Have Goat, Will Travel (And Make Money Too!)

As a military kid, Renard Turner moved around a lot—not the kind of life that’s conducive to witnessing the rhythms of farming, nor one that affords much of a chance to be involved in it. Nevertheless, in California, where his family settled for a few years, Renard got a chance to join his high school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, and he excelled in the agricultural science classes the school provided. He went on to work a couple of decades in the medical field but still held the dream of farming in the back of his mind. After a time living in Washington, D.C., he and his wife decided to move to the country and found the verdant, rolling hills of central Virginia calling them. Gordonsville is ideally located within a two-hour drive of several large population centers—great for anybody trying to make a living direct-market farming, but far enough away not to just be an overpriced bedroom community full of unaffordable “ranchettes.” The Turners started out as homesteaders, trying to be as self-sufficient as possible and even building their own house from scratch. Back then, just as today, credit was tight for purchasing farmland, so they initially financed the farm purchase through owner financing. Both Renard and Chinette worked full time off the farm as they were getting things started. Chinette worked during the day, and Renard worked at night so he could spend his daylight hours getting the house and farm built. Chinette still works off the fa

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