Greetings from Indiana! My name is Joanne Mosher. My husband Paul and I are small farmers here in Northern Indiana. We both have a passion for farming and dream of making our living solely from the farm, with no other outside employment.
Browsing through the Stockman Grass Farmer newspaper, we came across an ad for Eat From Farms. Fast forward a little and now our dream of full-time farming (not having to have a job off of the farm to pay bills) is now coming together. I am finally not frustrated about our farming future. Our farm is paying us back. With Eat From Farms, we are actually able to make ends meet, and we are excited about where our farm is headed!
So here is the rest of the story…
On our farm, we grow corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and some cover crops on 173 acres. We have raised some cows and some pigs. For years, we have sold our calves fed out on our own hay and corn to some friends and neighbors by the hanging weight by the half or quarter. This has always helped counterbalance the cow expenses and been a little cash flow (in, but right back out of course).
Our customers have always raved about our meats, and we knew they were great, but we didn’t always get them all sold. We absolutely hated selling our extra fed out animals to the sale barn. We didn’t make back the price they were worth and the quality just seemed to be lost in the mix.
After much frustration, we decided to either sell the cows and the farm, or finally make some money farming and raising cows. So, the planning began.
We made a goal to make more money per animal that we raised. We knew that retail sales -- selling our meats by the cut, and working with a processor to have value-added products like ground beef patties and sausages -- was where the money was. We needed to provide food directly to more families. We had read about Joel Salatin’s Polyface operation, but how do we copy that? How do we develop customers in suburban areas that can afford to pay for our quality meats? How do we get local customers to come to our farm to pick-up orders?
And so, the next thought that we had was to be like the other farmers who sold meat by the cut, going to farmers’ markets 2-4 days every week during the warm season to several different surrounding cities (because our area is so very rural). We investigated the markets, days, times, and rules, and we were not even sure where to begin. Who has time for that? We are like you - we are busy people! Paul works, farms, mows cemeteries, and takes care of the animals. I help Paul farm, work off of the farm as a soil scientist, raise 4 kids, and did I mention that I am homeschool mom extraordinaire!
We had NO time for farmers’ markets! And, we hadn’t even factored in that we would be loading and unloading everything a few days a week to attend hit and miss sales. But, we are stubborn, and we wanted to make a living at farming, so our minds were made up. In the spring, we would do farmers’ markets.
Then, thank the Lord, our Stockman Grass Farmer arrived (because we are interested in this grassfed thing), and Paul saw an ad for Eat From Farms. The ad said, “Selling Meat? Or Wasting Time? 15 minutes can save you 15 years of disappointing sales!”
Wow! What did we have to lose by checking out the Eat From Farms website? So we did. It looked genuine, there were real farmers on there, and it was only $150 to sign-up!
I was going to spend more than that to sign-up for farmers’ markets. We hadn’t even started sending in our registration fees for the farmers’ markets, but I was already feeling disappointed about our prospects. So, I called the telephone number, and the rest is history.
I cannot even explain to you how much of a blessing that George Duggan from Eat From Farms has been to our small family farm. Right from the start, George truly had an interest in our small operation. For only $150, we signed-up for Eat from Farms. The system has been so easy to use, and we are not the high-tech kind of people. It is farmer friendly and specifically designed to generate a profit for your farm, no matter how large or small.
I would not be able to manage our new booming meat sales without the Eat From Farms system! Our customers (oh yes, it really works, because we do have many customers now) love the system because it is so easy to see what there is to order and to place orders. And, George is so readily available to answer any of our questions, and the questions of our customers. It is amazing!
After signing up with Eat from Farms and working with George, we now have a system in place for our small family farm to operate successfully, like Joel Salatin’s Polyface operation. Not only that, with George, we got a free marketing consultant as well. He has been there to bounce our ideas off and to be a free advisor for our new farm growth. That alone is worth way more than the initial investment.
The Eat From Farms system works. We now attract customers, local and from afar, to come to our farm in our rural county to pick up pre-paid orders. We are not a fancy farm, not even an organic farm, and my house needs new siding, but the customers don’t care. We are transparent in how we raise our animals, and that's what matters.
Thanks to the EFF system, we now have 2 suburban neighborhood delivery locations, where our customers are excited to come pick up their meat orders each month. And, we have not done a single farmers’ market, nor do we see that we will have to waste our time doing farmers’ markets. Our customers are people who are busy like us, so they don’t even go to farmers’ markets.
Our farm sales went from minimal to outstanding in the matter of a few months. Our friends, family, and neighbors are amazed! I am so excited about the future of our small farm! Paul and I are very close to becoming full-time farmers! Our children are excited as well, and we are taking small steps to expand our farm into areas that interested them. They see the potential of our small farm now and see how they too can be farmers when they grow up. Another generation of farmers from this small beginning, it is priceless!
From one farmer to another, if you do nothing else, call George and see what he could possibly do to help you start or expand your farm, whether you are doing farmer’s markets or not. Your time and your money are so valuable, so don’t waste them down a dead end dirt road! We are so thankful that we called George. You will be too!
Holy Cow Farm Fresh - Monon, IN