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First:

James

Last:

Pochurek

Co-Applicant / Spouse:

Jennifer Pochurek

Email:

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Past and present farming experience:

While living in Florida, I purchased a 140-acre tract of woods and pasture in 1998 and began restoring the native longleaf pine, removing exotics, and establishing a small herd of Florida Cracker cattle. Additionally, I created habitat for bobwhite quail, wild turkey, black bear, and wood duck, (and alligator by accident) as well as other species. I enrolled in multiple conservation courses and programs and earned a USDA Forest Steward designation for our work both on the property and promoting land conservation to others via property tours, articles, interviews; I was also selected by Men's Journal and Jhane Barnes (fashion designer) as their Environmental Ambassador of the Year for this work and traveled to the Rolling Stone magazine offices in NYC to give a speech and accept the award. Since then, we have established a crop of sugar cane that we harvest and process into sugar cane syrup for sale at a local museum's pioneer day celebration. We still maintain this property with the assistance of cattle lease holders and friends.

We are not farmers; however, for the last 24 years, I have been co-owner and President of SEARCH, the largest archaeology and cultural resources management company in the world (www.searchinc.com) and I have a practical understanding of conservation, land management, amassing teams of experts, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Now that we have moved to Maine (in July 2018) we are ready to embark on an agricultural enterprise for the benefit our our family, community, and Maine, and to set an example that other professional/non-farmers can (and should!) embrace agriculture as a means of conservation.

Counties being considered:
  • Cumberland County
Types of enterprises considered:
  • Apple/Fruit
  • Beef
  • Berries
  • Flowers
  • Goats
  • Grains
  • Hay/Forage
  • Pasture
  • Row Crops
  • Sheep
  • Sugaring
  • Vegetables
  • Woodlot
Total Acres Desired:

100-250 (more or less)

Tillable Acres:

20%

Wooded acres:

50%

Acres in Pasture:

20%

Acres in Pasture:

20%

Acres in Orchard/Fruit/Perennials:

10%

Organic:
  • Yes
Farm structures needed:
  • Barn(s)
  • Storage
  • Shop
  • Other Housing
Equipment needed:

Utility tractor with implements

Arrangement(s) considered
  • Standard Sale
  • Owner-Financed Sale
  • Lease with Option to Buy
I am interested in farms with Conservation Easements:
  • Yes
Here is a summary of the vision for my farming future and/or business plan:

No, I do not have, nor have I ever had a business plan, but I am good at making ventures successful.

We moved to Maine to open an office for our archaeology firm and to enroll our three children (6, 10, and 12) in the Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport. We seek an agricultural/conservation enterprise so our family, and especially our children, can continue to engage in a hard-working, land-based business, and to contribute to the local economy. We also seek to preserve the agricultural character and viewshed of our new community. Design, architecture, and aesthetics are of paramount importance to me, and I also look forward to crafting the structures and the infrastructure so they blend with their surroundings, honor the history of the region, and quietly incorporate efficient modern technologies.

Being brand new to Maine, we are admittedly novice at both the opportunities and the infrastructure needed; however, we are certain that we can solicit the expertise of others to span this shortcoming. If needed, we are happy to offer the property to farmers via an inexpensive lease so we can learn the local trade. We are fortunate to not need the farm for immediate income generation. Our goal is to have the farm self-sustaining within 7 years, and profit generating within 10. Initially, we are interested in hay, beef cattle, goats, cheese, apples, berries, corn, timber, and flowers.

As with our archaeology and underwater archaeology work, we envision utilizing media and social media to promote our enterprise, but more importantly to empower others to undertake a similar agricultural and conservation undertaking. We have our own production company (SEARCH Screens) and we have had a series on History Channel, are currently featured on Nat Geo's series Drain the Oceans, and we are meeting with Science Channel this week to launch a 6-episode series about the settlement of the North America. We are being invited to return to Titanic in 2019 and this will be televised, too. If suitable, we could also envision a science-based documentary about first generation small-scale family farming in America (or just Cumberland County).

We will either improve an existing structure or we will build a new net zero home on the property as our primary residence.