Wanted: A farmer. Successful organic farm is closing because no one wants to run it

Ten years of planning, 10 years of want ads and hope and worry, ended one day in October when Don Kretschmann realized it wasn’t going to work; no one was going to step in.
This was going to be the last harvest at Kretschmann Family Organic Farm.

Come spring, the Beaver County (Pa) farm will be idle for the first time since he first turned the soil there in the spring of 1979. Kretschmann is retiring after failing to find someone to take over his 80-acre operation.
“I just thought somebody would come,” the 71-year-old self-taught farmer said. “Nothing worked out there — unless some miracle happens.”

Don Kretschmann, owner of the Kretschmann Family Organic Farm, harvests kale on his farm Nov. 16 in Rochester, Beaver County. Kretschmann is retiring this year after not being able to find anyone to take over or buy his farm where he grew produce organically for almost 50 years. (Alexandra Wimley/AP)
The inability to find a successor surprised him. He was offering a turnkey operation, an opportunity for an entrepreneurial farmer to simply start growing and harvesting by leasing the land. Access to land is the biggest barrier for beginning farmers, along with the cost of equipment — which Kretschmann also offered for lease along with his house.
His only requirement is that the land be farmed organically.

“We ran lots of ads” in agricultural publications, he said. Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, California. “We went all over.”

A woman from Santa Fe was interested but wasn’t suited to the rigors of farm work. A Kretschmann neighbor expressed interest, but later backed out. And the guy from Ithaca, New York, sounded promising, toured the farm and Downtown Pittsburgh — but later said he didn’t want to leave his extended family.

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83 Responses to “Wanted: A farmer. Successful organic farm is closing because no one wants to run it”

  1. Mary Wey says:

    how do I contact Don personally, i am very interested in this opportunity.

  2. Roberto Alfaro says:

    I would like to talk to Mr. Krestscheman. 1-415-504-0544. Can someone give him my cellphone number? Thank you! Roberto

  3. Keith says:

    It’s truly a shame that with a given opportunity such as this no one would even try their hand at working outdoors and doing something of substance. It’s truly a sad epitaph for our country.

    • Adam says:

      I am very interested and available – I want to run your farm!

      Don, if you’re reading this, please contact me via email and/or phone – my phone number (landline only) is in your inbox.

      Very very interested!
      Adam

  4. Crystal says:

    I will move there and run it. !!

  5. Kevin says:

    Is the farmer still wanting someone to take over? Also, is he willing to show us the ropes if we took his offer.

  6. Sherri Preston says:

    I will run it. Just email me.

  7. Paul starks says:

    We’ve been trying to get back to Pennsylvania for over a year. Are you serious. I’d be available to share crop your place. Wow can you get in touch with us please

  8. Barbara Hanson says:

    Aww so sad maybe u should get high school kids to go and learn farming it could turn their life around do back ground check see how they live and where godbless

  9. Amanda Baker says:

    Hell, Me and my husband and my three kids want an organic farm. We just can’t afford the land/equipment. We’ll do it.

  10. Chad Olsen says:

    I will work your Farm. Just give me a Call. 337-324-5245

  11. Allen says:

    Interested

  12. Michael says:

    I will do it! I can move there and start now.

  13. Christine and Thad says:

    Would love more information please!

  14. Timmothy Thomas says:

    I WOULD LOVE TO LEARN HOW TO RUN A FARM

  15. Robert McNabb says:

    I do not know alot about farming but I would work on it. People lost there will to do anything anymore.

  16. Ken says:

    I always dreamed of having a farm but lack money for it😭😭

  17. Jerica green says:

    I’m interested in taking over this farm! I’ve lived on a farm all my life and the timing couldn’t be more ideal. Please contact me! Thank you!

  18. Nicholas Huston says:

    I might be Interested need more info

  19. J Boland says:

    I am interested though I have no financial backing at this time.

  20. Adam says:

    I will go right now

  21. Ryan says:

    Wow I would’ve loved to have that opportunity. Normal farming doesn’t interest me but anything natural and organic is what I love. Real food, better food; the way it should be.

  22. Sheretta Bailey-nobblen says:

    Hello this is a dream of mine to have farm land to grow on a grand scale. I wish I could help you. Please reach out to me to see if we can help each other

  23. Jean says:

    My daughter would be interested

  24. Tammy Shonkwiler says:

    I’m interested but have insufficient funds to do this. I worked greenhouses for years. Some direction, funds and I’d be all in

  25. Nicola Lamacchia says:

    I am interested in. I am Italian, 35, I have been working for more than 10 years in the family fields back in Italy before moving to London. I will be really happy to ear what this job it is about.

