Monday, January 18, 2010

Small Farm Profitability – Part 2



I have started small, marketed what I had (once I figured out what worked for us and our customers) and grew from there. I am still a long ways off from where I want to be, but I see our plan developing before our eyes. Only a few short years ago, Cindy and I would sit across from each other over coffee and talk about decisions that impacted hundreds or thousands of dollars; now we are talking about decisions that reflect 10’s of thousands of dollars. It is still growing and I can see a day soon where it will be a family business that can employ our kids and their families should they decide to go that route. Start small, stay as small as practical and grow when you have to…that would be my advice to anyone starting out in farming. The other key in my mind is to produce a product that fills a niche market. Something that people are willing to pay a premium for. Be it Organic or Local or Boutique…fill a need…do something that you love to do…charge a good amount for the product.

What to charge is always something we struggle with. We are often torn between wanting to provide people with "deals", but in the end it costs us a great deal of time, money and energy to produce that beef and market it. We tend to look at it from a standpoint that we have a good product that is better than what can be found in a supermarket and it is still a litte less expensive. I suppose that is as good of a "deal" as anyone can expect. I think that farmers are always prone to undervalue what they produce...why is that?

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