Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Power to the Farmer
Grand daughter Allana demonstrates how Keith and I felt last night when we took a little time from working to evaluate and assess some of that same work. Specifically we were looking at raw milk sales. If you recall we've always sold raw milk to customers who wanted it, in addition to selling it conventionally. It was only a handful of people a year ago. Milk prices went up and down and then down again and down some more. At one point we were receiving only $9 for every ONE HUNDRED GALLONS OF MILK we produced. Our expenses however ,increased steadily each year as prices of hay and grain increased.
So we shifted gears and began selling more raw milk direct to the consumer who came to us with thier glass container in hand and in coolers. Our conventional buyer Foremost, disapproved even though it is legal to sell raw milk in Illinois. They told us to stop. We told them to take a flying leap. We broke up. Rings were returned.
Now it is 5 months later. We sell all our certified organic milk directly to the consumer. "ALL" at this point ranges between 1/3 and 1/2 of what we produce. The rest is fed to our pig crop. They love it. Keith often finds a queue of swine outside the milk house each morning, wrapped in their sleeping bags, listening to their I-Pigs just wating for the milk heaven to open its doors. They slurp up the leftover milk as fast as Keith can give
slop it to them in the aged yoghurt like consitency it becomes after letting it stew a day or too. Yum and Yum.
This fantastic whole milk converts into one tasty hog. (They also get hay and grass and grain as no one can survive on gastric joy alone. Just ask Mama Cass) We cannot keep up with either the restaurant or private customer demand for our milk fed pork. We are beyond grateful for this problem.
And oh yeah, when we calculated our income for milk sold directly to customers it comes to $46 per HUNDRED WEIGHT A decent price for a decent amount of hard work. Still far less than what the customer would have to pay for organic milk in the store and still far more than what these two farmers used to get paid for the same amount of work on the conventional market. Power to the farmer.
P.S. Later this week we will be calculating expenses. This blog article may be recalled at that time. Print a copy while you can.