Organic Certification questions

RDH rdhopkins at
Sun Jul 21 22:15:01 EDT 2002


The $30 for the Homestead Foods site is for the metal gate or booth sign,
postage, and phone calls to confirm that the subscriber is who they say they

I created this program for three reasons. 1)  I felt that family farms
needed a brand as the organic label will not provide the same significance
as more industrial food suppliers enter the organic market.  2)  Consumers
want branding.  The orange star logo on the farm sign is a brand I would
like to see on every farm gate in the country that wishes to sell directly
to consumers.  3)  I cannot keep a running list of farmers that have
products available for purchase, but I get dozens of calls a week from
consumers looking for all kinds of farm products.

The project is not a commercial venture for me.  I have put in many hours
marketing the program to producers.  If we find after a reasonable amount of
time (2 years) that the farmers don't wish to support this inexpensive way
of advertising, then we will focus our energies elsewhere.  The site will
stay up as long as I am capable of funding the service out of my own pocket.
I believe in it that strongly.

Advertising is the most costly aspect of being in business.  It took us
three years of committed efforts to build a direct marketing farm raised
meat business.  Our American Pasturage website only exists because of my
wife's commitment to my efforts.  She does web sites professionally.  That
site would have cost thousands of dollars to create if we had hired it done.
As producer participation grows, she will refine the Homestead Foods to make
it more professional.  I can only do so much with my limited knowledge of
creating and posting the pages.

If the sign costs were less expensive, the subscription costs would have
been less.  The cost of the sign is $23.00 and shipping averages $5 - $6.
That leaves me a dollar or two to make phone calls to county clerks or
agency offices to confirm the subscriber identity.  There is nothing in the
$30 for my time and efforts.  I hope you will relay this to others who may
have suspected something different.


Rick Hopkins
American Pasturage, Inc.
P.O. Box 190
Marionville, MO  65705
(417) 258-2394
For the American Homestead Foods Certification Program go to
Also check out the new Graziers Forum at:
For other information concerning grass fed beef see
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-----Original Message-----
From: Willie McKemie [mailto:mckemie at]
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 6:30 AM
To: Market Farming
Subject: [market-farming] Re: Organic Certification questions

On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 11:46:57PM -0500, RDH wrote:
> Another way to help identify yourself is to subscribe to the American
> Homestead Foods Family Farm Project.  It is there to help family farmers
> regain their identity to the consumers.
That SEEMS like a good idea.  It also seems unlikely to reach critical
mass and become known to consumers since there are few entries in the
data base and the $30 fee is likely to keep the data base small.

I would suggest that they keep the fee small or zero until they do
reach critical mass.  Since the cost of putting up such a website is
only about $100/year, the fee is grossly high unless they plan to spend
some money on verification and it seems that they do not.  Or maybe I
did not read closely enough?

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