Saturday, September 30, 2006

Where's the Beef?

Well, I went to the big city of Des Moines yesterday (yuck!) and I wasn't able to find any new work boots. I'm going to try a hardware store in a small town south of here next. But, I did do a little research when I returned home last night. I would like to present it here for discussion...

Here is the Choice Steer/Dressed price for Friday, Sep. 29th (Iowa/Minnesota Average):

1,060 over 80% choice cattle delievered ... Average weight dressed 878 lbs. ... Average price per 100 weight $137.65 (or $1.38 per lb.)

Now, here is the price for Choice Beef/Dressed from Wholesome Harvest out of Iowa:

Sorry, no weekly numbers ... average weight is up to the farmer ... Price per 100 weight $245 (or per lb. dressed is $2.45)

There you go. Now, of course there is a lot more to it than just the numbers. You need more space to pasture cattle, there is more care needed to keep them healthy, and many other things. But, those numbers at least give me a starting point for the finished product.

That's just some of my research from this week. It keeps me interested and always wanting to find out more!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Time for Boots

I went to go work for my uncle on the farm this past Monday. We didn't end up spending a lot of time working (trip to the Ethanol plant and a stop at the Practical Farmers of Iowa offices), but I guess we did do enough work to blow out my trusty old hiking boots that I bought in 1995. So, now I'm in search of some new boots. I've been doing some research and window shopping on the internet and I have found out one thing for sure ... good boots are expensive! I am limiting myself somewhat because I would like to purchase my boots from Cabela's because of all my "Club Points". I have found a pair that may work, but I would really like to try them on first. So, if we make a trek to Des Moines tomorrow like we are planning I am going to find some to try on.

  • Georgia Boots

  • In other news :: I mentioned my stop with Uncle Loren at the Practical Farmers of Iowa office. It seems like it could be a very useful resource in my farming journey. I believe I will be joining the group so I can take part in some of their classes and field days. Also, I believe they are very good at connecting beginning farmers with people who are already doing it and in the know. I have added a link in the links section at the right to the PFI website.

    Saturday, September 23, 2006

    The Very Beginning...

    I am going to use this web log as a journal of my journey into the world of farming. I hope that it can be a source of information for other people that have the same dream that I have (full-time farming). Since I do not have any immediate family that is currently involved in farming I am looking into the potential of alternative farming that does not take as much land as conventional Iowa row crop farming. Some of the ideas that I am researching are berries, cut flowers, pastured hogs, free range broiler chickens, organic eggs, sheep, and goats. I want to have a diverse group of farming endeavors in order to have things producing income at all times of the year. I am not looking for a hobby, rather I'm looking at farming as a full-time job.

    Some of the biggest questions that I am facing now are in the realm of finances. How much capital will it take to get started? How much cash-flow will be needed, and where will it come from as we start? How much can I expect to make with certain crops or livestock? And, how and to whom will I do all of my marketing? As I find answers to these questions I will post my results and thoughts. Also, if you have questions ... or even answers ... feel free to contact me!
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