Sponsored by Oregon Business

Down on the farm

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
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

Counterpoint: CLT not as green as people think

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
photo-flickr-glasseyes viewthymbBY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED

The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.


One Tough Mayor

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.


Social media transforming sports business

The Latest
Thursday, September 24, 2015

The traditional model of sports teams using paid media to get their message across is disappearing as teams look instead to social media to interact with fans.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


The 5 most/least expensive rental neighborhoods in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, September 24, 2015
092515neighborhoodthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02