“In this case, one plus one equals more than two.” – Mark Anderson
A White Creek, New York farm has taken the concept of neighbors helping neighbors to an entirely new level.
Landview Farm’s Mark Anderson and Randy Walker have reached across the fence to establish a mutually beneficial partnership with Tiashoke Farms in nearby Buskirk.
“We seem to have hit a sweet spot, that’s for sure,” says Anderson.
The informal arrangement allows each farm to help the other. For example, Landview Farms may use TIashoke’s new corn planter – Landview’s is 25 years old – while Landview lends out its manure spreader. In another instance, says Anderson, “they harvest our grass, we harvest their alfalfa.”
The benefits are exponential, Anderson explains. “People keep asking me why it works, and they use the term ‘synergy,’ but it’s more than that. We do 140 acres, they do 140 acres, but together, we can harvest 350 acres, which means in this case, one plus one equals more than two.”
The two operations will continue to explore other strategies to benefit them both, but in the meantime, Anderson and Walker are also teaming up as they continue to work Landview Farm, which was established by the Walker Family in 1952. Anderson came aboard in 1991, after working at various jobs and ending up as one of the county’s Cooperative Extension agents. He recalls jokingly telling Randy’s father, Rody, “If you go to 400 cows, I’ll quit my job and come work for you.”
The elder Walker took him up on the offer, and today, Rody and Jane Walker remain actively involved in the manager of the Landview Farm LLC along with son Randy and Anderson. Randy oversees the herd while Anderson takes care of the field crops, machinery and other tasks. There’s overlap, of course – “his cows have to eat what my fields put up, after all,” says Anderson – but like the Tiashoke partnership, Walker and Anderson have discovered a sweet spot of their own.
The operation is certainly a big enough job for plenty more than two men: with 2,300 acres and a milking herd of 1,400, Landview Farm has expanded over the past few years, and continues to be a regional success story.
And that success will continue, thanks to an approach to farming that harkens back to the time-honored tradition of people helping people, and neighbor helping neighbor.
Photos Courtesy AgStewardship.org