Richard Wiswall and his wife Sally Colman own and operate Cate Farm in East Montpelier, Vermont. Richard has been farming there for 33 years, growing and selling organic produce, seedlings and medicinal herbs.
Richard likes to share his knowledge with other farmers, and often gives talks and workshops on the often neglected business side of farming. He consults with farms to increase profitability, and also wrote The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook to help farmers with the business end of farming.
One of Richard's main goals is to see more happy, less stressed out, and prosperous farmers. Check out the Workshop Page for the popular workshop topics that Richard offers. Workshops can also be tailored to fit your group's needs.
In addition to workshops, Richard offers consulting services, either in person or via phone and email. Click on the Farm Consulting Page for more info.
For more info about Cate Farm and Richard, visit http://catefarm.com/
"Richard's combined experience, knowledge, and "go for it" attitude gave us the confidence we needed to take our farm business to the next level. His direct approach to understanding the numbers behind the numerous farm management decisions any farmer has to make really shows what's important, simplifying those tough decisions so they are not so daunting. From hands-on field management efficiencies to solid enterprise budgeting and business planning, Richard enabled us to grow our farm from a part-time venture to a full-time profitable farm business." Christa Alexander, Jericho Settlers Farm, VT.
"We were often ready to throw in the towel before Richard came and helped us better organize our paperwork and planning. We had a good idea about the profitability, or lack thereof, of some crops, but not all. Going through the steps to analyze our work with Richard (who actually knew the toil first hand and had rates for tractor work) gave us the machinery we needed to build a better farm and reshape our goals. This in turn has helped improve our sales, and decrease the amounts of stress that seem to be intrinsic to farming. We want him back soon to help update our business plan and goals for the farm. Simply stated, Richard is necessary for all small farmers and anyone thinking of starting a farm."
Rosemary Croizet, Berry Creek Farm, VT.
"Richard Wiswall is living proof that you can make money farming; he has done it for over 30 years. I want to say he did it with hard work, which is true, but plenty of farmers work hard and fail. What sets Richard apart is his ability to farm smarter by identifying and focussing on the most relevant information when making decisions. If your farm business is not meeting your goals, or if you are not even clear what your goals are, Richard can help get you on the path to prosperity." Peter Young, VT.
“He pressed home the point of knowing where the money is coming from and where it’s going to. Real numbers, relevant budget examples, being detail oriented, the concrete nature of all the information – it has never been as clear to me as Richard has made it. He took the fear out of crunching numbers!” CSA farmer, WI.
What Others Say
"Richard Wiswall has helped my business become more sustainable. Both his workshops and his book have enabled me to hone my skills in financial analysis, record keeping and all-around professionalism. His firm belief that farms can and should be financially successful provides motivation and encouragement for all of us who make our living on the land."
Wellspring Farm, Marshfield, VT
"It has been such a pleasure working with Richard over the years. Not only is he knowledgeable about the business of farming, he tempers the hard facts with humour and enthusiasm. Non-judgmental and generous with his time, we would highly recommend him to anyone wishing to start or fine-tune their farming venture."
Joy and John Primmer
Wildstone Farm, VT
"Richard is an excellent speaker and knows the ins and outs of farm finances. The examples we worked through as a group were great!”
CSA farmer, WI
Richard Wiswall has long had a practical, effective, and user-friendly approach to business management for diversified farms. He’s shared this approach by consulting with individual farmers and through his excellent book aimed at organic vegetable growers. As the Extension vegetable and berry specialist for Vermont I have seen first-hand how his advice has aided the success of farms, from start-ups to those with lots of experience. In person and on paper, Wiz has a lively style that engages farmers in thinking clearly about a topic that is at the core of farm viability.
-Vern Grubinger, VT