Can you make a living farming on less than 100 acres?
Most farmers will tell you that it is not possible. Decreasing profit margins have forced farms to get bigger and more efficient just to survive. While the modern farm can produce large amounts of commodity crops very efficiently, they are operating on very thin profit margins. In many aspects, most modern farms are “too big to fail”; after all they provide much of the nation’s cheap food. Government subsidies and borrowed money ensure many large farms can keep operating year after year. Our quest for cheap food in this nation has been a success, but at the cost of the livelihood of the American farmer and everyone’s health.
This was the challenge facing Joe Golliher if he was going to return to work on the family farm after graduating college in 2014: how to produce enough income farming without falling into the modern farming trap.
Golliher Farms began
in the summer of 2013 as an experiment with just a few chickens and a small garden. Could small farms succeed by growing real food instead of commodity food products? Joe knew there was a demand in Central Indiana for local, naturally raised meat and vegetables, but was it a viable business option? The experiment proved successful. The chicken and vegetables sold out, and customers were very pleased. In the following years Golliher Farms has grown tremendously, adding beef and pork to the lineup. The belief that the food being produced should not just be naturally raised, but of the highest quality and taste, has kept customers coming back.
Today Joe is making a living on the 85-acre family farm.