Farmer Profile for Julie Sharp

Experience

Please describe your past and/or present farming experience:

I spent four years working part-time on a rotationally grazed beef farm, and five years raising meat and layer chickens on my own property. I have more than 20 years of experience working on horse farms, riding and training horses, and teaching horseback riding. In addition to my on-farm experience, I have a bachelor's degree in animal science (with a focus on ruminant nutrition) and a master's degree in the sociology of agriculture. I have spent much of my adult working life in sustainable agriculture advocacy. Most recently I was a student in the Heartland Farm Beginnings training course at OEFFA. I have also completed the USDA-Farm Services Agency Borrower Training.

Are you currently farming?:

No

Are you interested in connecting with other farmers to explore collocation or collaborative farm ideas?:

Yes

Enterprises

What is the primary agricultural enterprise you are considering?:

Pasture

What other enterprises are you considering?:

Beef
Livestock
Poultry
Sheep

The Land

Total Acres Desired:

30.0

Tillable Acres:

0.0

Forested Acres:

0.0

Acres in Pasture:

30.0

Organic:

No

Infrastructure

Farm Structures Needed:

Barn(s)
Other Housing
Storage

Farmhouse Needed:

Yes

Equipment Needed:

Permanent perimeter fence, water supply in pastures, livestock handling equipment.

Tenure Arrangement

Tenure Arrangement Considered:

Lease with Option to Buy
Long-Term Lease
Owner-Financed Sale
Partnership
Standard Sale
Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assets)

Maximum sale price you are willing/able to pay:

$450,000

Maximum monthly rent you are willing/able to pay:

$2,000

Have you been qualified by a lending institution? (if applicable):

Yes

Business Plan/Goals

Do you have a business plan? Please write an informative description of your vision & goals for your farming future.:

I have a completed business plan. My goal is to produce high quality animal products while also sequestering carbon into the soil, increasing biodiversity, and improving soil health and water quality by using intensively managed rotational grazing. I will produce some combination of beef, lamb, goat, eggs, and specialty wool depending on local conditions and market opportunities. I have extensive skills in horse management and I will explore incorporating horses into the business as a power source, as a means of parasite control through multi-species grazing, and/or as an income stream through boarding and training. While my business plan is written for grass finished beef and equine agritourism on 60 acres of pasture, I am having difficulty finding that much pasture at an affordable price. I am exploring adjusting the plan to focus on lamb, meat goats, and/or wool so that I can maintain a solid revenue stream on a smaller number of acres.