As a young and beginning farmer with fewer acres than many of his peers, Gavin realized the importance of modifying his business plan to stay competitive.
A first-generation farmer, Gavin Spoor started growing traditional row crops, field corn and soybeans on six acres in Martinsburg, Missouri, when he was a first-year student at the University of Missouri.
However, as a young and beginning farmer with fewer acres than many of his peers, Gavin realized the importance of modifying his business plan to stay competitive. “I thought about vegetables, but I didn’t have time to sit by a roadside stand all summer,” Gavin said.
That’s when an idea “popped” in his head: growing popcorn. Given its similarity to the original crops he grew, he could use the same equipment and market it in largely the same way.
So, in his second year of farming, Gavin planted 15 acres of popcorn. “It went really well. I’ve been selling the heck out of it and we’re expanding this year,” he said.
Never Too Young
While he may be new to row crop farming, Gavin’s relationship with Farm Credit dates back to his high school years when he secured a loan from FCS Financial as an FFA student. A few years later, when he decided to start a row crop operation, Gavin again looked to FCS Financial, but this time for an operating loan.
Throughout Gavin's four years in college, he continued to incorporate more and more land into his business. Today, the six acres he started within 2016 has grown to roughly 600 acres. Gavin says he has found that the success of his operation depends heavily on the strength of his business plan. “It all revolves around what you’re spending and what you’re bringing back in. So find someone that can help walk you through that.”
Dan Rhodes, Gavin’s loan officer has been that person. “He really helps me go through the cash flow analysis, which helps me decide what my best option will be,” Gavin said.