#129 is born

#129 calf
#129, one day old

#129 was born back on 10-23. I’ve been trying to get to a computer to post the note, and to post the cute picture. There was a delay because of a few reasons:

  1. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for the Civil Air Patrol lately
  2. We moved all the cows back to the main farm the day after this photo was taken
  3. I’ve been slack and just haven’t done it
  4. When I finally did sit down and write this post, I got interrupted and then forgot to come back and hit publish

Moving all the cows back is kind of a big deal. In the spring we move our momma cows and the babies over to a farm that we lease. Come fall, we move all those cows, plus any new calves that were born during the summer, back to our farm. This allows us to have all the cows in one place for the winter since we have to take them hay daily. It is easier to keep up with feeding when everyone is together.

Plus this gives us a chance to check over all the cows, ear tag anyone that we missed, and generally do farmer stuff at least twice a year.

Because #129 was just born, we had to split a load so that this little girl could ride in the last load with very few friends along for the ride. She is too small to get jumbled in with all the other cows so she rode in the last trailer load. The downside of this arrangement is that her mom was one of the first to go. While #129 was quite content to hang out without mom’s nagging, mom was quite upset that the calf didn’t ride with her to the new farm. She came up to the trailer at each drop off and checked the trailer for her baby. Since we had to wait till the last load to get the baby, it was wash, rinse, repeat for each load. It was nice to see them rejoined on the last load and then scamper off to go graze on the fresh pasture.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

We won the Next Door challenge!

Cow with a halo, Holy Cow
Holy Cow! I can’t believe that we won!

It isn’t like it was the mid-term election or anything. This was actually important! Top choice in the NextDoor.com local favoritesOur customers have voted us the number one activity and farmers market! Our competition was the State Farmer’s Market, amongst others. That truly is a David and Goliath competition. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us. I have absolutely no idea what to do with this information except feel warm inside on this cold, rainy day.

If you want to see the full recommendations list, you can click here.

marketing for dummies front cover

Looks like it is time to blow the dust off and read chapter 2.

Seriously though, thank you everyone for supporting us. We have ZERO dollars in advertising budget, we don’t go to farmers markets, have a stand by the road side, or heck even have a real sign telling you we are here, so things like this are huge for us.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Exciting new dairy products in the store

With the advent of herd shares in North Carolina, we are now able to offer products in the store you’ve never seen before (because they were illegal).

For members of our herd share, you will now be able to purchase raw milk butter, honey butter, and yogurt. All of these products are made from our raw milk at our dairy farm.

These products actually showed up for the first time last week. However I didn’t announce them when they came in because almost immediately it all went back out the door, so there wasn’t much to talk about. 

We’ve had requests for years for raw milk butter. I’m glad to finally be able to help out our customers.

We’ve also had requests for raw milk yogurt, but of course all I could offer there was that you could make it yourself. Now we have ready to eat yogurt in the store!

In addition to our raw milk products, next week we’ll have our holiday favorite, egg nog from Simply Natural Dairy, back in stock. As always, Simply Natural products are pasteurized, but they are as good as it gets for traditional dairy products. Egg nog is only available during the holiday season and we only get a gallon or so a week so if you know you want some, make sure to put in a special order with Jeanette or the girls. We will have some for you the next week.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

No milk today

Two gallons of milk on the counter

Just a quick note. One of my farmers I meet on Mondays suddenly couldn’t meet till Tuesday this week. That means my normal trip to our dairy farm that I do at the same time will now be on Tuesday as well.

Therefore, we will not have fresh pet milk in the store today but will instead have it on Wednesday. My apologies to everyone, these things are out of my control.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Vote for us on Nextdoor.com

I received an email over the weekend saying that NextDoor.com was holding an annual best in the area contest and that I should vote for who I liked. I took a moment to scroll through all the choices and saw that we are listed as one of the choices!

I don’t know how you go about being on the list but I’m thankful to be there. I know as I was looking through the choices I was paying attention to who was listed and maybe getting some ideas for date night.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help on things like this, at least according to all the requests I get to go vote in this or that, which I rarely do. So with that black hole of karma, I’m asking you, our customers, to give us some love and vote for us in the farmers market category. We are up against the State Farmer’s Market, so I doubt we’ll be winning anything but at least having a good showing would give us some notoriety which would be great for our little store. The biggest obstacle we have as a business is simply getting the word out to people that we are here so something like this is huge for us.

This is the link that was sent to me in my email, CLICK HERE. I hope it works for people that are not me. The link is about 1000 characters long so who knows? If it doesn’t, go to Nextdoor.com and click on the left side for “recommendations.” You should be prompted to vote in the contest.

Thank you everyone for your help.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Herd shares at Ninja Cow Farm are starting, here are the details

Senate Bill 711 became law on October 1st, 2018. This means that for the first time in my lifetime, herd shares are legal in the state of NC. There isn’t a lot of detail in the law concerning what is and what is not a herd share so it is left up to us farmers to implement the law as best we can. As I see it, we have several choices.

