Welcome to FarmRaisers!
I have been in the IT field for almost 25 years most of it as a consultant building large scale solutions for some of the largest organizations in the country. In 2011, my family realized a long term dream of ours – owning a farm. After a long search for something suitable, my family purchased a 286 acre farm with a seven bedroom home for our family of 10 (we have since expanded to 13 with the birth of our youngest in 2013, and the international adoption of two more children this year). Our dream was to live and work on the farm and move away from the corporate culture that had dominated my work life for all those years and took away from our family life. However, the farm needed major investments of time and energy as it had just been through two foreclosures in 3 years. Everything was run down, overgrown, and in disrepair.
We immediately went into the farming business with what turned out to be an overly aggressive start up plan. As we worked to renovate the farmhouse, so we could move to the farm, the required investments in the farm continued to mount. The planned six month renovation turned into three years, forcing us to keep our older home. We worked day and night to make the farmhouse a home, all while trying to operate the farm.
Having mortgages on two homes, we were not willing to extend ourselves further with obtaining a loan for the farm. The low profits from farming are squeezed even further when servicing these loans. So, we decided to look into the on-going craze over crowdfunding to help us raise necessary capital funds to keep our farm afloat and expand what we could do. However, we immediately saw major issues with the most popular platforms at the time. Kickstarter – which is geared toward creative projects projects, and only allows you to keep what you have raised if you reach your total goal. As a very busy farmer, and still working off the farm, investing a lot of time and energy into a campaign that gave us no return nothing if we didn’t meet our goal did not seem like the best use of our time. Indiegogo at least allowed you to keep whatever funding you were able to raise, but their cut increased dramatically if you take less than the full campaign amount. Neither of these options sounded like it would work for our busy farming lifestyle.
So, putting my experience to use, we built our own website with a crowdfunding capability to help us raise the funds we desperately needed. As our network of farming colleagues continued to expand, it was obvious that we were not the only farmers that could use a better developed platform that took into account the unique challenges we face as farmers. So FarmRaisers was born. We expanded our initial website to make it available to other farmers – and only farmers. If your campaign is not fully funded, you still get funding and at the same rate as if you were fully funded. Our rates are set simply to cover our costs – and more importantly, to help our fellow small family farmers succeed in an industry dominated by large industrial producers. Farming is hard enough, getting the capital we need should be easier.
PS – stay tuned to FarmRaisers! We are planning many more services to help our fellow farmers succeed!