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Dec 5, 2015 10:15 EST

Support local Ag – We need help growing our farm: provide a goat milk herd share program, expand our egg production and body care line

iCrowdNewswire - Dec 5, 2015

Support local Ag – We need help growing our farm

 

Short Summary

  • Nutrient dense, whole, and organic food has always been important to me. I have lived with Crohn’s disease for over 30 years, and finally had to evict a very diseased colon. I thought my dreams of continuing this farm were over for me and my husband, but to the contrary, that gave me freedom, strength, energy and stamina to build this farm and business and the will and perseverance to fight and survive.  If I can keep one person healthy by offering farm fresh products, then everything I have experienced and learned is worth it. Its personal to me. Food should be personal, everyone should know where their food comes from, who is growing it, how it is grown and what is in it.
  • We provide value to the world by having a small carbon footprint and providing nutritious food grown using organic and permaculture practices.
  • We want our contributors to share in the idea that safe, natural, chemical free products for the body and their home is the kind of forward thinking we need in the 21st century.

What We Need & What You Get

How much money do we need?

We’ve identified three key areas to focus our funding effort to expand our farm; facilities, equipment, and start-up operational expenses. The total cost of the project is $97,000 and breakout as follows:

    • Facilities:
      • To reach the true potential of our farm and acreage, we need infrastructure. Animals will be contained with almost a mile of fencing, a new barn will be erected to shelter the herd to include attached milking stations and milk processing room, and a soap studio with retail space.
      • The soap studio, milking room, and milk processing room will be a steel structure built atop a concrete slab.
      • The barn will be a wooden structure.
      • We will relocate the current chicken coop and expand the flock to 200 birds. The relocation of the coop will provide the birds with an additional 2 acres of free range space from their current one acre of space. This will increase our egg production by ten times its current rate.
      • The facilities will be built to code and the milk processing room will be incompliance with USDA guidelines. The milk room, processing room, and soap studio will have full utilities as well as a separate septic tank rated for food production runoff and waste.
    • Equipment:
      • Equipment to support operations have been identified and resides almost entirely with the goat milk operation. Equipment includes (not entire list) milk cooler, milk pumping and vacuum system, stainless steel regulation sinks, birthing equipment, storage vats, shelves, farm tools, upgraded refrigeration equipment.
      • To expand our current beehive operation of three hives, five new hives will be purchased. Additionally, honey extraction equipment will be purchased. Currently we utilized the equipment from the local bee keepers’ association.
    • Startup Operational Expenses:
      • Startup operational expenses will include the purchase of fifteen goats “in milk”, five bee “nuks” with queens, additional chickens, straw and saw dust for the chickens, feed for both goats and chickens, vet care and animal medical supplies, supplies for bees, cleaning and sterilization equipment, fuel and diesel, initial utility connection expenses, and office supplies.

Cost of Project

$97,000

Distribution

 

Facilities

$61,000

63%

Soap Studio

$12,000

20%

Milking room

$6,000

10%

Milk Process Rm

$18,000

30%

Barn

$17,000

28%

Fencing

$8,000

13%

Equipment

$20,000

21%

 

Hives

$1,000

5%

Milk Cooler

4000

20%

Milk Stations

1500

8%

Sinks

2000

10%

Birthing

1000

5%

Vacuum sys

2000

10%

Refrigeration Upgrade

3000

15%

Storage Vats

2000

10%

Honey Extraction equip

1500

8%

Shelves

2000

10%

 

Startup Operation Expense

$16,000

16%

Goats

$10,000

63%

Bees

500

3%

Chickens

500

3%

Feed

3000

19%

Fuel

500

3%

Vet/ Meds

1000

6%

Miscellaneous

500

3%

 

If we fall short of our funding goal:

  • We chose flexible funding because we know that we can put value and interest into any dollar received. Falling short is a risk that we’ve identified in pursuing this crowd funding effort. A risk that can only be mitigated by descaling the original idea, pursuing alternate funding such as loans or to quite the project in its entirety. Quitting is not an option for us so we will continue with what we gratefully receive and either descale the scope of our vision, pursue a farm loan or both.
  • Our project is designed for scalability by prioritizing expansion areas in the market arena we are pursuing; goats milk. The goat operation is the primary effort since we are already established with egg production, honey, and hand crafted soaps.
    • If our campaign fails to reach it goals, the size and scope of the goat operation to include the facilities will be adjusted to what we can afford. The chicken, honey, and soap operations will remain in its current state.
    • Our focus will be building the barn, the milking room, and the milk processing room despite the shortage. The market demand for goat milk is growing and we will remain steadfast in entering this market arena.

