FEATURED JOB OPENING: Agritourism Partners - Organic Farm in South Carolina - Smyrna, SC

FEATURED JOB OPENING: Agritourism Partners - Organic Farm in South Carolina - Smyrna, SC

Posted: 2/17/2017 - 6:51 pm

This job opening has expired. Click here to see the latest job openings. (If you are a subscriber and you are seeing this expired listing, you need to log in with your username and password.)

WHY DO WE SHOW EXPIRED LISTINGS?

Agritourism Partners - Organic Farm in South Carolina I am seeking a couple as managing partners of an 82 acre farm/ranch in South Carolina. The farm is located in a very small, very rural town, but less than 45 minutes from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The farm has been in operation since 2008, but a formal vision and plan were not developed until 2012. Presently the farm has about 30 goats (mostly 100% Purebred New Zealand Kikos), 15 purebred pasture raised Berkshire hogs (five registered), 400 free range layer chickens, 15 Khaki Campbell ducks, 20 native turkeys, two miniature horses, and three huge, but very friendly, Great Pyrenees Live Stock Guard Dogs to protect all of the animals.

We occasionally host families and other small groups and we have conducted an arts & craft fair and a family farm day. The farm is not yet cash flow positive, with the owner (me) making up the shortfall. With good management the operation can be profitable within a few months. The managing partners will receive 100% of all positive cash flow in 2017. Once profitability is reached, compensation will be a 50/50 split of profits, with a potential of $100,000+ to the managers within 4 years.

The position includes a three bedroom/two bath house at no cost to the managers. This house is part of the farm and, as such, the managing partners will be fully responsible for the home. The owner will not function as a landlord. The owner will continue to cover the shortfall until the farm is cash flow positive. However, the successful candidates must be able to live with little income from the farm, except the house, until the farm is profitable. I insist on verification that the new partners can support themselves for a minimum of one year. For this reason, the positions may be perfect for a retired couple.

After an initiation period the managing couple will be completely responsible for operation of the farm and all related business activities. Strategic decisions will be made collaboratively with the owner. My participation will be to pet baby goats and enjoy the farm. The farm represents a capital investment of more than $500,000, which I am making available at no cost to the successful candidates. Forty-three acres are fenced into 5 pastures, with about one third wooded, one third in coastal bermuda, and the remainder in a mix of clover and endophyte free fescue. In place are a barn, a small building suitable for selling farm products, a well rated at 66 GPM (sufficient for truck crop irrigation), a 288 egg incubator, chicken coops and brooders, a tractor (very old), numerous implements (not so old), an ATV, several trailers, a few fruit trees, etc. A newly cleared field of about 8 acres with excellent soil is available for a corn maze, vegetables, berries, fruit trees, etc. Last year we planted about 1000 Christmas trees. We are working on two self-guiding hiking trails, each about one mile in length. Beautiful professional signs will explain the highlights of each trail (see attached photos for an example). The “Heritage Trail” will take visitors by an Indian mound, and Indian grave, and one of the first railroads in the South, Interpretative signs will review the history of the area including alternating control between the Cherokee and the Catawba Indians. The “Farm Trail” will take visitors by the various farm animals (with interpretative signs), the old gold mine, and a old corn crib. All of the basic equipment and infrastructure to operate the farm are in place.

My wife and I own everything free and clear. I believe this is a RARE opportunity for a couple with an interest in organic farming/ranching and Agritourism activities. While the actual farm work can be hard, the key to success are the non-farm aspects of our long term plan. Over the past six years, I have employed four managers all of whom proved excellent at farm operations, but all made little progress in implementing other aspects of our plan which includes marketing our output, farm tours, arts and crafts events, and family camping. My long term vision is a farm based on traditional organic farming techniques with free range animals, fruit trees, berries, vegetables, and an educational camping program. We will market all of our products under our own label directly to the public, and upscale Charlotte restaurants. Naturally we cannot compete in price with large mega farms, so our products will be aimed at the niche market of consumers who are concerned about the introduction of chemicals and hormones into our food and environment. •

Our immediate plan includes: o Complete two self-guided hiking trails o Develop and implement marketing plan for the Berkshire pigs o Increase chicken layer flock to 2,000 o Marketing of 100% New Zealand Kiko breeder stock o Increase duck flock and develop plan for selling duck eggs o Growing flowers for sale o Farm events ? Children farm days ? School tours ? Arts & crafts fairs ? Easter egg hunts ? Halloween nights ? Etc. o Farm Rentals ? Birthday parties ? Weddings ? Outings for civic clubs, churches, environmental groups, etc. ? Etc. Future activities in our long term vision includes: • Farm outlet store • Truck crops • Pick-Your-Own berries, fruits, and vegetables • Christmas trees • Honey • Turkeys and other fowl We are planning a campground to allow families to spend a few days learning about traditional farming and caring for the animals. We have an Indian mound, an Indian grave, and an old gold mine. Samples from the mine have recently been assayed by a major Australian gold company and economically attractive gold levels were confirmed. Consideration is being given to reopening the mine.

I can teach any healthy motivated person all he/she needs to know about farming and caring for the animals. In fact, over the past six years, we have compiled a “cookbook” that gives detailed instructions on all farm duties. Some of the most difficult tasks are moving 50 pound sacks of feed, using a chainsaw to cut up fallen trees, and repairing fences. Rough carpentry (building pens and coops) and repairing small engine equipment (ATV, lawnmower, chainsaw, etc.) are definite positive skills.

The areas where experience is needed are event planning and marketing, specifically: • Developing and implementing marketing plans • Direct selling at farmer’s markets, fairs, flea markets • Sales to upscale restaurants • Planning and conducting events such as craft fairs, children’s events, etc. • Maintaining and updating Internet site, Facebook page, and other social media. • Internet marketing • Internet advertising and promotion. • General PC skills including maintaining our web site and Internet page.

The life of a farmer is very confining, the animals must be tended every day. Caring for the animals and collecting eggs require about two hours per day. For days off and vacation, the manager, at his/her expense, can hire a local person at less than $10 per hour, equating to about $20 for each day you take off. I live about 25 miles away and can always assist in a true emergency. For the first two months or so, I will work very closely with the new managers until they are comfortable with their new positions.

Once you contact me, I will send you much more information including income projections. I will also furnish you our Internet and Facebook access information. The failure to achieve very well defined goals has been discussed present managers and they have been informed that I am looking for replacements. However, they manage our internet sites and I want to avoid candidates attempting to make direct contact via those sites.

This job opening has expired. Click here to see the latest job openings. (If you are a subscriber and you are seeing this expired listing, you need to log in with your username and password.)

WHY DO WE SHOW EXPIRED LISTINGS?