Monday, April 25, 2011

Goodbye Middle Man

A year ago when we said goodbye to our Milk Middle Man and decided to sell our raw milk DIRECT to customers we knew we would meet many challenges. When we also decided to sell all our meat DIRECT to customers we assumed even more risk and challenges. Nothing to stand between us and our products The biggest challenge of all have been, I believe, finding others who have done the same and are willing to share what they have learned. Farmers are workers and few are writers so the How -To books are limited when it comes to promoting and advertising what your farm has to offer.

Joel Salatin of course has done wonders in this area as has Lynn Miller but we need more. We specifically need state specific how- to -books. I continue to search for one consolidated source, a well written book about the rules, regs and best advice for direct farm marketing in our home state of Illinois. Does anyone know of such a publication ?

Pop-Up Children. Just one more way to draw attention to your farm  sign.
It might also draw the attention of DCFS . I'm just sayin'

In the meantime, I plug away at all the marketing ideas that have so far worked well for us. This blog, our web page, our Facebook Page,  our listings on The Stewards of The Land website, along    with,  and   (Now was that blatant self advertising or what ?!?) All good but not enough when your sole source of income is from the products of your farm. We considered hiring a plane that pulls your big banner across the sky but its out of our budget (for now). And besides, a marketing technique that causes our cattle to run through fences seems counter productive. Anytime a farmers herd of critters shows up in a neighbors well landscaped yard, one looses a few "direct-marketing" points. So we settled for the ever basic but still effective (we will see) Farm Sign. 

Look for it   (on County Rd 3200 and The Melvin-Chatsworth Blacktop) and drop in for a visit to our store. Open everyday 10 AM to 5 PM except Sunday when we are closed. We'd also  love to just take a minute and tell you about our farm, share with you our reasons for keeping animals outside on pasture, and show you the swollen bellies of our THREE Red Wattle gilts ready to give birth any day now. We wouldn't even mind selling  you some of our certified organic meat, a bag of popcorn and a bar of handmade soap. If you insisted.  (Thanks JD, good to see you guys)


  1. I agree with your thoughts - it is difficult to find consolidated information. We are at the very beginning of the process - reading everything we can find and searching for a farm in VA. I would love a book about real farmers and their real finances....e.g., Farmer A has 25 acres in VA and makes $ amount per year with eggs, chickens and veggies. I think the key is the internet, blogs and meeting folks willing to share information. Thank you for your post (and your site).

  2. Anon.
    You are welcome and thanks so much for reading my blog ! Often it is the financial part that I want to hear details about but farmers tend to keep that info tucked up against them very closely. Even just trying to find out what another charges for a half beef in this area is difficult (ours is 3.50 a pd) so I turn to the internet and find the price for the same in Oregon but this is not Oregon. But with time comes trust and with trust comes information.

  3. Windsweep Farm near Dixon has pasture raised beef @ $4# (she's on Facebook). It's not organic, but she direct markets too.

    Meadow Haven near Sheffield has organic grass fed beef 1/4 at $3.95# plus processing cost and 1/2 is $3.70# plus processing.

    HTH and thanks so much for your wonderful, entertaining blog. I've become a regular stalker.

  4. Oh man how I love regular stalkers ! Thanks so much for sharing the price info. And for anyone out there intersted in our prices they can found on our website.

    We sell pork by the half by the whole and by the piece. Roaster pigs, breeding hogs and feeder hogs. And finally, taking names for our next beef(s) going to the locker late Fall 2011

  5. Cool!
    Maybe know Brian will quit missing the turn to your place!! lol'
    See you in a couple of weeks.