  26. Michele Edwards says:

    This is very sad and speaks volumes about what has happened to our country. As I’m starting an organic farm in Tennessee, I hope this gentleman finds someone to continue his in Pennsylvania. I don’t understand how the woman thought it was to hard, I’m female and have been small scale farming (less than 50 acres) since I was 4 years old. I’m now 52.

  27. Mustafa says:

    I and my friend can run this organic farm if any opportunity is given to us. But there is a big problem that we live in Turkey. We have been doing organic farming and livestock operation for almost 5 years. We could not stop a big quarry to be mined right next to our leased land. We have been using JADAM methods for three years. It really works. I wrote down my mail adress. May be it is time for you to import some organic farmers…

  28. Matthew hawsey says:

    I grew up on farms livestock someone would have to train me specifically but I would do it but to poor to buy but would really like the opportunity

  29. Shawn says:

    Should have made it a co-op years ago, or given it to immigrants. Finding americans with money to lease,, who also want to work hard…laughable.

  30. Katina Jenkins says:

    Wish I could help

  31. Gordon says:

    If it still available I would like to speak with the farmer and see the farm

  32. matthew gemberling says:

    Please put me in contact with this man I love to farm

  33. Crystal L Leon says:

    That is sad when you work so hard on something n it just falls apart. I think he should have advertised more in different ways people like me would love a job like this but it’s the first I’m hearing about it.

  34. Samantha nicks says:

    I’m very interested in this opportunity and look forward to hearing from you

  35. Verlena says:

    Hello, how would I contact him?

  36. Donald Ray says:

    I have a ministry, grew up on a dairy farm and ra ta the farm myself in Michigan. Almost 26 years ago I moved to Tennessee as the Lord called. Ben wanting to get back into some form of farming. Email me me back if you wish. How big is your farm and what all did you grow.

    God Bless
    Don

  37. Jon Harneck says:

    I’ll do it.

  38. Beanca e Gordner says:

    Hi and let me start by saying Thank you for all you have done for us over the last 50 years. working long hard hours to provide the best of the best in fresh foods. Has anyone come forward to keep you operation going?

  39. Joseph says:

    It is a such a shame that would be an awesome start for someone who has the drive and determination to make it work. I know I would definitely love to be able to do something like that. So much that could be done.

  40. Edgar says:

    Hello Keith,
    I am interested. In this opportunity. Even though, I am not an experienced farmer. I think I can learn anything. After all, I am a computer scientist.

    Let’s talk.

  41. Dawn says:

    It’s a shame that we are losing farms. Especially since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

  42. Ray says:

    I’m interested would like to know more

  43. Dustin says:

    How do I go about finding out details and contact information?

  44. Stefan says:

    That is a huge area to run. In some ways those who backed out, probably realised what they were getting into.

    Perhaps try again but sell it as an excellent buy for a co-op or a group of people who can roster the work, and appoint a manager.

    Sorry I can’t help, I live in another country!

  45. Tawni says:

    Would love an opportunity for consideration of continuing your legacy.

  46. hubert m douglas says:

    cant belive that some thing not right,thats the best work

  47. hubert m douglas says:

    thats the catch

  48. Maark says:

    I will work it I’m a very experienced in organic and botany and hardnlabor

  49. Travis says:

    I would do it if I had the money to start out with

  50. Jason Doss says:

    Good evening,
    I would like more information or the possibility to email my interest? This blows me away as an entrepreneur and one with a solid work ethic.
    Thank you.

  51. T says:

    There are a few of us out there! I’m doing just that on a family farm riddled with family issues! Might be willing to take you up on that offer sir! Currently raise egg layers and goats.vegetable and fruit back ground.

  52. Melinda Caskey says:

    The people who would put forward the blood sweat and tears are not the people the banks would lend to. Most who would jump at the chance have student loan debt and/or lack the 20% down payment and good credit the bank requires. People who have money, credit and low debt to income ratio wont want to do the work.

  53. Larry Redford says:

    No one wants to work anymore. They want everything for free it’s the new liberal Democratic way. It’s progressive liberalism.

