respect fences more, and thus are not as difficult to keep fensed up. Just wanted to see if anyone here had experience with them and could substantiate the claim.
Do you have a farmstand? Are you in a location where that is even feasible as a sales outlet? If so, in addition to building out an email list, use the farmer's market interaction to drive people to a facebook/twitter type social media. "Like us on FB or Follow us on Twitter!" Then use that to drive traffic to your farmstand. "Stop by the Farmstand Wednesday after PM for fresh __________ and ____________!" Again, this depends on your location vis a vis your market.
4 years ago
Why not rent it to someone who will run livestock on it?
4 years ago
You really need to read Jean Martin Fortier's book. He gives several charts on his winners, break evens, must haves, etc.
4 years ago
Lots of cheap land in the South that is cutover from pine timber harvest. $900-$1200/acre, sometimes less. Pulp and lumber prices are fairly low, so I suspect that if you planted the pine for retirement and your kids do not want to pony up and replant, then liquidation is the only option. I have thought that its a prime opportunity to come in and buy up sizable tracts with an eye towards putting in a dynamic food/timber stand cash flowed by multispecies livestock in the early years of development. At any rate, anything is healthier than the "pine deserts" that the large timber strectches create.
4 years ago