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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 30 2015 :  9:01:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As we are finalizing our barn plans, I need to make sure I'm not forgetting any important details...so please chime in! Features you wouldn't go without, features that are unnecessary (we will be very practical and nothing fancy here!), sizes of calving pens or holding pens...even ideas of how big the driveway up to the barn should be...how the barn should be in position to your house...anything and everything! Go!

Our barn plans are currently 76' x 70'...one side will be for my small goat herd and the other side for my cows. It's coming together but now is the time to tweak it if necessary, so please send suggestions my way.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens

maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Mar 31 2015 :  02:42:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How soon before you get to break ground? I checked on the type of grant you received (I was thinking about another specialty crop grant for myself but I missed the deadline) and it definitely favors women in agriculture. It looks like your NRCS grant is for beginning farmers--someone not in business more than 10 years.

You know, the concept behind this money is cool in many ways (not just that you're getting help, which is fantastic) but the whole idea behind saving resources started after the dust bowl days when Roosevelt and fellow democrats I believe dreamed up and started funding these kinds of government programs. Think of how much soil on steep, marginal ground (that shouldn't have been turned to farm ground in the first place) has been saved because of CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) ground that's been set aside. Very cool concept.

This from Wikipedia:
"During President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first 100 days in office in 1933, his administration quickly initiated programs to conserve soil and restore the ecological balance of the nation. Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes established the Soil Erosion Service in August 1933 under Hugh Hammond Bennett. In 1935, it was transferred and reorganized under the Department of Agriculture and renamed the Soil Conservation Service. It is now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)."

I've been the beneficiary before of similar help, starting with a $40,000 Rural Rehabilitation Loan. After that, a grant to build my pond for retaining water for irrigation and to prevent erosion and after that a specialty crop grant and then one more time a grant for a commercial kitchen. It's the kind of help that really can make a difference. Guess I'm living proof and soon you will be too!

Some time remind me to tell you about early on when I took my business idea to bankers. They told me I'd have to come back with a man they could work with who could sign for a loan so I said never mind and used credit cards instead. Women no longer need a man's signature on bank papers, at least I don't.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 31 2015 :  2:06:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I got the grant as it was geared towards beginning women farmers...that's me! The NRCS grant specifically stated that we had not lived here or farmed more than seven years. I actually found out about this grant over a year ago at a WSU Women in Agriculture conference and I didn't think anything would come about. I'm still stunned and trying to believe this is actually going to happen!

It is good for the country to encourage farmers since the average age of the farmer is nearing retirement age (although I sure don't know many farmers who actually retire!) Our country will be hurting if we don't encourage new farmers, large and small scale, to begin farming. This grant will be a huge boost for my farm business...hopefully make a living here at home so I can still care for my daughter.

My grant is pre-approved and will be funded sometime beginning in May; however, we can get a waiver and start sooner which I hope to do. It's April tomorrow so time to begin! My chicken barn will be completed first since we already have the posts in the ground. My goal is to have both barns completed before winter appears again. Then, the grant will continue next year with funds to go towards perimeter fencing and some cross fencing. We also hope to build a pond using some of the run-off water from the roofs that we don't use for watering animals. This program is great as it can stretch it out over a few years so we can afford to pay for our share for each part of the farm plan.

I hope to start breeding heritage breed chickens in the new chicken barn...during the nice months, the chickens will all be out on the pasture in chicken tractors but I will have an incubation room for eggs and new chicks. I'm pretty excited about the whole project.


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Mar 31 2015 :  6:04:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Who wouldn't be? It sounds amazing!
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Apr 02 2015 :  10:22:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, it is amazing (I'm still pinching myself)...and a lot of work for us this spring, summer, and fall! We'll be helping with the construction and whatever the contractor wants us to do to help keep the cost as low as possible. I just had a meeting this morning and it looks like the actual breaking ground won't happen until the end of the month. I need to be patient, but that really isn't my strong suit...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Apr 03 2015 :  3:06:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mine either!
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Apr 04 2015 :  6:02:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the barn sounds great!

