After years of hard work raising grassfed cattle, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and her husband decided to put their farm dreams on pause for a while, travel the country, meet other farmers, and figure out what makes the best farms work. They were well beyond any romantic notions of the farming life themselves, but Rebecca wanted to know more.
Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business introduces readers to some of the country’s most innovative farmers who are embracing their “inner entrepreneur”: unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don’t have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon, and treating their employees and volunteers like family.
Each chapter of Farms with a Future features a case study from one of these exceptional farmers, but you can also follow Rebecca’s travels by reading her blog Honest Meat.
The book has been praised by old-time farmers—the toughest audience around. Gene Logsdon, farmer and author of A Sanctuary of Trees, said,
“What is so great about Rebecca Thistlethwaite’s new book, Farms with a Future, is that it is not a generalized treatment about how to succeed in the new farm and food revolution, but a detailed and complete description of how some fourteen farms of various kinds have done it. This book does what books are supposed to do, that is, it gives the reader on-the-ground experience that would otherwise take years to gain.”
Recently, Publishers Weekly had this to say,
“In this down-to-earth, business-oriented guide to running a farm, Thistlethwaite gives new and prospective farmers a hard-nosed taste of what it takes to run a sustainable farm and what steps are needed to succeed in this field, drawing on her six years of farming and a yearlong adventure visiting and interviewing small farmers across America. . . .Thistlethwaite’s experience teaching beginning farmers is evident in the logical, easy-to-follow, realistic but encouraging text, which will help separate the wheat from the chaff. “
Farms with a Future is on sale this week for 35% off.