Thursday, February 16, 2017

Looking Back at 2016 & Looking Ahead at 2017

2017 is our tenth production season. We have come a long way in ten years and yet there are many challenges ahead. 2016 was a decent year, but not a great year. Overall sales were generally down a little over 2017. There is a national trend away from direct to farmer sales and we are not immune. We have heard of sales declines from many other local producers, to the point where I know of about a half dozen that are considering other alternatives. Our sales decline was 7% from last year, with cattle breeding stock sales helping to stabilize things. Producers who have held steady continue to offer more and more product selection and additional services. There are limits of course to what is possible, but we continue to reevaluate our product offerings. Our pricing and products page has been updated for 2017 and contains some products we have added as well as others we have left off in the past.

Starting layers back up again has been a noticeable burden on the business with start-up costs of around $2,000. (building, chickens, feed, & cartons). The chickens have not moved into their new home yet, but they are laying full bore producing at least 15 dozen a week. When eggs stopped being a regular product for us, it hurt business a lot, and I never imagined it would be three years before we would be back into that enterprise. 

House Wrap is On & Windows are In

Door is on & Exterior Steel Starts Going Up & Roof is On

Steel Going on the West Wall

Interior Insulation and Wall Sheeting Going Up

Electrical being Run

A quiet little change around the farm was the purchase of a newer truck. We purchased a 2011 Toyota Tundra because we wanted to be able to tow the tractor on the flatbed truck (Tundra is a good pulling truck), we wanted to update from the gold 1997 Chevy because she had reached 189K miles and rust has been pretty hard on her. She might stick around at least for a while because a beater 4x4 truck still has some value doing jobs you would rather spare the new truck. However, that meant that Grandpa's old blue truck 1991 had to go. I found her a good home.

New 2011 Toyota Tundra

2007 Chevy Farm Truck Gets to Stay for a While

Good Bye Blue

I would have liked to make more progress this month, but my children have been intermittently sick and have made me intermittently sick as well. They are looking better today, but neither one is back to 100% yet. 

"Daddy I Don't Feel Good"

How Two Sick Kids Share a Couch

Stay tuned as we will try to get our production schedule for 2017. When we have delivery dates figured out, we will share them with our customers. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you all in 2017. 

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