  1. Setup a monthly payment plan for the “purchase” of your milk cow. (i.e. $50 a month, plus extra fees like delivery, storage, container fees, refrigeration, etc.)You get a picture of your cow and you can say this is Bessie’s milk. Whether you want milk this week or not, you get your gallon.
  2. One time purchase of a fraction of the cow. A milk cow is worth about $1500. So we’d charge each and every person who buys in a portion of that figure. Then there would be associated fees for the milk just like the above. You’d have to purchase your milk each week, as above. The result would be the same as for ownership, but the upfront cost would be much higher. The paperwork for the farmer would be less though.
  3. We combine all fees, costs, etc. into an ongoing per gallon fee that works for the farmer and the consumer. We need to charge a fee for the buy in, but after that we charge based on demand. For a completely different example; if you want to go to the private bar, you pay a membership fee. Once inside, you pay for each drink you consume. If you are the designated driver, then all you pay is your membership fee. If you are the regular at the bar, you pay the membership fee plus your bar tab each night. The membership fee stays the same, the bar tab changes depending on your consumption. We would handle herd shares exactly the same. There is a membership fee, plus a cost per gallon (instead of per drink).

We did look at all three options, but in the end we’ve elected to go with option 3 for the following reasons.

  • Our costs are already built into the current price of milk. That means that what you are paying now would be what you would pay going forward. Per gallon costs would not change.
  • The administrative expense of maintaining our current setup, plus a list of herd share customers, is fairly minimal.  We would not be adding much in the way of costs.
  • We are not going to sell the entire animal to the customer, nor rights to sell fractions, or have authority of the management of the animal, including its outright sale. What we are selling is the rights to the animal through one lactation. Technically we are selling you the animal, but each lactation cycle devalues the animal as she gets older. By buying in, you are part of the herd share, but there is no need to buy you back out at the end of the lactation. We will simply retire the current list of herd share members, who forfeit their buy in price as a depreciation on the cow. We then start a new herd share list the next year with everyone who is interested buying in anew.

With all of the above in mind, here is our plan:

A gallon and a half gallon of cow/goat milk will remain at its current price for herd share members.

To buy into the herd share, we will charge the cost of one gallon of milk.

Once you have bought in, we will add your name to the herd share list and you will be free to buy milk and milk products (we have butter and yogurt coming from our cows!)

For those that do not want to buy into the herd share, we will not charge the herd share buy in fee. We will instead charge one dollar more per gallon than our current pricing. This will be to offset the cost of the pet milk label that must be affixed to the container under NC law. We will not discuss what you are doing with said milk, other than to hear how much your dog/cat/goldfish likes the milk. If you tell us you are drinking it, we will refuse the sale as it is still quite illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption outside of a herd share agreement.

We hope that you find this arrangement very easy to understand and more importantly easy to implement. As you come in expect to be queried about herd shares. We truly do not mind which option you chose, but we will try to make all options available to you, our valued customers.

 

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

No turkeys this year due to Hurricane Florence

After much back and forth, I’ve just received work from our chicken farmer. Sad face emoji

No turkeys this year for Thanksgiving. The losses from Hurricane Florence were just too great to be able to supply us and this late in the game there just isn’t time for a plan B. I’m terribly sorry that this happened, and that it has taken this long to get word out to people. This post is up not more than two minutes after I found out.

For those of you who we’ve put on our pre-order list, we’ll be contacting you directly to make sure you received the word. But I wanted to get the broadest word out first which is via a post to the blog.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

The mud run is tomorrow

After our return to summer this week, the forecast for tomorrow is 81 degrees and cloudy. There is a chance of some widely scattered showers, but they look to be more in the afternoon. That is simply a perfect day for a mud run. Warm enough to enjoy the run, cool enough not to sweat to death.

Scaling a wall at the DragonOCR mud runThere is still time to register and run tomorrow. Just visit Dragon OCR to register and run. We’ll have our full complement of parkers on site to get you to your spot, and the store open as usual with fresh made cookies from the girls to celebrate your successful run.

Obstacle at the mud runI’ve had some people say they wanted to run, but they didn’t think they could make it over some of the obstacles (that they haven’t even seen). Rest assured, this isn’t the olympics. If an obstacle looks too tough, just run right around it. The idea is to have fun and get some outdoor exercise. So come on out and give it a try.

The parking crew will be running it tonight as a test run, and a thanks for doing the parking job. I’m sure they will be able to give you tips on which ones are the most fun when you get here.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

The mud run is this weekend!

Yes I know we already had a mud run scheduled. But then this lady named Florence showed up and things would have been a bit too muddy.

So October 6th is our new date, this coming weekend. The good news is that has given our mud run people some extra time to get things ready so the course should be even better than we’d expected. As before, all the signup and detail information is available at their website, DragonOCR. To participate just go online to their site and signup.

We will be open for regular business next Saturday in the store, but we will not be scheduling tours as we normally do. Tours will be offered every 30 minutes and will be group tours, which is our normal method when we have a large event.

I have had a few people tell me they’d like to come but they weren’t sure they could get over some of the obstacles. I’m not in charge of the event, but we aren’t running the Boston Marathon here. If the obstacle is too hard, just run around it and continue on to the next one. The idea is to have fun, not set a new record.

Spots are still available so sign up and come see us on Saturday. The weather looks great!

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Cow milk is coming!

Bottle and glass of milk

It is official. We are back to milking and I will be, Lord willing, picking up our first load of cow milk from our other farm this coming Monday. This first week I’ll only be picking up 10 gallons but I’ll also be picking up our regular order of goat milk as well so we should, for the first time in months, have plenty of milk for everyone.

If you need to know if we have milk before you come out, you can always call us on our store phone during store hours at 919-322-0197.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.