Hello — I am looking for a place to grow a new vegetable varieties introduction business, Coast Range Seed. I work with specialty vegetable crops just being released by organic plant breeders (in their market release phase), once their varieties are ready for commercial distribution as organic produce. This is my second round of personal farming projects, and the fifth organic farm I’ve been involved with full-season. I’ve farmed six seasons so far, with three years of my own management and experience growing as a startup. I am a provisional Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Western Region, and have consulted since 2017 on nutrient and water management for organic growers and friends. I am very committed to soil stewardship and to the improvement of land. I focus a lot on crop quality and nutrition, especially in vegetables. I bring passion to farming and to marketing, and am able to sell products as well as run a good team. I have a collaborative attitude, and a strong network for the sort of project I want to create. I studied agroecology in college from a number of angles, and have since worked in farming, seed, and produce — eventually combining these three into a business model that bridges each part of the value chain.
Good irrigation source and water rights. Prime soils for vegetables culture. Basic facilities infrastructure like electricity.
- Agroecology degree from UC Berkeley, 3.9, graduation 2012
- Agroecology researcher in Nicaragua 2011 and 2012
- Six full seasons organic veg and seed farming in Oregon & California.
- Own small farm operation for three years. Sold organic veg and organic veg specialty crops to natural foods grocery customers and other businesses.
- Own unique business helping breeders develop markets for their new varieties (as produce), and assure high quality and good reputation during their varieties’ market launch.
- Good network of these types of breeders, who develop varieties with consumer-facing traits.
- Diverse experience base across organic food and ag: seed and breeding, field operations, farm business, organic agronomy, organic produce, and brand development and marketing.
- Board of Directors member for the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI), and the emerging global open source platform, GOSSI.
- Co-founded the Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association, directed and managed funding of its first major project, and created its first pinning map.
- Currently working downtown farmers market in Eugene as early spring work and to get started networking in the South Willamette area.
- Currently consulting on soil fertility and water (crop nutrition, field problem solving) with organic growers locally, in Southern Oregon, and in California
This depends on the location, ecology, social situation, and market conditions. I am also interested in finding more collaborators.
I look forward to talking more about our visions. In the current year, I would like to grow two acres of winter squash, and cover crop and start soil testing five to twenty additional acres ahead of my use.
I am also very open to "stepping stone" farming situations -- i.e. a variety of situations, for example smaller acreage ones -- so as to get going this season and to fulfill your need as well.
Sample marketing approach, depending on the situation and location:
- Serve and grow with the region's natural foods retailers in the South Willamette and in Portland (New Seasons, Whole Foods, Market of Choice; as well as indie grocers like Capella, Sundance, Kiva).
- Beyond this base of direct-to-retail sales, start scaling up (if land base supports this) through additional marketing channels and customer types which complement that core and build additional sales for our existing products list (direct sales via online store, CSA-type program, MilkRun, Organically Grown Company, Charlie's Produce, food processors), focusing on growing and selling more of our most core profitable products.
- Keep finding new ways to integrate the following three elements: high quality, grocer marketing, and consumer-oriented varieties.
Outside of marketing, which I led with just to present something practical for you, I am also very passionate about company culture building, sound recruiting, training and investment in employees, and recognizing and maintaining a high bar around outstanding customer service.
No preference at this time. Thank you.
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