Dylan Strike didn't grow up in agriculture. But, sometimes you just have to go where your heart leads you. Dylan grew up in Pinedale, Wyoming, near one of the country's largest on-shore natural gas discoveries in the early '90s. Through his teens, Dylan watched the landscape change. He saw the impact on his small, rural community and vowed to make a difference someday. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine being a farmer.
Originally, Dylan went to Montana State University to study land rehabilitation, but quickly changed his mind after hearing a professor talk about agroecology. Proactively solving problems with sustainability was much more attractive to Dylan than dealing with land-rehab issues. He put research into practice on the MSU student farm. After graduation, he tested his business skills managing a small organic operation, nearly tripling gross sales. With a confidence boost, and small loan from his family, Dylan leased four acres to start his own business in 2014 at the age of 23.
Strike Farms quickly made inroads into the local food market selling organic mixed produce, cut flowers and potted plans to local retail stores and directly to consumers through farmers' markets and subscriptions. Dylan's research and meticulous attention to detail was paying off, yet to meet growing demand, he had to expand. Owning land outright was a dream until the day a man approached Dylan with a 10-acre farm to sell, complete with outbuildings, just two miles down the road.
If you haven't been to Bozeman recently, real estate is booming, right along with land values. With little to no collateral, Dylan approached private investors to pull the financing together, but the process was slow. Dylan had a fast, hard deadline. That's when he remembered meeting someone at a conference who shared her passion for helping young producers buy land.