Fundraising to Save Farmland – Flathead Beacon
Because the founder and CEO of a fundraising software program firm, Scot Chisholm was uncovered to quite a lot of nonprofit organizations earlier than he left his place a yr in the past. After a decade within the enterprise, he moved on to start out his personal nonprofit to pair with a dispensary and retail store in Whitefish.
Chisholm and his enterprise companion Craig McViney formally opened Haskill Creek Farms on Voerman Highway simply exterior of Whitefish, which operates as a dispensary and retail store on 35 acres. The mural on the east facet of the constructing that shows “Save Farmland” in large letters illustrates the separate side of Haskill Creek – a nonprofit group devoted to conserving agriculture.
“We knew we wished Haskill Creek to help one thing and donate a portion of the proceeds to,” Chisholm stated. “Individuals within the valley stated they have been frightened in regards to the fast growth and the lack of agriculture and farm life.”
Chisholm launched Save Farmland, which was just lately established as a 501c3, and might be mannequin after the Nature Conservancy, the place farmland is bought whereas offering agricultural schooling on the property.
On the 40 acres to the north of the Haskill Creek property throughout Voerman Highway, Chisholm donated the parcel of land to the Save Farmland nonprofit the place about half of will probably be utilized as a neighborhood backyard with a market and demonstration space. The opposite half might be used as a “Farm Hub” and might be divided into half-acre to 1-acre parcels.
“The final plan is to show that into an incubator farm the place we create plots for younger farmers,” Chisholm stated. “We’d have shared gear, and academic courses to assist them on the wage entrance all so they may have some onboarding into the valley and never be deterred by land costs or gear costs.”
A farm incubator operates on an identical mannequin as a enterprise incubator, which helps people develop expertise and establishes a “feeder system.” Younger farmers will begin on smaller plots, the place they are going to be for a minimum of three years, earlier than transferring as much as 5- to 10-acre plots.
Chisholm plans to proceed shopping for extra property with Save Farmland all through the valley to preserve land whereas changing it again into agriculture.
“That is farmland that was productive and energetic at one level, and we got here in to avoid wasting working farmland for the neighborhood,” Chisholm stated. “Our objective isn’t to purchase each single piece of farmland, however to have a look at plots near neighborhood facilities that is likely to be out of attain for folks and create the fundraising pathway.”
Along with offering land and gear, Chisholm can be partnering with native farmers and agriculture professionals from Flathead Valley Group Faculty to teach younger farmers about regenerative and natural farming.
Whereas Haskill Creek Farms is separate from Save Farmland, they’re each centered round Chisholm’s and McViney’s philosophy on sustainable farming. On 5 acres, McViney manages the hashish develop operation for the dispensary the place they make the most of alpaca fertilizer and regenerative farming whereas specializing in enhancing biodiversity.
Contained in the retail store, the Hashish Counter behind Haskill Creek Farms presents 10 to fifteen marijuana strains, edibles and hemp merchandise. Ultimately, the store will wholesale merchandise to different dispensaries, and it additionally has plans within the works to open a location in downtown Whitefish.
Along with hashish, the store has partnered with different farms to promote 200 completely different herbs, which embrace natural blends, medicinal and culinary merchandise. Different points of the shop embrace self-care and life-style merchandise, which embrace all the things from house décor to farming literature.
“Our primary objective was to make our personal provide chain,” Chisholm stated. “We researched closely and collaborated with farmers throughout the nation, and we depend on our philosophies of regenerative and natural farming.”
Haskill Creek Farms will host a grand opening occasion on June 4 from 4 p.m. to eight p.m., that includes stay music from 20 Grand, meals vehicles and refreshments from Bonsai Brewing Challenge.
For extra data, go to Haskill Creek Farms on Instagram or at hc.farm.