Other Farmers

Click to learn about other farmers' transitions.
  • Mike Weaver

  • Mike Lanigan and Edith Barabash

  • Jerry and Steve Carroll

Mike Lanigan and Edith Barabash Transfarmed a Cattle Ranch into a Vegetable Farm

Mike Lanigan was a third-generation cattle rancher for 30 years. Four years ago, he partnered with ranch employee Edith Barabash to transition the ranch to a thriving organic vegetable farm and animal sanctuary. Their 28-acre vegetable farm at Farmhouse Garden now serves as their primary source of income.

Farmhouse Garden covers 100 acres, with 40 used for both the vegetable farm and the sanctuary. Experienced in growing vegetables before the transition, Mike expanded his garden by several acres to grow and sell more vegetables.

Farmhouse Garden Organics sells its vegetables at the Village Market in Thornhill, serving hundreds of residents every week. Mike and Edith farm any vegetable that will grow in Ontario, including leafy greens, beans, peas, and roots.

“Switching to growing vegetables is a great alternative, and it might require some training and research, but it’s so peaceful and a great way to still be connected with your land while making a living.”

—Mike Lanigan and Edith Barabash

“We’ve found support in the most unlikely of places—like other ranchers in the community who originally seemed completely against what we were doing, but after learning more actually ended up donating hay.”

—Mike Lanigan and Edith Barabash

Farmhouse Garden also hosts events to educate others about the farm and the animals. Mike and Edith have found connecting with their community incredibly meaningful and inspiring.

Learn more about
Farmhouse Garden here.

The top four percent of farms account for 69 percent of U.S. farm sales, while the bottom 76 percent of farms make up a mere 3 percent of sales.

Forty-five percent of U.S. farmers have a negative net income. The median net poultry farm income was $13,140 in 2018, meaning half the poultry farmers in the country earned less than this amount.

Four percent of U.S. farms control 58 percent of farmland, while 13 percent of U.S. farms control 0.14 percent of farmland.

Fifty-five percent of poultry farms have debt, while 67.7 percent of dairy farms have debt.

Family farm Chapter 12 bankruptcies grew by almost 20 percent from 2018 to 2019. Ninety-five percent of dairy farms are family farms. There were 3,281 fewer dairy milk operations in 2019 than in 2018.