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OUR STORY

Fall 2003

My family moved to the farm when I was in the 3rd grade. It was an abandoned century old dairy farm that needed a lot of work to become habitable for a large family. The house had lay vacant for a while, so we had to do a lot of work both inside and out to create a safe place for our family to live. Growing up on the farm taught us hard work, how to be creative, work together and how to do more with less. We raised goats, chickens, pigs and rabbits. We learned to care for things other than ourselves, and to use what we had to get where we wanted to go. We often sold goats or raised / sold pigs to pay for our expensive travel team fees. There were times we had what we needed and times we went without. Nevertheless, my time growing up on the farm was nothing short of amazing. When we moved in, was the coolest thing of all time and I wouldn't trade any of it for a second. 

Spring 2005

I was 11 years old when my parents decided to level out some land behind our old barn, and build a baseball field. It was a crazy idea, but somehow they pulled it off. It was awesome. For about 4 years, the ball field was used by my brothers and I. Our dad would hit fungos, and throw us bp until it got dark out. My mom would rake and mow the field. We even had some team practices out there. Once I got to high school, my parents both were working full time, and the upkeep of our field became a challenge. We eventually let the ball field grow over, got rid of almost all of our livestock, and were just skating by financially as a family. Raising four boys, who were all playing 3 sports definitely isn't an easy task. But my parents somehow would always make it work.

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Spring 2016

Fast Forward 11 years. I return home from my senior season of college with my arm in a sling, and my dreams of getting drafted out the window. Read more about my athletic journey here. Money was tighter than ever, and I didn’t know what my next move was. My parents were in talks of selling the farm. I didn't have a car, or more than 100$ to my name. I had Tommy John Surgery in July 2016, and was in a cast on the couch. I was thinking about how to get back to throwing & training again. I walked out to our barn a few weeks after surgery, and thought to myself, what if we did it all here? What if we were able to build this barn into a facility to heal, and learn how to throw again? Why not? I didn't have a car to drive to the gym consistently. I didn't have the funds to afford a gym membership. We had this little old dusty barn, but if we worked hard on it, it could be something one day. So that's what we did. We built a squat rack for 20$ out of wood, concrete, and home depot buckets. I saved up and bought a cheap set of weights off Craigslist for like 70$. We were using milk crates and coolers for bench press. We got some old turf out of a dumpster to put on the floor. We got some rusty weights from a local scrapyard. We didn’t have much, but we had enough to get started working out and moving again. My brother Jack and I convinced my parents to not sell the farm, and hold on a little longer.

Summer 2017

One Year later, I had 3 more surgeries, and 7 more scars on my body. I had just got back from an internship out at Driveline Baseball in Seattle Washington. Once I got back from Driveline, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I didn’t know if it was going to work, or if people were going to ever want to train with me. I just had a feeling that it could be awesome if we sent it. So we proceed to fucking send it. We worked  tirelessly for a week straight, cleaning, painting, building, and organizing our barn into a weight room. Our Dad helped us a ton with building things and getting stuff to fit in the right places. It was hard work, and we were both dealing with injuries at the time. I was limping around on a bum hip, and Jack had just had major shoulder surgery on his non throwing shoulder. By the end of that week, we were gassed, but we had built The OG Velo Barn!

Summer 2017 Cont.

Right away we got 2 or 3 clients, looking for throwing instruction. We started training them, and by our social media presence, we were able to get a few more kids for the fall. We then made some serious upgrades to our facility pretty quickly. This whole time, we had no outside funding, no investors, no loans, no help besides ourselves. All the money we initially made (which wasn't much) we put right back into building the farm. We acquired a few rolls  of  turf from my high school football field. We bought a cheap old batting cage for 300$ off craigslist. We built a massive plyo wall from scratch. We hauled clay from a mineral depot in our old beat up 1994 F250 and built a pitching mound. We slapped some horse stall mat strips on our backstop and painted it green. The Velo Farm was starting to take shape.

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Winter 2017-Spring 2018

As we moved into the winter months we had no source of heat that was cost effective for us. So we built a barrel stove, and started heating our barn with logs we gathered from our woods. By that time, my marketing plan began to work. The plan was, “Lets just make these kids good at baseball, and people will come.” And our kids were dominating. We had the Top 2 players in the MIAA (A) high school conference, and developed a low 90’s University of Maryland commit. We also had developed a handful of other pitchers and got them recruited to smaller schools in the state of Maryland. Not bad for our first year in business! The whole time this was going on, I was running our social media accounts, and posting the progress of our kids, as well as the process of building the farm. We started to gain some traction on Instagram and Twitter, and had enough interest to get 10 new clients to sign up for the upcoming summer training period. I knew we had something real, and never looked back. The farm has been my full time job ever since, and I wouldn't change a thing. 

Spring 2024

Now, fast forward to the present. 7 years later. We are still here, and better than ever. It has not been easy. In the beginning I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was all risky. There was nobody showing me how to do anything, no boss, no example, no guidelines, I had to figure it out on my own. There have been difficult situations to navigate, problems to solve, and lots of setbacks along the way. It has only made us better, and I am grateful for it all. We’ve greatly improved our facility’s infrastructure, became a household name in the baseball training industry, and have helped send over 50 kids to colleges since we started. Our instagram account has exploded over the years and we now have nearly 60k followers. Millions and millions of people viewed our content, and have been fascinated with the vision I had back in the summer of 2016. 

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If I didn't tear my UCL I  never would've had this opportunity. We would have most likely sold the property and my family would have moved elsewhere. The idea of building the farm kept me going throughout all of my rehab. Adversity has been our greatest teacher, and as cliche as it sounds, everything does happen for a reason. I am extremely thankful for my parents' support in helping build the farm. I couldn’t have done any of this without my wife Megan, for helping me during all of my surgeries, believing in me, pushing me, listening to all my crazy ideas, and so much more. Also, to my brothers Jack and Braden for being my two sidekicks / crash test dummies in all of this. And my brother Tyler who is a golfer, but we still love him! Got to shout out Joe Smeton and Jack Colagiovanni as well. And can’t forget Peyton Parks who has been my right hand man for the past 2 years. They all have played an integral part in building the farm and helping all of our athletes get better. The Velo Farm will continue to grow, and we will continue to develop our athletes. 7 years in, but I feel like we are still just getting started with this thing.

Dream Big. Work Hard. Stay Focused. Never Give Up!

-Ryan

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