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  11:54:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A message of caution: When you receive a grant, be sure to check with your accountant to see how it affects your next year's tax situation. Usually grants are counted as additional taxable income. We are still in the process of learning how it will exactly affect us and I'm sure hoping we can proceed next month!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  7:02:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlene, FYI which I figure you already know. If you have an LLC, or S Corp you should accept the grant through that if possible . I figure your accountant knows this already. Always worked for us.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Apr 16 2015 :  12:53:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Ron!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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daisyrosiecow

37 Posts
Laurel
Troy ID

Posted - Apr 28 2015 :  4:00:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow... It hadn't really occurred to me to look into grants for doing the things I'd like to do at our farm. Now the gears are really going to get turning!

Laurel, north Idaho farmgirl.
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daisyrosiecow

37 Posts
Laurel
Troy ID

Posted - Apr 28 2015 :  4:01:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maryjane
Some time remind me to tell you about early on when I took my business idea to bankers. They told me I'd have to come back with a man they could work with who could sign for a loan so I said never mind and used credit cards instead. Women no longer need a man's signature on bank papers, at least I don't.


Wow. The times, they are a'changin'... thank goodness!

Laurel, north Idaho farmgirl.
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Apr 30 2015 :  9:34:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, Laurel, you should check with the NRCS office here locally. We've been working with them for about a year and there are some great grants out there, especially for new farmers trying to get started. Not a quick process but it helped to narrow down our exact needs and how that fit into the grant application. And, I appreciate that it can be spread out over a few years.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 19 2015 :  8:26:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The barn is starting! Three generations were helping today and trenched so electrical wire was pulled, a water line changed and a gray water drain installed. Hope our contractor really does show up on Monday!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Sep 19 2015 :  9:04:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If he doesn't, I will hunt him down for you and bring him by his ear to the top of your hill:)

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Sep 20 2015 :  2:43:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
and mary jane dear please do so for my concrete contractor as well... concrete pour scheduled for tomorrow monday 9/21! not holding my breath, but hopeful just the same...

will be thinking of you tomorrow charlene, as both our dreams move forward!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 22 2015 :  1:20:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well ... I'm not holding my breath any longer now. Our contractor had three guys call in sick today so he didn't get started; although, my son had a free day so he is actually starting to spread out the gravel and put down the re-bar for the concrete. They are still hoping to pour concrete on Thursday ... we shall see.

Fun news is that I got a farmtable shelf for my barn. It is literally a farm table cut lengthwise and needs to be bolted to the wall. But how darling will that be? I have a room in the barn that will eventually be an chick/duckling incubation room, complete with a stainless steel utility sink (hot and cold water). The table/shelf will be installed in there. And, the best part? It was free!


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Sep 22 2015 :  4:17:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hang in there!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 22 2015 :  5:41:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Cindy. I just heard that the crew is planning on working tomorrow and Thursday. Part of the problem is that the contractor is also doing work for my own hubby and my hubby needs him this week! Can't really argue with that one! Hubby has a tight deadline that needs to be met and my timeline is quite a bit more flexible.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 24 2015 :  08:56:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I am on my computer, I just looked out the window ... there are actually people working on the barn site!!


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Sep 24 2015 :  6:47:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
woo hoo charlene! what a moment!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 24 2015 :  8:20:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1/3 of the concrete was poured today; the next concrete pour is scheduled for Monday. I'm hoping it all keeps progressing smoothly. I'm cautiously optimistic that this will actually begin to become real.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Sep 26 2015 :  7:39:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yay! It's happening!

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Sep 30 2015 :  4:04:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All concrete has been poured as of this morning!! And there are a couple of scissor lifts already sitting next to the barn site ready for action. I think I'm gonna get a barn!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 02 2015 :  9:58:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Progress!!!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 03 2015 :  05:22:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
congrats charlene, what a GREAT feeling!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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