If we exceed our funding goal:

We have 20 acres of land and a million acres of ideas. All funding in excess of our goal will stay within the business of expanding our farm. There are several properties within our vicinity that we would purchase and expand the goat operation. The bee hive operations would grow as well as the chicken egg production. Exceeding our goal could leverage us to a position to actually provide jobs for our community sooner than planned as the funds would be full accounted for as we continue to invest in growth.

 

The Impact

  • We are valuable to the world by having a small carbon footprint and providing nutritious food grown using organic and permaculture practices. Contributors share in the vision that safe, natural, chemical free products for the body and their home is the kind of forward thinking we need in the 21st century.
  • Stephanie has been self-employed for over twenty years in addition to building two businesses that creates bath and body care products. Moving to the farm in 2008 provided ample opportunity to exercise our experience in handcrafted bath and body care. Since moving here, we have discussed developing these 20 acres into a working farm with goats and chickens and eventually attaining the ability to provide jobs for people in the community. We have planned for years and have white boards full of ideas and strategies, but lack the kind of funding we need to move this dream to the next level.

Risks & Challenges

We acknowledge that every venture has risk and have developed a risk management strategy to avoid or mitigate those risk. It’s also important to note that some risk can exploit opportunity and likewise, those too are tracked and assessed. We started by first evaluating our own strengths and weaknesses, personally and as a business farm, then market opportunities and threats. We table topped likely scenarios in each function to operate our farm and identified potential risk in three key areas; operational, business, and market.

Potential risks are first qualified by identifying “uncertainties” rather than “issues then annotated in our risk register. These risk are then analyzed for their likelihood of occurrence and consequential impact based on its effect on either cost, schedule, or performance (quality). By doing so, the consequence of the risk occurring in cost or time (or both) can then be calculated. We then determine the potential “trigger”, or conditions that create the risk and prepare a mitigation plan. The mitigation plan will identify short and long-term actions that will be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk or escalate the opportunity. Mitigation sometimes come at a cost or schedule slip so we compare the cost of risk against implementing mitigation actions to determine whether we will avoid, eliminate, accept, or divert those risks.

Stephanie has a very unique skillset that combined with Chuck’s education and experience, provides a holistic approach to the way we run our business and our plans for goats in the future. Stephanie is a Reiki Master, Holistic Health Coach and Practitioner, Registered Aromatherapist and Licensed Esthetician. She has worked in the holistic health care field and specializes in Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Flower Essence Therapy, Holistic Nutrition, Guided Meditation, and Reiki for over twenty years. These qualifications and unique understanding of therapeutic grade essentials oils has developed a recognized brand in our soap and other body care products.

After Chuck left the military, he was a program and project manager for a major company before deciding to leave the rat race. He has a proven resume managing projects in the hundreds of millions of dollars specializing in building and managing projects using PMP methods and specializing in risk management and earned value management. He has served the community for 24 years in the military and now want to serve my community as a farmer providing fresh organic home grown milk, eggs, and honey.

Chuck has studied business and science; He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Project Management and a Master’s of Science degree in Aerospace. Sure those degrees mean nothing when your scooping a coop, birthing a goat, or untangling horns from a fence. I can assure my contributors that the 24 years I served in the military has prepared me for the early mornings, hard work, late nights, and reactive crisis action planning that goes on daily in a farmer’s life. Also, we have been on our farm since 2008 tending to the acreage, bees, and chickens.  Chuck’s education and experience in project management will serve to run the business, financials, logistics, and marketing while the science part of him will serve to qualify and quantify trends, define and track metrics and all the cool math that goes with it, and ultimately, care for the animals.

We will solve these challenges with due diligence. We are meticulous is business, keeping documentation and operating on facts and unobjectionable and empirical data. We are extremely conscientious to our animals and take pride in our environment and the credence we hold to our customer. Money never takes precedence over the health and welfare of our animals nor the integrity of our products.

Other Ways You Can Help

  • Spread the word to your to your friends and family, facebook friends, Instagram, Twitter, and other social outlets. The possibilities here are endless.

 

Contact Information:

Stephanie Haseltine

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