Pag-Omar Farms Market

Marian and Oliver Butler own a farm that has been in their family for more than a century. They have a dairy operation (over 50 cows) in Wellsboro, Pa., where they also grow and harvest corn, hay and soybeans. They have been cultivating and selling sweet corn from their farm for over 20 years.

The couple began selling other local and regionally grown vegetables and fruit to see how they would do. The success and public response overwhelmed them, and they realized they needed to be more efficient, both with time and labor spent.

That's when their bank, Citizens and Northern, recommended they contact the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Tioga & Bradford outreach office for consulting assistance.

Part of their own plan was to create a new business, Pag-Omar Farms Market, Inc., and build a permanent place to store and sell their produce. They also wanted to add some income-generating sidelines such as ice cream and deli meats.

Because of the size of the project, Marion and Oliver knew they needed financing. They began working with an SBDC consultant on a business plan. She assisted them with a financial analysis of all their direct costs to acquire or manufacture and sell their products.  

With the consultant's help, the Butlers put together figures for the financial projections using their farm records for existing product lines (corn, vegetables and fruits) and researching the new product lines (ice cream etc.).

The consultant also provided some spreadsheet templates so the two could play with “what if” projections on income, cost and employee payroll calculations. She also assisted in market analysis and found PennDOT traffic volume studies that were useful to them.

The Butlers' experience with the SBDC led them to great success. They completed the business plan and were successful in obtaining the financing to complete their project and begin their expanded farm market sales.

They managed to obtain loans totaling a quarter of a million dollars. Two full-time and six part-time positions were also created, allowing them to further expand their business.