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

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Political theater

News
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
0107-orbizplansum14-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.


Read more...

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


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