[Market-farming] Selling of Meat in Minnesota

Alex McGregor waldenfarm at sprintmail.com
Mon Jan 13 20:31:22 EST 2003


Maybe I wasn't very clear in what I said about marketing.  I was not
suggesting that farmers spend less time marketing.  I have always said that
farming is at least 2 full time jobs- marketing and producing.

What I said was that setting up and operating a "buying club" type of
marketing for beef requires far more time spent messing with details than
other ways.  So why spend lots of hours a week marketing and record keeping
when you can sell the same amount for the same price spending fewer hours
marketing.

I do an analysis for everything on the farm- time and money spent versus
income from that endeavor.  An increase in effort and expense doesn't
guarantee an increase in income.  This is said quite elegantly by Marcie
Rosenzweig, "Don't try to manage something you're unwilling to measure."

To summarize- spend your production time and money in areas that produce the
most dollars per hour.  And, likewise, spend your marketing time and money
in areas where you get the most sales returns for your investment.  I see
too many farmers, craftspeople, artists, etc. spending most of their
marketing time & money trying to make some "great marketing idea" work and
then get bitter because nobody recognized how great the idea was and didn't
buy their product.

Robert Farr wrote:

> Alex, I suggest farmers need to spend *more* time marketing, not less.
>
> As an old boss related, "Marketing is only good works well-promoted."
> And we need to promote our good works to the members of our community.
>
> We also need to spend time providing more than just food - we need to
> add value.  This can take many forms.  You can make sauces and salsas,
> as I do.  You can make wreaths, as my wife does.  You can make garlic
> braids, as Hugh Lovel does (Hugh also has written a wonderful book, "A
> BioDynamic Farm").  You can create a farm attraction (and speak and
> write books), as Joel Salatin has done.
>
> Central to all these endeavors, though, is good marketing.  It's the
> only way to stand out above the crowd - and with all that's going on
> nowadays, we need to stand even higher!
>
> We need to take a certain portion of every day and spend it marketing.
> To do otherwise is to reduce income possibilities.




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