[Market-farming] Direct Marketing Deliveries

Rick Williams mrfarm at frontiernet.net
Thu Jan 16 18:23:45 EST 2003


Jim Vaughn wrote:
> Could you possibly change your sales area?  We are about 30 minutes from
> 2 towns of  almost equal size(@ 60,000).   We tried for two years to sell
> meat at one farmer's market and found only bargain hunters and a general
> suspicion of our product- safety, quality, and an attitude that you buy
> meat at the store not from a farmer.

We do not have access to even one 60,000 population market for farmers
market. The entire La Crosse County markets which are in the 100,000
population range for the greater La Crosse area (about 35 miles from us)
prohibits the sale of any meat or even eggs. You almost think there is a
vegan influence:)

We tried for one summer to market at several La Crosse area markets with a
small amount of produce and mostly trying to market our beef with brochures
to hand out and from talking directly with the customer. Only managed to
pick up a few and some of those were people who we often knew
professionally.

This past summer we tried the same thing at the local Viroqua farmers market
which is only 6 miles from the farm. We had better but still limited success
trying to convince people to buy off the farm or larger quantities. We did
sell a much greater amount of produce for the season, about $1,500 worth so
it was economical for us to market in this manner.

Then when we went to a state government/extension sponsored meat direct
marketing workshop, they made it clear they wanted us to sell AT the market
and are bending over backwards to allow us to do this. So we did. And the
results were pretty darn good. We completely sold out the first time, but
since there were only a few weeks left in the season, and the last week was
too cold to attract many customers, the sales declined. But it appears that
we may be able to move $100 to $150 worth at each market unless we get some
competition. Right now we are the only farmers that sell meat at any farmers
market in the area.

Sincerely,

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





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