Organic Farm Event Planner & Resident Manager (Couple) - Smyrna, SC

Organic Farm Event Planner & Resident Manager (Couple) - Smyrna, SC

Posted: 5/5/2014 - 9:29 am

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I am seeking a Resident Manager and an Event Planner for an operating organic oriented, free-range ranch in South Carolina about 50 miles southwest of Charlotte. I will provide land, infrastructure, equipment, and animals worth more than $500,000. The property includes a house for use at no cost to the successful candidates. Compensation in the form of profit sharing is described below.

Although the titles denote two separate areas of responsibility, the duties can be shared, making these positions ideal for an existing couple. This posting will delineate the two positions as separate positions, but the synergy of a couple sharing the work will be a plus. However, if both parties are comfortable with sharing the three bedroom, two bath home, I will consider any qualified candidates.

The Resident Manager will be responsible for operating the farm. It will be helpful if she/he has experience in all aspects of organic farming, including marketing the output and developing a full range of products and services. A candidate who will also invest in new farm and market ventures will be viewed favorable.

The Event Planner will be responsible for promoting the ranch and activities such as:
• Tours for school classes
• Visits by organizations of many types such as churches, civic clubs, environmental groups, etc.
• Birthday parties
• Weddings
• Graduation celebrations
• Holiday events such as:
o Thanksgiving festival
o Easter egg hunt
o Halloween ghost night
o Arts and craft fairs
o Children farm days
• Etc.

We have about 90 acres at our disposal. 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. We have 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(all new), an ATV, several trailers, a few fruit trees, etc. All of the basic equipment and infrastructure to operate the farm are in place. My wife and I own everything free and clear.

Activities underway on the ranch today include:
• Raising free range Kiko goats with approximately 100 goats today
• Raising pasture feed Berkshire pigs with 32 today
• 400 cage free hens and adding 40/week, but with less than 100 laying today
• Roosters for meat with about 200 today and adding 40/week.
• Hatching chicken eggs at about 80 per week with all eggs from farm.
• 30 Kaki Campbell duck chicks (an egg laying variety) 
• Farm and crafts festivals, with two conducted to-date. 

Future Activities 
• Farm outlet store 
• Truck crops
• Pick-Your-Own berries, fruits, and vegetables
• Christmas trees
• Honey
• Turkeys and other fowl
• Farm camp to connect families to the land and traditional farming techniques
• Family day activities 
• Halloween festivals
• Corn maze
• School tours

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 directly to the public under our own label. 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. We expect a major cliental to be upscale restaurants in the Charlotte area.

After retiring from an international corporation, I began my quest towards this vision in 2008 on my wife's inherited ancestral farm. I have a Chemical Engineering degree, an MBA, and I grew up on a farm, but I have found my organic farming/marketing expertise lacking. I have mistakenly recruited managers to run a working farm, not a sophisticated business. In addition, I furnished all capital and operating funds which left the managers with little "skin in the game". We have achieved some success, but not as quickly as I wish.

The manager may choose to invest in the "Future Activities", although the successful candidate will not be required to invest any funds. If he/she does choose to invest, the minimum capital required will be about $30,000 for one activity or $400,000+ for participation in all ventures. A typical small investment would be growing Christmas trees. A large investment may be opening a large road market. We can negotiate methods of protecting the partner's investment and how profits will be shared, but we will not obligate our physical land in any way. Beyond that limitation, I am very flexible. 

As compensation, in the long term, all profits will be shared 50/50. At his time, income is minimal and the successful candidates must be in a position to partially support themselves for several months. For the remainder of 2014, the two candidates will share 100 % of all profits, plus 100% of all chicken sales (primarily roosters for meat) and 50% of the gross sales revenue from eggs, pigs, and goats. If we achieve our plan, the combined income of the two managers should begin today at about $100 per week and approach $600 per week by the end of 2014. 

During 2015, profits will be split 75% to the two managers and 25% to the owner. Beyond 2015, the split will be 50% /50%. Obviously this financial arrangement will tend to favor a couple holding the two positions. With the operations underway, our plan forecasts $75,000+ total to the two managers. Additional activities and events can greatly increase annual profits.

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