Genera is Recruiting East Tennessee Farmers to Grow Feedstock
The farming industry has changed, and it just keeps right on changing.
Anyone who grew up in East Tennessee will tell you back in the day you’d see huge fields of tobacco and corn or large herds of beef cattle on local farms. One or two cash crops were enough to keep a farmer in business and doing well.
But times have changed. Surefire cash crops like tobacco are gone, and farmers are looking to other revenue streams so they can stay in business and on their family lands.
At Genera, we are proud to offer one more revenue stream for East Tennessee farmers. We’re actively recruiting farmers to produce feedstock crops like switchgrass and biomass sorghum to go into our innovative Earthable® fiber pulp products.
According to Brad Valentine, Genera’s new feedstock manager, “These crops mesh well with existing equipment and practices on the farm and have been proven to be a viable option given the soil structure and topographical challenges of the East Tennessee region. With minimal inputs, substantial yields can be achieved, and our hope is producers will realize the additive income opportunities available with this new venture. We are looking forward to partnering with local farmers to produce environmentally responsible products that we can all be proud to say we had a hand in making.”
If you’re still on the fence (so to speak) about becoming a Genera farmer, here are some great reasons to consider.
As we said, farmers can’t depend on the old cash crops anymore. To stay in business and survive market fluctuations, diversification is key. All across our region, farmers are diversifying. They’re hosting corn mazes, raising pumpkin patches or building wineries. They’re growing vegetables to sell at farmers markets. They’re producing barley for the thriving craft beer industry. Adding feedstock crops is one more way to diversify your farm and gain much-needed financial security.
2) Low-Productivity Land
Fiber crops like the ones sought by Genera can be grown in low-productivity soils, letting farmers put land that normally sits idle to more productive use. This means farmers can save their better soil for the crops that need it, like corn or soybeans.
3) A Local Market
With Genera, East Tennessee farmers won’t have to go far to find a market for their crops, saving them time and transportation costs. In fact, there are 74,000 acres of underutilized land within just 50 miles of Genera’s Vonore facility. That’s a short drive that can make a huge impact.
4) Long-term Income
Genera offers long-term contracts for the farmers who grow crops for Earthable®, giving them income stability that they don’t get with other crops. The ability to plan for the future and balance out the fluctuations inherent in other markets can make a world of difference in the lives of farm families.
If you or a farmer close to you could use a new revenue stream, Genera would love to hear from you. Just fill out our online farmer recruitment form or call Brad Valentine at (423) 884-4119 today.