Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Social Network

The wife and I went to a seminar last week that was sponsored by the MN Dept. of Ag. The seminar was a focus on internet marketing. The topics covered included; web advertising, web site organization and placement and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Obviously for those that follow us you already know that we are on the web. Not only are we on the web, but the wife, Chris, does a great job of keeping everyone up to date on what is happening. She is always posting new information along with new pictures and our blog. We were amazed to find that a small percentage of web sites are NEVER updated after they are posted. We appreciated the fact that the seminar was geared to the small family farm such as ours. We were amazed at the ingenuity of some people. One of the most popular growing concepts is the CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. The concept is that as a community member you buy a share into a larger garden that is cared for and managed by the farmer and you as a comsumer help support the farm by buying a "share." The share allows allows you to join in the harvest of vegetables that are available throughout the year. You get a delivery of whatever is ripe that week. You get the benefit of the fresh and healthy vegetable choices without having to even get your fingers dirty.

We practice a similar program here, except our shares are the 100% grass fed beef shares that our customers buy from us. Oh, by the way, check out our new Facebook page, go to Facebook and look up Roundrockfarm.

New opportunities

Next week shall be an exciting week. We sell our product at the local food cooperative, . The Crow Wing Food Cooperative is moving. After over 30 years in the same location they have secured a new space. What a great opportunity for us to reach out to more community members. Teh new space will nearly double their current space. Other advantages will be a new parking area and a location on a corner at a set of stop lights. No more busting traffic to make it there. The old location was located about 6 feet from a major highway. This made entry and exits interesting. With the traffic whizzing by were quite careful to not step too fast out of the door. Also, you had to make sure that your kids were kept close.

They will be moving in this next Friday and will need all of the help that they can get. Volunteers are needed and appreciated. Call the Coop today (218) 828-4600

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Truth in advertising...

We have always weighed out the cost of raising 100% grass fed beef versus grain fed beef. The cost to raise grass fed is more expensive for you have to have the right stock that will finish properly on a grass fed diet and the time involved. if we choose to raise "grain" animals, we could have finished stock in 14 months. Being that we raise true 100% grass fed beef it takes us 24 months. Nearly twice as long to get the same size animal. Why? Because grain, mainly corn and soybeans, makes cows fat quite quickly. In return, the meat from grain fed cattle will make you fat quite quickly as well. Being that we have to feed them for 10 months longer we have higher input costs that unfortunately relates to higher costs at the store. Locally we have been working with a number of retail outlets to get our beef in the hands of the average consumer. Imagine our surprise when recentely we saw an add for "grass fed" beef for sale at a greatly reduced rate than what we could sell it for. The seller must have very low overhead or has not done the research into how much it actually costs to raise and maket their animals. So, it was time to do some research... What did I find? Someone with a creative marketing technique. It was a simple formula, buy animals from the local livestock sale barn at a reduced rate, put them on grass for a few months and what do you have? Grass fed beef? Yes, that is what they were touting, animals that had "eaten" grass were now considered grass fed. Keep in mind that these animals were purchased at a sale barn, a place where everyone's letovers and unwanted animals go. Where you have no idea what they have eaten, what they have been injected with and even what breed they are.

Well, nothing we can do about it, expect to be true to our customers, present and future. We will NOT be cutting any corners, we simply want to provide the safest and purest organically raised meat possible. What more could you ask for? Maybe seconds!