DOAG: REACHING NEW HORIZONS



May 8, 2019

REACHING NEW HORIZONS

By Dawn Pindell, USDA Farm Service Agency

 

Jeffrey, Louis, and Jacob Lipton are owners and operators of Pleasant View Farms in Somers, Connecticut. The farm has been in the Lipton family since 1918. Originally a dairy, the farm has transitioned into growing 600 acres of small grains and 650 acres of hay.

FILLING A NEED

When a local grain mill went out of business a few years ago, livestock producers approached the Liptons to purchase local feed. At the time, the family was selling small amounts of bulk and bagged feed. To meet the needs of the local agriculture community, they decided to expand their sales by adding improved storage and handling facilities.

Jeffrey reached out to his local USDA Farm Service Agency office and was able to purchase a scale and grain vacuum through the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program. This program provides low-interest financing for producers to build or upgrade facilities to store eligible commodities.

“The scale of Connecticut agriculture may not be as large as other parts of the country, but the diversity is here,” said Jeffrey. “My sons and I enjoy being farmers and we get satisfaction from being able to grow, produce, and provide quality feed for our local farmers.”

Modifying the operation to reflect Connecticut’s changing agriculture industry is important to the Liptons.

“In the past few months adding automated processing has saved us labor and time,” said Louis. “This lets us sell grain at competitive prices to farmers who want to buy local feed. We can process custom mixes in as small as one-ton batches.”

INTO THE FUTURE

As the fourth generation on the farm, Louis and Jacob plan to keep growing their customer base beyond Connecticut.

“I feel we help smaller-scale farmers grow because our feed is easily accessible and customized to meet their animal needs,” said Jacob.

Pleasant View Farms provides feed to almost 700 farms, which includes feed purchased on the farm and bulk loads delivered to customers. Their goal is to increase their feed sales by 20 percent each year.

While farming occupies most of their time, the Liptons find the time to connect with their peers and represent their industry. Louis and Jacob are currently members of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee and host an annual summer cookout at Pleasant View Farms.

“We are so busy farming that it is hard to take time away from the farm, but we recognize the importance of staying involved,” said Louis. 

MORE INFORMATION

USDA offers a variety of risk management, disaster assistance, loan, and conservation programs to help agricultural producers in the United States weather ups and downs in the market and recover from natural disasters as well as invest in improvements to their operations.

For more information about USDA programs and to find your local service center, visit farmers.gov.