Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Child labor...again

Running a farm is hard work. Running a farm business is grounds for involuntary committment. Millions of books exist about non-farm businesses but finding an -all-in-one source for a farm business has been tricky. I suppose if we had just picked ONE "niche" it might have been easier to find resources. But Nooooooooooooooo. We chose, organic beef production, organic pork production, raw milk production, carcass sales to individuals and restaurants, meat by the piece to the grocery store trade and individuals, Red Wattle Breeding Stock production, and our most recent venture...a farm store.

I once whined to one of my sisters about feeling overwhelmed. Her response, "Donna, you've been overwhelmed since Kindergarten." In other words I am the one who made this big straw bed so I better lie (lay ? leigh ?) in it.

With so many venues comes paperwork. Some of it required by regulating agencies but some of it required only by me. For example our raw milk customer list.

                     Allana logging in milk sales for the day.
 A great way to improve your printing skills.

The State of Illinois sees no reason to survey us (we've asked) so we survey ourselves. We follow the rules for a Grade A Dairy just as we have for the last 11 years before IDPH decided raw milk sales were too scary for them to deal with. Even though it is legal to sell raw milk in Illinois and even though we have the smartest group of self-educated customers ever, I still track who buys milk, how much and when. Unless a customer wants to be incognito then by all means he can be. But in the very unlikely but still remotely possible event that something should be wrong with our milk (tank gets too warm for example) I want to be able to contact the affected customers. Funny thing how IDPH feels raw milk is unsafe, yet they legalize the sales and then yet again they reguire absolutely no inspection or milk testing of raw milk dairies. Which reminds me, it is time to send another milk sample off to Daily Labs in Peoria. Results are available to any of our milk customers. Ask and you shall receive.

1 comment:

  1. AgroBiz. Without an army of form fillers and accountants. I remember doing interviews years back and being told by a knowledgeable and farsighted personnel agent that anyone with farming in their background was a step up the pile of resumes. You know their going to be hard workers - I never thought about the business acumen required until she mentioned it. One of the hardest working electricians I hired was a farm-boy. My wife and I run a small business that created databases for small and mid size business. I have thought of doing an application for the farmer/business but it is so diverse I think it would be extremely hard to do. So many different agencies and forms..