Ryan & Ally Gerken
Makin' Our Dreams Come True!
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Being vulnerable does not come easily to me, I think most would agree, and if it does come easy, then I would double check the genuineness behind the vulnerability.
This week was a tough one for me personally. Coming to the realization that a move out of my current job’s range is likely and having zero connections to these smaller mountain towns – left me feeling helpless in terms of employment. I mentioned that in my previous blog there are still issues with acceptance of hemp and that includes loans that would otherwise be available to farmers, making employment a huge necessity. Rumors are that loan availability will change for hemp starting the end of 2019, which makes it a future option but not a right now option.
Thankfully this is not our first go around at this. In 2012 when Ryan and I decided we were moving to Colorado, we sold our car, old jewelry that had little or no meaning to us, took odder than odd jobs, asked friends and family for favors and for a place to sleep. When we bought our first apartment in Colorado, we had less than $100 to our name after deposits and such. In that situation, we did what any 21 and 23 year old would do – we walked to the liquor store and bought a massive bottle of Burnett’s Apple Vodka (hoping the apple would keep us from needing a chaser) and played monopoly in our apartment for an entire week praying one of the many places we walked to that day for a job would come through... So that A: we could pay next months rent and B: stop drinking Burnett’s Apply Vodka. I could vomit reflecting on that story - but it all worked out for us.
I am realizing, that this new adventure is going to be one of those times for us. Minus the vodka, we are going to have to knock on doors and ask for help wherever we can to make our dreams come true. It takes being vulnerable and putting yourself out there so that others can see you, which is necessary but it also opens you up to judgment and that is scary. Because we are not local and can’t exactly “knock on doors” we have decided to draft emails asking for information, job leads, etc. to a few organizations near Montrose, CO and that will include our resumes as well. Fingers crossed this generates a lead for us. We are also planning a trip up this Sunday-Tuesday, pictures to come!
For now, our immediate steps are to relocate our employment and buy a home with a lot size over 5 acres zoned for agriculture. Once that is accomplished, we will work to grow an acre or so of hemp and process it ourselves to try and begin turning a profit which will 100% be reinvested back into the farm to either expand hemp or start farming hops. I hope we can look forward to loan support soon with the recent changes to hemp legislation, that will then change our business plan for the better – nice reminder to myself to get back on the business planning!
Since I wrote this – I called the Montrose County to find out about industrial hemp zoning. I spoke with Steve White the Director of Planning and Zoning. He chuckled when I asked but said hemp was completely acceptable. He seemed kind, so I decided to email him to pry further. I wondered about some reviews I had seen that mentioned a “known” drug problem in Montrose – and not the cannabis kind! The kind we are hoping and praying cannabis will help cure. I let him know I am planning to bring my babies and plant roots there, so honesty is preferred. I also sent him my resume and told him a little about my background and passion for the community in the hope he has a connection to a job lead or contacts. Praying it pays off! I will update on the known drug problem in case anyone reading is planning on moving there or visiting us ☺.
· We met with our realtor and discussed two areas of interest – Montrose and Parker Colorado
· Continued to make home improvements in the off chance we are unable to rent our current home and have to sell
· Ryan registered for classes
· Called planning and zoning in the counties we are looking to move to check the address to ensure they are ok for industrial hemp growing
· We read the entire 23-page document for the rules surrounding CO’s industrial hemp. Surprisingly we understood much of it and were not as intimidated as expected!
· Continue building out the business plan.
· Something to note, a lot of farmers might say a super intense business plan isn’t necessary, but because of what we are farming and because we are not merely planning to sell our crop off to the supermarket like tomatoes, intense planning is necessary. I am hoping to create a plan that would outline all the loans that should become available the end of 2019 that will allow us to do things like irrigating the land, and purchase equipment to make our farm more efficient. I also want to include in the business plan, if there are any energy or regenerative farming lending opportunities. LITERALLY like learning a new language but thankfully Ryan takes the lead on much of that.
· We are looking for a fun networking event for April ☺
· AND we are working on a pretty awesome Bee blog that will post around Mother’s day
Be Kind. Be Positive.