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JimMeade
Veteran Advisor

Selling Local Food

Anyone out there thinking of getting into selling food locally?  Farmers markets, local restaurants and so forth?  Chickens, eggs, vegetables, fruit?

 

Would it fit in to your operation as far as timing, labor availability, markets, equipment?

 

I suppose selling hay to horse owners is one way "sell local".  Maybe growing wheat for the straw works in some states.  But I dont' see myself picking tomatoes.

 

http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/search-profit-some-conventional-farmers-may-go-local?utm_sourc...

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3 Replies
Blacksandfarmer
Senior Advisor

Re: Selling Local Food

My wife and I started selling pumpkins last fall. We sold around 1,300 pumpkins and plan to expand a little this year. We just had 2,500 ft of fence installed and will start selling freezer beef next fall. On top of raising pumpkins and cattle, we will put out 130 acres of corn. We sell corn, soybean and alfalfa seed part time, and we both have off farm jobs. We are busy, but the farm diversification has been fun.

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hardwayfarmer
Veteran Contributor

Re: Selling Local Food

We've sold freezer beef and pork for years, following in my parents' footsteps.  It seems harder now than 30 years ago, as so many people don't cook much at home anymore.  Not much demand for pot roasts on Sunday after church.  Meat customers come and go.  Some are faithful and we can count on them every year.  Others cut back as the kids leave the nest.  So far, we've never got hung for any meat after it was processed.  We had one near-miss several years ago, but a co-worker of the one who backed out stepped in and took that beef quarter.  We've had some success selling feeder pigs to people to feed for their freezers.  The bto's don't want to mess with selling like that, not to mention the biosecurity issue.  We try to make sure the pigs are wormed and vaccinated twice before they leave here, so they're ready to go to work.  Last year the buyers were bugging us before the pigs were even born!  We ran out of pigs before we ran out of buyers.  You definitely have to work at marketing. Word of mouth still seems to work best.

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Re: Selling Local Food

I was going to ask,

 

Anyone into forms of premium beef?  Hormone free? Antibiotic Free? etc.?

 

I could see myself feeding 20 to 100 head someday, thinking a smaller scaled operation could better adjust to something such-as Antibiotic Free.

 

Ideally if there was a label looking for supplies, and I didn't have to do the marketing myself.  Anyone involved in anything like that?

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