Dickie Bird Farm

Ross County, Ohio

Dickie Bird Farm

Ross County, Ohio

Ivory and Kipp Harlow spent over eight years dreaming about their future farm.

While in the military, they thought about and planned, visualized and plotted the life that they would lead when their service commitments concluded. Kipp spent his childhood on a livestock operation, first pigs and later cattle. Ivory grew up on a horse farm that they marketed as an agritourism destination. When they met, both knew that they wanted to return to rural America to become farmers. 

Today, Ivory and Kipp live their dream. Together, they produce meat goats and forage grains in rural, Appalachian Ohio. 

Getting started

When it came time to think about financing their dream farm, Ivory and Kipp turned to Farm Credit. The team at Farm Credit Mid-America supported the couple as they purchased their land, partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) loan guarantee program. Ivory said, “It was a huge advantage for us that the FSA loan guarantee was available, as well as the FSA program that helps veterans like us finance farmland.” 

Ready for a new challenge

Faced with a new career path and a new lifestyle, some people would be nervous, but not Ivory. She was ready for the challenges that she knew farming would bring, pulling on the strengths she had honed and practiced during her service. As a veteran, she said, “The labor doesn’t scare us. We’re used to doing hard things and so it is a little less intimidating to start and to reap those rewards.”   

Both the hard work and the tangible results of that labor made Ivory and Kipp’s transition to the farm feel natural. She said, “I think that a lot of people in the military are driven by outcomes. Even if your job isn’t a labor job while you’re in the military, seeing the results of what you’re doing makes it a seamless transition for military members that want to farm.”