By Jimmy Dula, NFU Intern
David Whittaker, Owner of Oak Meadows Farm in Ferndale, WA, successfully raised $5,365 through a Barnraiser crowdfunding campaign. David raises pastured hens, turkeys and quail for meat and egg production. Read through this short Q&A to find out more about his experience accessing capital to grow his operation.
Why did you choose to raise money through crowdfunding as opposed to other funding mechanisms?
I really wanted to stay out of debt, which meant getting a loan was not an option. I think I had been reading about crowdfunding at the time and decided to give it a try.
What did you raise money to do?
I raised the money to help pay for a state inspected mobile poultry processing unit that I could use to process my own poultry and rabbits as well as poultry and rabbits for other local farmers.
What was your most successful reward given for donating to your campaign?
My most successful reward was if you gave $100, you would receive two broiler chickens or four dozen eggs. I had three times as many backers choose this reward as any other.
Did you look into other Crowdfunding sites and if so, why did you choose Barnraiser?
I looked at using Go Fund Me, but decided that Barnraiser looked like a better platform for a farm-related fundraiser.
What was your experience like on Barnraiser?
Working with Barnraiser was great. They had an excellent team that guided me through every step of setting up the campaign.
How did you promote your crowdfunding campaign?
I promoted it through my email customer newsletter list and through my farm Facebook page. There were also a couple of articles about my campaign in a local monthly farming magazine. We also contacted friends and family to let them know about the campaign.
What is one thing you would do differently on your next crowdfunding campaign?
I would try to get more publicity for my campaign by getting articles about it in local newspapers and by talking to food and farming bloggers with the goal of getting them to write an article about my campaign. Barnraiser also has some other ideas for promoting your campaign.
David Whittaker is a Whatcom County born and raised farmer who has been farming for four years (since his mid-teen years). He is committed to raising quality foods for local customers in a way that is organic and sustainable following the principles of Joel Salatin. His parents work alongside him and support him in his endeavors.
Visit David Whittaker’s crowdfunding page here.