  54. Natasha says:

    I’ve always wanted to own a farm. I hope he finds someone😊

  55. Stacy worthington says:

    I’m intrested could u send pics plz

  56. Vivian Torvik says:

    I am interested but am to poor to be able to afford to pay for the leasing of land, home and equipment. I will however say that I have a green thumb that has been passed down to me for many generations. My maternal Grandfather helped to farm on an apple orchard in Wenatchee Wa. My maternal Great Grandmother was very successful in farming countless crops of Heather and selling in the flower markets of San Francisco. My paternal Grandparents had a milk farm and delivered fresh cows milk to the neighborhood. As well as my paternal family always having a farm to run with livestock and crops. I have a passion for farming in my blood but unfortunately not the money it would take. Also I would need to learn to farm but I do consider myself a fast learner given what I have my Masters degree in (Adult Education and Training.) I do hope you find someone to take over your organic kale farm. Its a gift to be able to have something like that.

  57. Brandy burcham says:

    I would love the oppurtunity to run a massive farm..especially since its already established! Ive always loved the process and the maimtaining of a garden “works my demons out” so to speak…i have no knowledge of organic farming but i learn quickly and i am smart! …
    I have no means to lease such a monumental farm, and would bately need more than somewhere to sleep & bath…oh and eat! And i would need a truck!! But i wouldn’t. Mr. Farmowner to leave. I belueve that whoever takes over the place should have to pal around with such expertise!! LEARN SOMETHING FROM HIM!! Im in my 40s and im not fond of kale but i understand its 80+acres…. That’s too much kale…. I would have to insist on a variety of crops.
    Amd i would only need parti of the profits. Mr. Farmowner could still profit too!! Mr. K. I hope someone finds their way to ur beautiful farm and enjoys workibg the earth!!

  58. Kristen says:

    I would take it no problem

  59. Michelle says:

    I will do it. If theres an opportunity still, id sign up.

  60. Kristen says:

    I’ll move right in

  61. Robin Mills says:

    GOD BLESS you ,you did what you could sad American people don’t want to work they all want to eat but can’t lift a finger to earn it. A shameful society we live in thanks for our government

  62. Claudette says:

    What I would give

  63. Latosha Clements says:

    Get in touch with me Im promising, I have 2 boys and ready to save the food chain.

  64. York Bennett says:

    I would love to take it over! It’s a dream come true

  65. Ellie O'Shea says:

    I would love to become an organic farmer. It’s the perfect time in my life to do something like that, too. I wish I had an idea how to get in touch with this guy.

  66. Lu says:

    My husband and have been dreaming of farming, but with covid restrictions we are now babysitting our grandkids while the parents work from home. We wish you all the best in your retirement, but will keep this in mind should our situation change.

  67. John Camp says:

    Is this for sale still? Where are you now Don? let’s have a talk!

  68. Lamont says:

    I would like more info about this. Sounds like a great opportunity do do some good for you and others. I am always willing to help others.

  69. Stephanie says:

    I’ll take it…

  70. Dominick says:

    I know anything about farming, but I would have loved this opportunity.

  71. Cody Osborn says:

    If this is a real job via my email and maybe we can discuss the opportunity involved.

  72. Alexandria Miller says:

    This is sad. I would totally do it if I could. Considering I just lost my job and living with my boyfriends mom and step dad for the moment I’m way to broke. Just makes me sad

  73. Harley says:

    Then why don’t you pack up and move out there? Its not an easy life to live especially in this day and age. Farming isn’t a sure business as it used to be

  74. Terry Smith says:

    I would be more then happy to run this farm
    I have farming experience

  75. Terry Smith says:

    I would like to run this farm. I have farming experience
    Email me back I don’t want a successful farm to be closed
    Email me back and I am serious about this

  76. Dale oarra says:

    I will run your farm with my 2 boys. I need a place to live and i grow my own organic gardens. I world love to run the farm. Please email me. I’ll come right down now. I have 2 strong boys that works love to help you with that garden. With the 3 of us we could do it

  77. Wes says:

    I’m in. What’s the first step?!

  78. Tom says:

    Contact me about the farm. I might be interested.

  79. Hannah Owen says:

    Is this position still available? I have a good friend with a horticulture degree looking to get into this kind of work, but won’t be available to move until February.

  80. Matthew Lambert says:

    I’ve got years of experience in the landscape and irrigation world and within past few years have been into organic diet and interested in this issue or opportunity. I’m willing to relocate upon a few things discussed and agreed on.

  81. Jonathan says:

    Ill Run it !

    managed a successful farm in the past making the operation profitable .I Love growing crops and have a great business expertise in it

    contact me if you want to make the farm profitable

  82. Barbara S. Spradlin says:

    I am not mobile. I would love to do this kind of work. The way the world is moving, all food supplies will slow down or stop. Backyard gardening will be a must

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