Friday, March 07, 2008

New Farmers

I was a new farmer once. I was and am still a hopless dreamer. Marge thinks that is why we get on so well. Dreamers actually have a possible job in life. They call them "Planners". This can be a Conservation Specialist (doing conservation plans), CNMP plans if you want to consider extra large farms, Financial Planner (so not me), consultant who does business plans... A lot of non-profit, educational and government types also have this planning bit about them. See there is more to dreamers than just pretty clouds to look at!

I have to do this talk about Business Plans tomorrow. I like the process of business planning. Dave thinks it is a waste of time. Sucks to be perfect! I like it because I can put all of the contingencies in paper and then use this as a "To Do" list. Being organizationally challenged, I need "to do" lists to function.

Business Plans can serve a few functions. They can get you financing. They can assist you in planning an new enterprise. They can be adapted for a grant to make it sound like you know what you are talking about... I've used them for all of the above.

My farmstead cheese business plan was the most fun to write. See, I am an obsessive planner if I use the words "fun" and "business plan" in the same sentence. It is different than a term paper. More like a strategic plan.

I am roughly on plan. A few things like a compressor that cooked Christmas cheeses in November, a boiler guy that didn't give me what I asked for and then charged me more for it... Little thinks like that were kinda planned for. After the nervous break down... I started to make more cheese.

I am making cheese most every day right now. Gouda yesterday. Havarti today. Over 60# of cheese and after my talk for the New Farmers program my county extension person is hosting, I will be making yoghurt and setting some milk up for Quark. Cheese cheese cheese. A great thing happened today too. A local woman came by to get milk for cheese making. She is going to try ricotta and fresh moz. I sold her a half-pint of rennet. She is getting into the whole cheese thing.

Right now I also have to revisit the Marketing Plan. Package design, labels, UPC codes, etc, regional focus this year... Wooohooo, more cheese, more planning!

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