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Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business

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What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer? Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer? Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable. Over an entire year, the author and her husband-experienced farmers themselves-took a sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers. Along the way they learned about best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn't work. Farms with a Future shares this collective wisdom in an inspirational yet practical manner; it will help beginners avoid many of the common mistakes that first-time farmers make. Just as importantly, it discusses positive ideas that can help make any farm enterprise vibrant and financially profitable. Profiles of more than a dozen representative farms help round out the invaluable information and encourage farmers to embrace their inner entrepreneur. Younger growers, in particular, will benefit by learning about "the right stuff" from both their peers and longtime experts.This book provides a useful reference for beginning and experienced farmers alike. While many other books address agricultural production, there are very few that talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future offers an approachable, colorful take on building a triple-bottom-line farming business.


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What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer? Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer? Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable. Over an entire year, the author and her husband-experienced farmers themselves-took a sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers. Along the way they learned about best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn't work. Farms with a Future shares this collective wisdom in an inspirational yet practical manner; it will help beginners avoid many of the common mistakes that first-time farmers make. Just as importantly, it discusses positive ideas that can help make any farm enterprise vibrant and financially profitable. Profiles of more than a dozen representative farms help round out the invaluable information and encourage farmers to embrace their inner entrepreneur. Younger growers, in particular, will benefit by learning about "the right stuff" from both their peers and longtime experts.This book provides a useful reference for beginning and experienced farmers alike. While many other books address agricultural production, there are very few that talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future offers an approachable, colorful take on building a triple-bottom-line farming business.

30 review for Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Hayes

    This book was sent to me to review this summer, and I knew then that it would be something special. The author learned many of her farming lessons the hard way, then chose to take some time off to learn from sustainable farmers across the country. The result is a practical introduction to the world of sustainable agriculture that simply cannot be gleaned from any Farm Business 101 course. Thistlethwaite covers a wide array of scenerios from landless start-ups to multi-generational businesses, fr This book was sent to me to review this summer, and I knew then that it would be something special. The author learned many of her farming lessons the hard way, then chose to take some time off to learn from sustainable farmers across the country. The result is a practical introduction to the world of sustainable agriculture that simply cannot be gleaned from any Farm Business 101 course. Thistlethwaite covers a wide array of scenerios from landless start-ups to multi-generational businesses, from vegetables and fruit, to dairy, meat, and other value-added ventures. She covers record keeping and family resource management, holistic management, whole-farm planning, marketing and customer relationships. I think it is an especially valuable read for anyone who is considering farming as a career. But it is equally important for those of us who've been in the business a while to look it over and think about the elements we've been neglecting, and the areas where we could improve.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Farms with a Future raises a lot of great points but, perhaps necessarily, due to the highly variable nature of farm enterprises, gives few specifics. It seems like a great tool to help farmers think of all the important aspects of decisions about their business, and for that I might come back to it in the future. It was very similar in that respect to Small-Scale Livestock Farming: A Grass-Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and Profit, but much better written and more up to date. Farms with a Future raises a lot of great points but, perhaps necessarily, due to the highly variable nature of farm enterprises, gives few specifics. It seems like a great tool to help farmers think of all the important aspects of decisions about their business, and for that I might come back to it in the future. It was very similar in that respect to Small-Scale Livestock Farming: A Grass-Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and Profit, but much better written and more up to date.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Nice balance of information and personal stories from different farmers. Really great book for starting a farm, what you should consider before going into business and reminders that it's supposed to be a business. Perfect for what things need to be considered, from physical health to marketing and bookkeeping, lots of good tips on value-added products to consider. Will be recommending to anyone that is considering getting into farming.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Good overview of how to build a farm business by looking at a number of great examples across the country with very different business plans and products. I really enjoyed the level technicality that Rebecca uses in this book. It's is in depth yet still approachable when you don't have any experience in a certain subject.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I loved this book. It's so helpful to not only get great real world ideas and solutions, but to meet farmers who have struggled through similar issues and share in detail how they managed solutions. This is a book that will be a permanent reference. And, its warm, readable style is truly enjoyable. If you're thinking of farming, you need this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    A very informative book and obviously researched! I enjoyed the stories of different farmers the author tucked throughout the book, which served in letting me see how ideas of building sustainable farms within her book were being implemented in real-life examples.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Thistlethwaite delivers a class in the business of sustainable farms in each chapter. Each chapter has at least one great example and ends with key learning points, making it easy to discuss and return to with others at your farm. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Yahany

    Si quieres sustentabilidad, tienes que pensar en negocios de alguna forma u otra. Cada industria es diferente y los secretos detrás de la producción son demasiado particulares al modelo de negocio y a su contexto. Sin embargo, bastante completas las bases y muy claro el mensaje: a nadar se aprende nadando. Me gustó la estructura.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dwight Walker

    This has very useful tips for running a profitable organic farm.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    A decent read but no new ideas...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Stowers

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue Picco

  15. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  16. 4 out of 5

    Preston Nix

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abby Snodgrass

  18. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Willis

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elana

  21. 5 out of 5

    George Ann

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Lewis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gostkiewicz

  24. 4 out of 5

    Peter Clare

  25. 4 out of 5

    Casey Reed

  26. 4 out of 5

    Manjunath

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Johnson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Caruso

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