[Market-farming] Farm Stand Stories, Build it and they will Come?

Rick Williams mrfarm at frontiernet.net
Thu Jan 9 23:14:45 EST 2003

Misty Ridge Farm is located on a State Highway with moderate traffic levels.
Many of the locals need to go past here in order to get to the Mississippi
River for recreation. We have sold from the farm for two years now. But it
is very rare to get someone to stop by and buy our beef who is just casually
driving by.

Most of our customers are either repeat customers from the immediate area,
have seen our meat at the local food coop and can buy it for less on the
farm (or want specific cuts not sold at the coop), or are customers who have
come from the Farmer's Market customers.

We are roughly on target with selling 5 head the first year, and about 8 the
second. This would be our low end of target range. I really had expected to
do better than that. We expect to increase sales some this summer due to
being able to bring beef to the Farmer's Market. Last year we only started
doing that for the last few weeks of the market. At least we will have
something to bring no matter what happens with the weather conditions and
our garden produce:)

Ideally, we would like to sell around 20 head a year, maybe a maximum of 30.
Once we get that large, we will have some decent cash flow although it means
a lot of customers to deal with. So less than 30 would be OK. We are not
doing this for our total income because no matter how much we sell, one only
has to work with the numbers, the amount of hours in a week, and there is a
practical limit for the relatively low return.


Rick Williams
Misty Ridge Farm
Direct marketed dairy beef and produce
(also dairy heifers and beef stockers)
Viroqua, WI

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