April…….how did you get here so fast?
If you read these musings, you will be notice that it has been a long time since I have written. I could give a mountian of excuses, but it boils down to priorities. And depending who you listen to, blogging is a crucial way to interact with your community or Tribe as Seth Godin calls it. (An excellent read). If you feel ‘uncommunicated with’, I’m sorry I”ll try to do better.
Doorstep Dairy has been making deliveries for a whole 11 months now! The people I have meet and connected with during this time are amazing. As many of you are aware, milk delivery is a part time thing at this point, my “real” job for the last almost 11 years, is livestock transport. Mast Cattle Hauling takes care of the local farmers animal transport needs. (read more)
When we started Doorstep Dariy I wasn’t sure what my customers, local farmers, would say. Or what other people would say for that matter. But over the last 11 months, the feed back has been overwhelmingly positive. As I make my rounds with the livestock truck and bump into folks from the farming community, they want to know how things are going. I’ve even had a few riders come and see what milk delivery is like first hand.
I’ve received calls from dairy farmers that are ‘mold breakers’. They are frusterated with the way traditional milk is bought, sold, and marketed. Basically the way it works is this: The farmer is responsiable for all the inputs into their farm. Shelter, crops, labor, vet service, ……..The cows are milked twice a day, every 12 hours. Then every other day a milk tanker comes and picks up the milk and takes it to “the dariy” or processing plant. The farmer produces milk for a whole month, with no guarentee on price. Usually the beginning of the month they receive an advance payment for the previous months milk and them a final (settlement) check at the end of the month. All that work and product goes out the door and no guarentee. Currently feed/grain prices are at record high and fuel is too. Not to cast a dreary shadow on dairy farming or farming in general, but some folks are tired of the way the “system” works.
I don’t have any real answers but I do know farmers are taking notice of what Doorstep Dairy is doing. I have had numerous dairy farmers contact me and inquire about the possibility of DD marketing their products. I am very happy with the farms that we currently work with and don’t see an immediate need to add ‘new’ farms to our list.
I interact with two groups of people on a weekly if not daily basis, the producer (farmer) and the consumer. While it’s not always verbalized in every convesation, both groups experience dissatisfication. Both groups want more choices. We all like to have choices don’t we?
The public (consumer) is asking for more and better choices in their food options. Folks are more concerned about where their food is coming from now more then ever. And we should be concerned and aware.
The famer is also looking for a way to get a better return for the product he ships.