Beginning Farmer Case Study: Martin Neal

 

Martin Neal, of Hickman, Nebraska, is a beginning farmer searching for land.

  • Currently farms 5 acres
  • Hopes to farm 150 acres in the future

Difficulty obtaining land:

“When it comes to buying land, most have a pre-authorization letter and don’t need to go through the three- to four month​ process like I do.”

Operation plans:

“I hope to someday have about 150 acres. As of now, our operation includes a little bit of everything: fifty-fifty livestock and crops, diversification, and aquaponics.”

What we produce:

“We sell eggs and vegetables out of our garden by word of mouth.”

Markets we sell to:

“Eggs are sold privately or direct market. I have approached restaurants in the area that have the option to buy vegetables from me in the summer. In the future, I hope to grow an abundance of crops and sell to grain elevators.”

Advice for others:

“I wish I would have started a lot sooner. If I would have started out in 2010, I think I would have been able to purchase land a lot cheaper.”

This case study is designed to provide new and beginning farmers and ranchers with relevant information to initiate, improve, and run agricultural operations. This case study is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher grant.