Monday, November 16, 2009
The Farm is a Business
Yesterday while I was watching a trailer for Fresh (the movie) I saw this clip from Joel Salatin in the related video sections of YouTube. This is the first time that I have come across this particular interview and I found it quite fascinating. Really, it gave me a lot to think about as I think about ways to ramp up the farm as a business and increase our sales and the number of livestock we raise.
One of the phrases Mr. Salatin used that I really appreciated was, "credible local food system". "Credible" is a word that I find myself thinking about a lot lately when it comes to the ministry of the church, and on the farm. One of the ways that something can be deemed credible by the surrounding world is if it is done with purpose and with excellence. I think it would be easy for our farm to be quaint ... selling some pork to our friends, neighbors, and a few other customers. But, to be credible it needs to be about more than some cute pigs running around and a few cows relaxing on the pasture. It needs to be a solid business that is intelligently run and serves up a great product.
Obviously Polyface Farm (and Mr. Salatin) is light-years ahead of us when he is talking about the importance of hiring and bringing in business minded people. And, he is more than light-years ahead of us when he mentions having successful million dollar farms. But, I think there are some great nuggets of wisdom there when it comes to the way you look at your farm. There are things that I need to think about at least ... Is the farm a retreat for the evenings and weekends (it's a lot of work for a retreat)? Or, is the farm a business that needs a business plan (I should really be working on that) and a model that promotes well thought out and planned growth?
If you have a chance, I encourage you to check out this clip and share your thoughts!