The Wilson Family Peach Farm is a start-up venture for Dr. Jared Wilson and his wife, Susan. The Wilsons will be retiring from their regular professions starting in the spring of this year. The farm is intended to provide the Wilsons with an opportunity for post-retirement work and income, plus an opportunity for both of them to continue their individual research programs on agriculture and nutrition. Approximately 80 acres of prime stone fruit growing land is to be acquired, using owner's equity and a federal farm assistance loan. The farm will be jointly owned by Dr. and Mrs. Wilson and will be set up as a Limited Liability Company chartered in Georgia.
The Farm and its Products
The farm has prime fruit growing land approximately 3.5 northwest of Gainesville, Georgia. This is one of the best areas in the state for growing peaches and other stone fruit. The land gets plenty of sunlight, has excellent drainage, and an optimum soil pH.
The Wilson Family Peach Farm is planning to grow seven varieties of peaches and nectarines in the first three years including the Redhaven, Ishtara, Tenn Natural, Lovell, Bailey, Montclar, Starks Redleaf, and the famous Elberta. Once profitability has been established, the farm will begin to expand into more rare varieties.
The attractiveness of this crop is that fresh, high-quality peaches and nectarines are sweet tasting and low in calories, with one medium peach furnishing only about 37 calories. These fruit are a good source of Vitamin C and yellow-fleshed varieties are a good source of Vitamin A.
The United States provides about one-fourth (25%) of the world's total supply of fresh peaches.
Peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America. They account for more than 70 percent of all stone fruit produced in the U.S. South Carolina and Georgia follow California's 72 percent share of peach production at a far distance, averaging about 6 and 4 percent of the U.S. total over the past three years. Last year the Georgia peach crop totaled 115 million pounds and brought in $41.7 million. In addition to the Elberta, Georgia now produces more than 40 commercial varieties of peaches. Recent events has shown that the international market for peaches may be expanding, especially in Asia.
Wilson Family Peach Farm plans to sell its crop to three main buyers. In order to keep its profit margin high, the Wilsons will concentrate on selling the majority of its fruit to the local produce stands which are able to charge more for the higher quality fruit. Most of the rest of the fruit will be sold to local fruit packers and distributors that then resell the fruit to grocery stores. Finally any fruit that does not meet the quality/maturity standards of the other two buyers will be sold to canneries.
The farm will be financed with a farm assistance loan and a significant amount of owner's equity. This will provide sufficient cash flow for the farm until it can start making revenue. Sales are expected to be sufficient to be profitable in year one, and have consistent growth through year three.
The objectives over the next three years for the Wilson Family Peach Farm are:
• Achieve profitability in year one.
• Expand by purchasing an additional 50 acres of adjacent land by year three.
• Capitalize on the niche market for hybrid and specialty stone fruits.
• Increase yield per acre to achieve economies of scale.
The Mission of the Wilson Family Peach Farm is to provide a retirement occupation and supplemental income for the owners, Jared and Susan Wilson. In addition, the farm will provide a base for Dr. and Mrs. Wilson's ongoing research in the agriculture and nutritional fields.
1.3 Keys to Success
Farming in the United States is a mature industry with very little growth and a very competitive market. Therefore the Wilsons will focus on the small niche market of hybrid and rare peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruit and also on quality so as to retain its supplier contracts with its chain distributors and local produce sellers. To this end the Wilsons have identified the following key elements to success.
• Become "first to market" through use of early harvest varieties of peaches and nectarines.
• Focus on marketing of hybrids to local distributors.
• Aggressively pursue cost analysis and reduction.
• Concentration on post harvest care of produce to enhance quality.
• Market to the high-end local produce stands that can demand higher prices.
• Capitalize on Dr. Jared Wilson's close contacts with the University of Georgia's Agriculture department faculty to introduce new scientific methods and procedures to growing stone fruit.