The Beginning (02:32)
Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, works a summer job before running a neighboring farm using his father's equipment. This great opportunity came up due to his neighbor quitting farming.
Growing to Sell (02:50)
Shane Milberger's father and a family friend guided him when he started farming 26 acres with two tractors. He determined what he was going to grow by learning about Farmers Markets and set goals to sell to them and other vendors.
A Rough Start (02:01)
Shane Milberger started out working long hours and was successful selling at the farmer markets. Some of the challenges in farming are equipment, management, pest control, the land, and soils.
Becoming a High Tech Industry (03:08)
Shane farmed his 300 acre land for a few years before renting more land. Rent is collected annually. The amount of land one person can manage depends on the individual.
Government Regulations (02:36)
Shane says you need to know how to farm, sell, and deal with the politics of the industry. Shane learned how to sell by working at the Farmers Market and through a mentor. Staying in compliance is stressful and takes a lot of work.
Branded Foods (02:07)
Shane currently does business with Whole Foods, 6 smaller stores, the Denver Distribution Center, Farmers Markets, and a few others. He also grows, roasts, and packages chili for retail and wholesale.
A Competitive Industry (03:21)
Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, discusses bank relationships, how he was able to get a loan without a business plan, determining the right price for the produce, and the need for another job when starting a farming business.
The Entrepreneur's Journey: Summary (03:22)
The Entrepreneur's Journey: Summary
Saving Time with Technology (02:36)
Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, explains differences between older and newer tractors and the cost of this equipment.
Equipment Expenses (02:12)
Farmer Shane Milberger discusses the costs of starting a farming business.
Licensing Costs (03:10)
An EPA license is the only thing needed in order to start farming. A total of four licenses are needed when packaging. 15 licenses are required for a roadside stand.
Staying in Compliance (02:39)
Shane pays over $20,000 for insurance and $2500 in licensing fees. The hardest part is filling out the licensing paperwork. Shane spends six to seven hours a day on paperwork. He discusses government procedures.
Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, talks about finding licensing information on local agricultural websites, unannounced inspections, and working with a finance company.
Shane works with a small town agricultural bank that gives financial advice to its clients. He eventually hired an accountant and bookkeeper. Shane learned in order to be successful you need a very good banker, an attorney, and the will to work.
Crop Damage (02:23)
Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, explains the different types of insurance needed, the risks involved, and government programs available to farmers.
The Entrepreneur's Advice: Developing Relationships (03:22)
Farmer Shane Milberger says it's important to determine what to grow before actually planting. V0isit local sellers and buyers to help make your decision. He worked with other farmers who would send his produce along with theirs to businesses.
The Entrepreneur's Advice: Cultivating Relationships (02:37)
Farmer Shane Milberger creates and maintains good relationships with government inspectors by following procedures and immediately correcting issues; he is seldom fined.
The Entrepreneur's Advice: Nurturing Relationships (02:17)
Farmer Shane Milberger puts a lot time and effort into maintaining employee relationships. Talking to people and presenting his product are his sales' priorities.
Brand Identity (02:12)
Farmer Shane Milberger had cultivated a following over ten years specializing in chili. He was approached by Whole Foods, who now sells his products.
Find Your Market (02:45)
Farmer Shane Milberger hires employees by character. Seasonal work makes good workers hard to keep. Following a trend could be good or bad depending on if you're at the beginning or end of it.
Finding Your Niche (01:47)
Farmer Shane Milberger made his chili his niche after finding his market. During the off season, he completes paperwork for licenses, repairs equipment, and starts thinking about next years' target market and crops.
Coffee Shop Talk (01:57)
Farmer Shane Milberger talks about the various seminars offered to farmers regarding markets, new crops, and how to grow certain produce. Farmers meet to discuss crop issues and share information about what companies are looking for specific produce.
Damaged Crop (02:18)
Farmer Shane Milberger took care of a friend who lost his crop three years in a row and established a back-up plan for his own farm. There are many outlets for marketing and it's important to find the local ones.
A Realistic Approach (02:20)
Farmer Shane Milberger believes operating any business will educate a person; a strong family is a good foundation. Someone interested in this industry needs to be ready to work 24 hours a day whether it be labor, thinking, or just plain worrying.
Self Determination (02:15)
The biggest challenges a farmer faces are government regulations and weather. Shane lost 130 acres of product in a hail storm. Farmers need to be prepared for such times.
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