SBDC helps family farm break into agri-tourism
Having run Fort Vannoy Farms since 1923, the Crouse family knows agriculture.
But when Bob Crouse needed funding in 2012 to develop 200 acres of newly leased farm land, the SBDC helped him acquire a loan.
Fort Vannoy Farms began as a dairy operation. But after Bob took over the farm in 1962, he shifted to crop production. The farm now grows vegetables, berries, sweet corn and gourds. Many of the farm’s crops are organically grown.
To further diversify the family business, Bob added large pumpkin crops and expanded the corn fields. The farm hosts Pumpkin Cannon and Pumpkin Chunker events in the fall. Visitors are also invited to get lost in a corn maze, take a ride on the zip line and travel by hayride to the field to pick a pumpkin.
With the addition of these agri-tourism events, the SBDC helped Bob better market the farm. His advisers have also assisted him with his business plan and cash flow.
The Crouse family sells its crops from a farm stand onsite at 5791 Lower River Road in Grants Pass. They also sell produce at the Growers Market in Grants Pass and Medford.