Joel Salatin joins the show and we use his recent book Your Successful Farm Business (Amazon) as the back drop to the conversation.
High points of the discussion:
- Your Successful Farm Business dives into the people, the marketing, the time and motion studies, and the nitty gritty about how to think like a business person.
- Marketing is morphing rapidly, especially logistics.
- There’s a lot of “disturbed ground” between the farmer and how stuff gets to the customer.
- Is Amazon acquiring Whole Foods good? Who eats the price cut of this downward price pressure?
- The take on relationship marketing.
- Build it and they will come is a fantasy. You’ve got to grab ‘em.
- Earn Trust = Conviction + Consistency + Communication.
- Joel’s take on the biggest bottleneck: Processing or marketing?
- Speaking of pastured poultry processing, “How do we message living food and the whole story of helpful bacteria?”
- Moldy cheese is cool. But bacteria on a chicken is somehow different.
- The processing regulatory climate is tough for very small plants and most farmers or consumers don’t have any insight into it.
- What’s the reason for the high farm failure rate? Cash flow is one of the biggest issues. Pastured poultry brings cash flow as an asset, but seasonality is a challenge.
- People have fantasy expectations about farming. Your Successful Farm Business sets realistic expectations and helps you operate from a position of reality.
- Unrealistic expectations turn bumps in the road into bigger issues than they are.
- Need to develop mastery through repetition and nuance.
- Joel believes in dabbling before you commit. “It’s ok to dabble.”
- Create a one-year nest egg that can support you without any income. Be “cultishly” frugal.
- Wendell Berry’s essay “Home Economics” talks about feeding yourself first. Those dollars don’t have to be earned, and there is no tax on that.
- Half of America doesn’t have access to $400 in cash. What does it mean for direct marketers?
- Food Inc, cured Joel on what people could afford. You could get two pounds of Polyface grass-finished beef for price of one Burger King meal when that movie came out. Applebees is $15 a plate. A pastured poultry chicken can feed six people with leftovers. We need to help people understand the comparisons. At Polyface, a broiler is less per pound than boneless/skinless chicken breast in the supermarket.
- Joel explains why eclectic awareness is important in the context creating points of commonalities.
- Polyface supplies a local Wegman’s, but how does that jive with Joel’s idea that we should be spending more time trying to get people out of the grocery store?
- There’s an old business saying, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
- Polyface Farms
- Your Successful Farm Business by Joel Salatin
- You Can Farm by Joel Salatin (precursor and prerequisite to Your Successful Farm Business)