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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.
They do sell cheese third party from out of state, if they are supporting yampa agriculture don't you think they ought to try and figure out how to work with those producing it locally.
By the way, I participated in the coop this one was modeled after, voiced concerns before live wells grant funds started it and have stated numerous times that the model makes it so easy for one to jump in that it makes it hard for those producing beef, trying to make a living difficult and simply allows one to augment income with it.
I have participated in farmers markets for over a decade, and am trying to retail my product regionally as I have concerns about making a living without going after larger population centers.
The marketplace is going after the lowest hanging fruit in the retail consumer, in steamboat. While the ll
What is so irritating is that over two years ago when I tried to make home deliveries of milk I thought it would be a great collaboration with the coop. Received zero support, and were many reasons to stop trying to do deliver milk to ones doorstep.
Went to an ag alliance meeting, as I decided I could not complain if I did not try to get involved, on top of my 80 hour weeks in the summer, last winter. I tried to set up a meeting to discuss distribution, which I stated I could not make on a Monday, and was held on a Monday, so it became apparent that they were not concerned with people's issues with their set up.
Yet again like a person going back to a dog that bites them I offer support again to work with them and their producers and I am told we like the direct to consumer model, which when products are being brought in from elsewhere, delivery companies etc, a 10% commission to ag alliance from shoppers and sales tax is collected by the ag alliance I fail to see the high horse they ride upon. I am trying to work well with them but they have their ideas and are not open to discussing any potential opportunities to raise the water level for all boats.
This article seems to indicate they also do not like potential local competition as opposed to collaborating with those trying to make a living in ag.
It is unfortunate, as a former long time donor to the Ag Alliance, that the ag alliance seems to desire to sell goods produced outside of the state and valley. With a product that needs to be net weighed , generally packaged in small quantities as it has a short shelf life unlike frozen beef, lamb, pork or the like, it is very difficult to operate and hope to make a living within the desires of the "marketplace" - which is not just supporting Yampa Valley products (thus the yampavore tag line), and importing products from outside the region.
I offered to the Ag Alliance the ability of their producers to collaborate within, my storefront as many others are doing. I requested that products would be marketed under one brand, in a cooperative manner, as having direct marketed beef for over a decade in the region,
i have seen one producer enter the market and another leave the marketplace as it is very difficult to actually gain a critical mass to be able to market the way it needs done.
If the ag alliance is truly a non-profit trying to connect local producers to consumers they might try to converse better with local producers as to why they do not feel their model works. I can not schedule my time around the hope of selling a couple hinder dollars worth of product that has to be delivered between x and y, net weighed, and individually bagged, with additional product being produced daily under strict guidelines from the federal government.
I still ask that the ag alliance people try to work with local producers, not those from outside the valley, without requiring a donation to do so... as I have been paying to work, in order to produce nutrient dense foods for too long, locally.
Again I offered to help the ag alliance to bring forth, local food via my storefront, which apparently they looked at and couldn't make it financially work (I may not either - but have a lot of cheese to sell and wages to pay) but working together seems to make more sense then their views of me being competition to their "marketplace" which I have a hard time working within their time frame and limited sales that it will provide.
I guess they see me as competition (which I produce so little of product that competes with them, have tried to get a ground beef cooperative to distribute throughout Natural Grocers, helping my and the bakeries distribution costs). Oh well, I do not see the Marketplace as working towards yampavores and simply trying to recreate the wheel.
Yep ken, universal basic income would leave little incentive to work for many. It does provide a base income to cover taxes paid on up to x income. though if one eats and lives in a humble way maybe Half is covered. Who knows. I do know if needed a diet of beans and rice is going to be far cheaper than what most consume, if from scratch.
Last login: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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