Meet our $10,000 startup grant recipients
Questions about the grant program? Contact Raechel Sattazahn at email@example.com or 1-800-998-5557.
We're excited to announce our inaugural jumpstart grant winners. Learn more about the 15 outstanding young startup farmers who each received a $10,000 grant to pursue their business dreams.
Mikara Anderson and Riley Price recently purchased a 30-acre property in Fulton County to raise livestock and crops. With sheep farming experience, they plan to raise Katahdin hair sheep to sell to the commercial meat market. Mikara will use the grant to purchase fencing materials, fence installation and the acquisition of 15 Katahdin ewes.
Jake Grim established an e-commerce platform designed specifically for farmers, called Table Rock Markets that connects farmers and consumers. Once customers identify a farmer, customers can add their products to the virtual shopping card and select which farmers’ market they want to pick up their order. Jumpstart grant funds will be used to increase sustainability of Table Rock Markets through software development for a mobile app, marketing and customer support.
Matthew Hansen will begin his first growing season in 2022. The diversified vegetable operation will grow 40 types of crops throughout the season and market products through CSA members, a farmers market and two wholesale accounts. Grant funding will support additional equipment needs, including a walk-behind tractor and walk-in refrigerator, and input costs for the 2022 growing season.
Brothers Nathan and Deron Henry are fourth-generation famers starting their own operation. While Nathan continues to own and operate the family’s poultry farm with his father, he and Deron began a partnership focusing on dry hay production, planning to expand the business in the coming years. The Henrys will use the grant to organize the operation as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and off-set the cost of replacing a barn roof.
Joel and Emily Kuhns will run Odyssey Orchard, a veteran-owned business. Odyssey Orchard will focus on producing high quality sharp and bitter-sharp apples for the fine and craft cider markets with planting to begin in 2022. Grant funds will cover the labor and material costs of the soon-to-be-planted orchard including labor for pruning, trellis-training, spraying, mowing inter-row grass strips and more.
The Lattas purchased their tree farm in May 2020. Under the name Tuckaway Tree Farm, they sell choose-and-cut Christmas trees, ball and burlap trees (shade and ornamental), Christmas wreaths, pumpkins and merchandise. They also host events on the farm. Using the Jumpstart Grant, the Lattas plan to install irrigation for their nursery stock.
Morgan Livingston will join her family’s farm business, Mahoning Creek Farm, as the fifth generation in 2022. Morgan will primarily focus on expanding the farm’s beef operation to support its meat business, also offer breeding stock for sale. She is considering launching a small USDA-inspected meat processing plant and farm store in the future. The Livingstons would like to build a newer, more efficient multi-species livestock barn, and grant funds will be used to help with the engineering and planning for the barn and manure management system.
Bob Moniot grew up on Moniot Farms, a dairy farm turned small grain operation. In 2021, Bob and his wife, Lisa, began a transition plan with Bob’s parents. Bob also recently acquired additional farmland to produce and sell crops. A main goal of Moniot Farms is to grow the business to support future generations. The Moniots will use the Jumpstart Grant funds to upgrade farm equipment and technology to improve efficiency as well as potentially rent additional farmland.
Corey Read is a combat veteran who is taking over his family farm, Shupp Hill Farms, in northeastern Pennsylvania. The Reads raise red Angus and Irish Dexter cattle and plan to focus growth on the Iris Dexter cattle. In addition to beef, they plan to add pastured pork to the farm. Grant funds will help with the purchase of additional farm equipment to improve their operation.
Mackenzie and Eli Strawser began their part-time farming operation in October 2020 on Mackenzie’s existing family farm. Top Line Meats LLC, raises approximately 65 head of commercial breeding ewes and sell lambs privately and through auctions for meat. A future goal is for Eli or Mackenzie to work fulltime on the farm. The grant will be used to renovate an existing barnyard for sheep, allowing for an expansion of the flock.
Jesse and Lisa Vivian operate Lane’s End Farm Creamery. The microdairy and creamery opened in February 2020 with one milking cow. Today, the Vivians milk seven cows and sell over 150 gallons of milk each week to the local community. They plan to grow their herd and pasteurization capacity in the next year and add an on-farm store for agritourism and on-farm workshops and events.
Rachel and Chris Wagoner are the next generation on Chris’s family farm, Tall Pines Farms. They launched their farm business in May 2020 and sell grassfed, pasture-raised beef and lamb as well as breeding stock and hay. They recently bought their first registered Katahdin ewes and plan to begin a registered flock to sell breeding stock. Grant funds will be used to purchase and install semi-permanent cross-fencing for pastures at Tall Pines Farms
Wheat and Sparrow LLC is a 17-acre farm owned and operated by Jonathan and Winter Weaver. The farm began operations in January 2021 and produces Cornish Cross broilers for a neighboring farmer who direct markets to consumers. In the future, the Weavers would like to set up a poultry processing site on the farm and assess new markets. Grant funds would be used to develop on-farm processing, allowing for better quality control and lowering processing costs.
Esperanzo Wilcox will launch the PA Mushroom Company, an organic mushroom farm, in late 2021. The PA Mushroom Company will specialize in cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms and mushroom grow kits. Esperanzo plans to use the Jumpstart Grant to transition his operation to a commercial-scale, covering initial overhead and startup costs.
In 2020, Devin Winklosky started Teufel Hunden Hops Company, a hop farm in western Pennsylvania. Although he grew up in a farming family, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later realized he wanted to pursue farming. After much consideration and research, Devin started his two-acre hopyard which includes seven varieties of hops. Devin will use the grant funding to assist with farm operation needs including hop yard maintenance and inputs, repay a Farm Service Agency (FSA) microloan and upgrade his hop processing facilities