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Old 02/26/13, 09:44 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North St louis county Missouri
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hog-'farming-stages-a-comeback' article from 08,

I am not a hog farmer yet, still in the planning stages. Which is how I came across this 2008 article in the local alternative newspaper about pastured pig farming in my state Missouri. It's a long, but good read.

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-...iners-rejoice/

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Old 02/27/13, 09:36 AM
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That was a good article. After a tremendous amount of salesmanship, a bit of luck, 6 years of losing money and the bright spot is that the 54 members get a share of the $1000 profit. Well, goul-lee, ain’t they the successful ones?
Were you thinking of joining this group? Adopting their bloodlines, their management requirements, sharing their profits, absorbing their losses?
Were you impressed by the relentless salesmanship this man has devoted his life to? Do you wonder about the other producers that had samples in that taste test that finished second? Were these “failures” willing to give up or are they constantly nipping at the heels of Heritage’s market share?
Over the years I’ve seen many bad ideas become successful for a while. They did it through that powerful tool: salesmanship. When everyone is breaking even on sheep, a good promoter made a fortune marketing Angora goats to people ready to make their fortune doing the same. I read about the cattle breed that could take care of its self, live without shelter, get fat on weeds and brush, yet raise a calf, protect it from predators. Lots of folks believed it and there was a good market for Scottish Highlands for a while. Emu was a real money-maker for a few, pushing egg prices into three figures. The meat was tasty and healthy, too. Often times, it isn’t a matter of something being good or bad, it is the salesmanship that makes the difference. However, the trouble comes when you expect to ride the tide of that salesmanship, but are caught when the tide goes out.
Perhaps you were intrigued by the thought of raising your own pastured pork. Turning pigs out on a grassy pasture and expecting a return is naive. Even those the purport to pasture raised pork admit to feeding a lot more than grass.
12 week old chicken will have more flavor than 6 week old ones do. 3 year old steers will have more flavor than a yearling. A year old pig will have more flavor than a 6 month old. But, they will also take a lot more feed and will often be tougher or dryer. Grass is cheap, but slow. Grain is more costly, but faster.
Since salesmanship is the tough part, if you want to sell to others, you have to find what they desire that they can’t get elsewhere. Most sell their pork based on price. Beating supermarket prices is nearly impossible. Some sell on the idea of humanly raised (and throw in the statement “hormone free”, even though we all know pork doesn’t have added hormones anywhere), as a marketing tool. This provides a reason to pay more. Then there is word of mouth. You provide a superior pork product and they spread the word. Now, if you want to step it up a bit more and get into grass fed pork, it will slow down growth and change the flavor to something your customers might have to acquire a taste for. Some may pay extra for a leaner (dryer), older (tougher) and different (gamey) taste, just knowing that it was fed a diet that didn’t contain genetically altered corn.
Lots of choices. If there was an easy answer, everyone would already be doing it. Buy, hey, you are close, go visit some of those CoOp members, see how they manage. Ask hard questions. Learn.
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Old 02/27/13, 10:59 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ellsinore, Missouri
Posts: 1,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerted View Post
I am not a hog farmer yet, still in the planning stages. Which is how I came across this 2008 article in the local alternative newspaper about pastured pig farming in my state Missouri. It's a long, but good read.

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-...iners-rejoice/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=mnrJudh0KJg

