Down on the farm

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
0312_Conversation_ScottieJones_02
0312_Conversation_ScottieJones_03
AT TOP: The Jones' farmhouse.
ABOVE: One of the many animals that roam the 64-acre farmland.
//Photos by Alexandra Shyshkina
OB: FarmStay U.S. brought in just $8,000 last year. What’s your growth strategy?

At first I put all the farms on for free. Trying to get money afterwards is a pain in the ass. But I expect to bring in $100,000 this year. There are 1.2 million small farms in the U.S. If I can get 1% to 2% to join, then we’re talking 12,000 to 24,000 members at $120 a year. That’s just two lattes a month, although you can’t say that because farmers don’t drink lattes.

OB: How do you persuade farmers and ranchers to pay for your service?

I want to talk about us as a marketing co-op. Farmers have been members of co-ops for a long time. If we join together we have momentum, and it won’t cost as much as doing it on our own. The younger farmers are pretty hip to the idea. It’s the older farmers I’m trying to encourage.

OB: If I’m paying to stay on a farm, do I have to work, too?

95% of people do work, feeding or brushing animals, although if you’re talking scooping poop that drops to 5%. People from South Africa are the best at that. Some guests come to retreat. Others want direct knowledge of farm life: how to feed a chicken, what’s the difference between cracking open an egg and getting a yolk or a chick. Some want their kids to play in a hayloft. But none of us will put you to work unless you want to.

OB: What’s your worst experience as a farmstay host?

I have never had a bad guest. I did have one mother who thought it would be helpful for her three kids to clean our barn. That lasted five minutes.

 



 

More Articles

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened a third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; a Bend outpost broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS