Jump to content
Another dumb thing I need to do is test for antibiotics every time I use a batch of milk. On a small scale that costs $8 and takes about 20 minutes to preform. I do not use antibiotics for the most part, and when I do the cows get put elsewhere until the test free of antibiotics. It is a waste of resources, but a requirement of using milk.
logging of all raw materials used in food production, what they are used in, how they are used, cleaning logs, production and distribution logs. That way, if a supplier of mine has a recall, I can recall all of my product that used the input to produce. Or if in routine product testing we find a problem we can log that. Every wheel of cheese is accounted for, if we some how do not account for a wheel of cheese, then the FDA has an issue with it. Production logs, that show how the product was produced, PH levels, when the process starts, stops, when you flip the cheese, when you go out and everywhere you go(just kidding on the last two).
We can either do random testing for Listeria M. and eradicate our pet bacteria (most plants have it living somewhere in it or wait for the FDA to come in find it and do a DNA fingerprint on it, so that if there is a Listeria outbreak in the future they can pin it back on us. Used to be that the average number of cases found in a listeria outbreak were 70 today its about 5 because of better laboratory technologies and the DNA fingerprinting of the bad guys.
Logging of pest traps that are located around the facility and so much more.
We are starting to log temperatures on product when we load it for delivery and when it arrives, put that in a database, so that we show proper handling of food. There is so much to it, but listening to the talk from the woman who had 0 listeria cases in the general public, but opted to throw away a years worth of cheese, because they were doing some things wrong (no controlled entry point and using brushes that were sterilized (not well) to wash the rind on the cheese and the Listeria was up in the pockets where the bristles were. They did extensive teasing to find out where it came from. They found that the employees came to work in clean clothes as directed but then went to pick up the milk from the parlor. While waiting they petted the cat, which appeared clean. That was the vector that the bacteria got into their cheese facility. Once in it hides in every nook and cranny. Being an airborne bad guy, washing your floor with water will send it flying to a new hiding spot. So vigilance in trying to hunt down and kill the stuff is needed. Going around and testing surfaces for it to ensure it is not there, hiring an outside company to audit our process' and procedures and test for it also needs to be done, and when the FDA comes looking we hope that we have not overlooked some hole in a piece of equipment that it is residing in.
But today, in speaking with someone about what we need done on a very part time basis, is going to end up a full time job when all is said and done as weekly inventories of the "cave" will be done to inventory what we have versus what was made and sold to ensure we can provide evidence to the FDA that we do not have stuff going missing. I can tell you for one, that is daunting when you are doing this yourself.
Stan, they do do a pretty good job. Though there are many times when it has not snowed for days, Elk River road warms up later in the day and is slushy, which would be a very good time to clear the road. With the current schedule, it really does not allow that.
A couple years ago the road was down to one lane because of drifting snow at 2 in the afternoon. This past Sunday, the road was approaching that in the afternoon again.
Again the county does a good job most of the time, but there set schedule, really does not allow them the flexibility to plow in the afternoon on roads that are warming, most of the time. I have driven Elk River Road so many times pondering the fact that gee, there is 4+ inches of slush as it has melted and what a nice time to plow it. The 6-3 schedule explains why it never is done as they do it in the morning when it is nice and frozen again. Having plowed the road early, there is no need to return.
Not talking about the majority of county roads, simply the arteries that carry the majority of traffic, those ought to be better cared for than the other roads. Monger lives in Hayden, has CDOT plow his path, on a much different schedule and probably does not get to experience the same conditions as others, living in the Banana belt.
It seems that on non-snow event days, that the road and bridge crew ought to start a little later in the day. This as the snow is getting ripe to be removed from the road about quitting time.
In addition, it seems that the County could purchase a couple of 4X4 trucks for the sheriffs to drive in the winter equipped with plows and plow the main roads as this past Sunday and another one in the recent past, even more so, were coming close to being one lane roads. That is thinking too far outside the box and not within a tightly managed schedule, that while maybe impacting traffic less while the plows are on the streets might just make the roads more hazardous.
If there is not a series of snow events lined up days in a row, that one driver in each district (or if all are able to work - no one sick - that the extra driver work a later shift in order to plow the major roadways later in the day so the snow does not get packed on the road prior to the next mornings "scheduled" plow. Might also try and look at the hourly weather forecast as the snow may arrive at noon and so working from 6-3 really lacks in clearing the roads. But then again that might interfere with a routine for those who, in the winter, should be keeping the roads more passable.
So I am listening to a talk from Bleating Heart Dairy that had to throw away 12480 pounds of cheese, because of their "pet" listeria in their plant. That was a years worth of production and really probably close to a near death sentence for a small producer - essentially 240 lbs of cheese production per week that is someone milking 5-10 cows a week, in there case about 25 goats. The cases of listeria have gone down, but the ability of the FDA to trace it back to your individual plant have gone way up, increasing ones liability - thus insurance rates. We are looking at spending a lot with environmental testing to find any in our plant and kill our "pet" - fortunately, I spent way too much money making the facility very easy to clean with few crevices except on shelving which some day will be replaced when I make a paycheck. But in listening to the story of how they were doing everything right and the lab they used did not test properly and so gave them a false sense of security.
Anyway, given the stories of people in the valley drinking brownish milk, the food born illness outbreaks because of poor sanitization really make one want to ensure that we stay vigilant, in our cleaning (90% of our job - plus the tracing of product, though it really makes it hard on the small farmer, thus the teaming up with another that is passionate about what we are doing here as it was draining my life and making me less than a happy person).
The retailers want that in place also. There recently was a raw milk herd share individual in Colorado that got lots of people sick because he did not clean well. The milk act went into effect in September and eliminated the exemption, if I'm not mistaken. sales also primarily have to be the end user. The risk of listeria is too high if you are not diligent and it is very hard for a small operator to do everything as it is without the added paperwork.
yep might have saved a grand over what a private contractor pays versus $120k, might have been able to buy 3 machines for the price of two. In addition the used units were probably rentals that were not that old, I saved about $8000 on a 200 hour tractor - 15%. Having bid government contracts, yes there is some savings but it's not that massive, when compared to the price of these units.
Used is relative as they still were $200000+ units. It is not like they were salvage units. New equipment breaks also and the units will not be used to the extent a contractor would.
the more regulations the are, the larger/more consolidated business' become. Small business' have a much harder time knowing/complying with all the new rules and regulations. Large business' can have some one in the regulators office to ensure compliance.
The rules and regulations added in regulating food production as part of the open wording of the food safety modernization act, make it difficult to access retail distribution channels. one almost needs a half time employee added to comply with the added rules and regulations. Tracing/logging/ source verifying inputs and when a product is made/processed records of each production batch are retained and an ability to trace all units of that production to where it was distributed are maintained so a recall can occur if you find you made a mistake or one of your suppliers does.
Much of it is good regulation, so that one is maintaining good mfg practices. It just makes it hard on the little guy especially as the corporate producers (far less sustainable) are afforded lower capital costs, a lower tax burden as a result of supplanting labor with tech, the ability to capture some "waste" streams and profitably market them that the small guy is not.
I've got to drop it, but as the Ag Alliance received federal money to develop their marketplace, I am in essence paying for part of their operation.
Collaborating in some form would probably facilitate developing a local food shed better than the marketplace which I find cumbersome to participate in. On your one offs, whats to say that those people with their cottage industry products could not have utilized the facility as a drop point, if some form of collaboration were sought out.
Oh well, just another example of the do gooders failing to understand that in helping someone, via the taking of taxes to anthers benefit, they harm others. The open space program is another great example, which I would love to utilize to help with my operation. However, I see that in my taking money from everyone that if I am successful, I ought to return the money that I was given to help someone in the future, if it works out for me.
That is the art of choosing winners and losers (if you are going to help someone win, then you ought to have an interest that is repaid). While I may seem a little this or that way, I am a pretty laid back and forgiving individual - as long as one is not harming me in ways they can not justify.
Was sitting in my tractor that was not running properly because of the cold determining a plan to feed and figured it out so cut the post short.
Anyway, the headline of the article states that the Marketplace bridges the gap between consumer and producer. It does not for this producer and while it connects the end consumer to the producer, it makes it more difficult for any critical mass to be gained in order to actually raise the water levels for all producers.
You see Scott, I have done this for a long time, had an opportunity to sell 100,000 pounds of ground beef to vail resorts, had the opportunity to sell about 1000 beeves worth of parts to Whole foods and plenty of other opportunities. Most were well beyond my reach because while I could sell parts here or there the risk of needing to sell the whole was too great to undertake.
I have gone to the ag alliance discussions on why we need more processing and yet, if there was demand 365 days a year for more USDA processing then it would probably come about - based upon discussions with a processor. I have taken semi trucks of beeves to the front range to process because it was a third of the price. As I am a very inquisitive person, I pondered the reasons behind it for a long time. The first is the lack of processing in the winter, when it is hard to finish beeves then. The other is the offal, from the cows, which I believe i could actually turn into a very good profit center, which the large plants do not have the ability to capture.
But then again Scott, the author of the article must know all, because they wrote the article on how they are bridging the gap between producer and consumer. I need to make a living and the marketplace is not going to achieve that. It also will help to contribute to making it more difficult for those trying to make a living selling beef or pork.
If the goal of the ag alliance is to bridge the gap for products produced in Utah, Idaho or even the front range, then by all means they are bridging the gap. They could have used some of the $100,000 grant funding for their project to discuss why those who do not participate don't and figure out how to bridge the gap and work towards a system that works for all as I could care less about beef sales, I will generally have a little hamburger, but I am hoping to land an account with whole foods and Natural grocers as that will ensure I am attaining the level of sales I need to make a living.
While it would be nice to market the majority of product within 200 miles, with the potential of collaborating with other local producers to help keep all of our distribution costs down. I just do not see that coming to fruition. I have offered a low hanging fruit to the ag alliance in being able to market to Natty Gro's on the front range jointly as I will be going there anyway without any response as they are happy doing what they are doing, which does not really help out ag.
Last login: Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2017 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.
Tablet version |