We are Farmers on the Rise!

Renee was one of 10 recipients for this year’s 2022 Horizon Farm Credit’s Farmers on the Rise award! Winners are selected “based on their efforts in agriculture, financial character, leadership, community involvement, and environmental stewardship.”

Steve, Renee and Kelly Wilson hold the 2022 Farmers on the Rise Plaque

“When the family farm sold this fall, I wasn’t ready to abandon my farming passion and the community encouraged us to continue. We were able to find a piece of property and rise to the challenge of building a better farm.” – Renee Wilson, Farmyard Owner

Below is Renee’s reply to the application question. “If you had an extra $10,000, what would you do with it to re-invest in and/or grow your farm? Describe the immediate impact it would make on your farm.”

The purchase, relocation and rebuild on this farm has helped me to develop an effective budget and timeline for projects. The $10,000 from this award will help me offset the expense for my next building, a barn for my livestock and horses. This investment will benefit my business financially as well as provide a much-needed permanent structure.

I have created a design for a 40ftx60ft metal pole building with two lean-tos. I have toured four other barns with similar designs to best tailor the layout for my farm’s needs. I have considered characteristics including animal comfort, space, ventilation, lighting, storage and drainage.

My farm is in need of a sturdier and warmer shelter than what my run-ins can provide. 2022 was the first time I encountered the obstacle of trying to keep hay dry and mold-free. I have been using wagons covered with tarps. This building will enable me to create a dry storage place for hay and grain, separate animals for daily and veterinary care and provide a birthing area for my animals. In the past I had to sell calves and piglets by winter. With this farm and investments, my herds and breeding programs can grow.

This building will allow us to offer farm tours during months when we typically close. We have 45 tours booked from September 1st through November 13th. Some of these directly relate to the interest of visiting our 1800 pound draft horse, one of many animals that will directly benefit from an indoor space to escape the heat of summer and raw winters.

Our staff will be able to lead our livestock and feeding programs which enroll youth in a weekly series enabling them to become familiar with farm animals and the care they require. These experiences allow future farmers and consumers to understand the daily tasks of operating a farm and the true needs of animals. It is an educational tool that has the potential to help a multitude of farms because we take the time to teach proper animal husbandry tactics and discredit myths about agriculture.

The barn will enable us to extend our riding lesson schedule, which will increase our revenue. We have taught more than 70 riders in 2022 and there is a demand for more lessons, but we need the facilities to accommodate it.

Prior to 2022, I was hesitant to make permanent investments due to the uncertainty of the future of the home farm. In contrast, owning this farm has alleviated my hesitations about making much-needed investments in structures.

We sincerely thank the entire community for supporting us through our rebuild and greatly appreciate the time Kim Truxel and George Mayo took to help us win this award.

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