More on the link above on Russ Krenmer and pig farming.
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Old 02/27/13, 04:49 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North St louis county Missouri
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Originally Posted by haypoint View Post
That was a good article. After a tremendous amount of salesmanship, a bit of luck, 6 years of losing money and the bright spot is that the 54 members get a share of the $1000 profit. Well, goul-lee, ain’t they the successful ones?
Were you thinking of joining this group? Adopting their bloodlines, their management requirements, sharing their profits, absorbing their losses?
Were you impressed by the relentless salesmanship this man has devoted his life to? Do you wonder about the other producers that had samples in that taste test that finished second? Were these “failures” willing to give up or are they constantly nipping at the heels of Heritage’s market share?
Over the years I’ve seen many bad ideas become successful for a while. They did it through that powerful tool: salesmanship. When everyone is breaking even on sheep, a good promoter made a fortune marketing Angora goats to people ready to make their fortune doing the same. I read about the cattle breed that could take care of its self, live without shelter, get fat on weeds and brush, yet raise a calf, protect it from predators. Lots of folks believed it and there was a good market for Scottish Highlands for a while. Emu was a real money-maker for a few, pushing egg prices into three figures. The meat was tasty and healthy, too. Often times, it isn’t a matter of something being good or bad, it is the salesmanship that makes the difference. However, the trouble comes when you expect to ride the tide of that salesmanship, but are caught when the tide goes out.
Perhaps you were intrigued by the thought of raising your own pastured pork. Turning pigs out on a grassy pasture and expecting a return is naive. Even those the purport to pasture raised pork admit to feeding a lot more than grass.
12 week old chicken will have more flavor than 6 week old ones do. 3 year old steers will have more flavor than a yearling. A year old pig will have more flavor than a 6 month old. But, they will also take a lot more feed and will often be tougher or dryer. Grass is cheap, but slow. Grain is more costly, but faster.
Since salesmanship is the tough part, if you want to sell to others, you have to find what they desire that they can’t get elsewhere. Most sell their pork based on price. Beating supermarket prices is nearly impossible. Some sell on the idea of humanly raised (and throw in the statement “hormone free”, even though we all know pork doesn’t have added hormones anywhere), as a marketing tool. This provides a reason to pay more. Then there is word of mouth. You provide a superior pork product and they spread the word. Now, if you want to step it up a bit more and get into grass fed pork, it will slow down growth and change the flavor to something your customers might have to acquire a taste for. Some may pay extra for a leaner (dryer), older (tougher) and different (gamey) taste, just knowing that it was fed a diet that didn’t contain genetically altered corn.
Lots of choices. If there was an easy answer, everyone would already be doing it. Buy, hey, you are close, go visit some of those CoOp members, see how they manage. Ask hard questions. Learn.
Same guy has since started a vegetable csa here in St Louis. He seems to be doing a bit better finacially. He is relentless, I would have given up a long time before he did.

I am not going to be a pig farmer really, I have three acres and need to get rid of that grass. So far hogs seem like the animal to me. I do not plan to make my living from it. I am a self employed painter and plaster repairer, so I would have more time than most to take care a few pigs and maybe their babies. Not going to do it until next year, have about 40,000 things to do to this house and land before then.

There is a local guy who sells heritage pork through his website, facebook page, I am meeting with him tomorrow. http://www.macslocalbuys.com/
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Old 02/27/13, 05:39 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North St louis county Missouri
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"Same guy has since started a vegetable csa here in St Louis."

not sure if this is the same guy, but they are related somehow.http://ninenet.org/archives/11767

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Old 02/27/13, 05:58 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ellsinore, Missouri
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Originally Posted by farmerted View Post
"Same guy has since started a vegetable csa here in St Louis."

not sure if this is the same guy, but they are related somehow.http://ninenet.org/archives/11767
Thanks for the link. I do plan on talking to the man up there.
I sold a lot of organic herds a few years ago to a market in St.Louis at a good price.
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Old 02/27/13, 07:03 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North St louis county Missouri
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Originally Posted by gerold View Post
Thanks for the link. I do plan on talking to the man up there.
I sold a lot of organic herds a few years ago to a market in St.Louis at a good price.
to a market? which market?
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Old 02/28/13, 08:39 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ellsinore, Missouri
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Originally Posted by farmerted View Post
to a market? which market?
There were two markets that were owned by the same people. West St.Louis. The old part of the town. They had an open market displays outside with veg. etc. Also sold to one herb supplier in the same area. I have a lot of natural growing herbs here on the farm. A few years ago the herb market was very good with high prices. Made good money for 4-5 years before the bottom dropped out of that market.

The health food market and also herb market was flooded with to many people selling and also taking a lot of business away from the Doctors and hospitals. The Doctors and folks in that market started a major attack on how bad it was to be using herbs and health food to cure this and that. Its was a major drive on tv and newspapers to killed the health food and herb market. It worked people stopped buying those types of goods overnight in one year the bottom dropped out of that market and a lot of people in that business went broke or changed to another business. I have noticed that that market is coming back with quite a few people making a little profit on herbs and natural grown products.
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