Feature Farm and Land
A fresh venture BRINGS IN
NEW RESPONSIBILITIES Story and photos by Andrea Haines
Jacob’s first purchase was a 50’ x 100’ pole barn for hay storage, and a CASE combine harvester. Today, he’s got his sights set on what it will take to keep him growing, and is thankful for the support he receives from his family, friends, and Farm Credit.
8 LEADER VOLUME 25 | ISSUE 1
ince the formation of America, people have been pining for a shot at the American dream, a reason and a way to start out on their own and provide for their futures. The newness of a job or the purchase of a farm is inviting for many people. For Jacob Shriver of Emmitsburg, Maryland, the entrepreneurial drive stands true. The 23-year-old farmer set out to begin working under his own business name, Red Dust Farm, directly after high school. An agronomy devotee in the making, Jacob farms 250 acres of hay and 250 acres of corn and soybeans. “I am thankful for my family and friends as they help me with the field work,” shares Jacob. “Most of their time is dedicated to our family’s butcher shop, Shriver Meats, but they have been very influential in helping to maintain my business venture.” One influence Jacob’s family plays is the guidance they provide, but with a “hands off” approach when it comes to him making his own decisions. “I am fortunate to be able to ask questions and listen to advice,” he says. “The final decision is mine, and the financial responsibility is mine, too, and very real.” He contributes much of his clientele to word-of-mouth from a job well done and social media. “The use of social media (Facebook) has been a great tool for me,” he expresses. “I’ve discovered that advertising through the use of social media is less expensive and less time consuming. There’s been a huge interest in my services because I think it covers a wider range of people in my area.” After Jacob began gaining more clients from the sale of hay and crops, he began to really consider what he would need to continue down the path of success. “I knew that once people caught on to what I was doing with my business, I needed to step up to the plate and become more forward-thinking by owning harvest equipment. Financially, this was a little out of my realm of control, so I decided to make a call to Farm Credit,” shares Jacob. He was directed to the Frederick office where he began working with loan officer Kelli Wilson. Kelli began by gathering three years of income tax returns and then got to work on developing a business plan with Jacob. “The difference between working with a ‘young farmer’ or clients that are fresh into the business is the level of credit