Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Support Local

We processed turkeys on our farm in 2019 right before COVID. The feed costs were approximately $4,500. We charged $6 a pound for the birds. We made $7,500 on our birds which gave us a $3,000 profit. 

This year, we processed 84 turkeys. Right when we started raising them, the feed bags went from $30 for a 50 pound bag to $30 for a 40 pound bag. Then, right in the middle of their raising, the feed rose from $30 to $37 per bag. 

But we just didn't WANT to raise the price of our birds. They are already so expensive for people to buy. We love what we are doing, and we wanted to make it "available" to "every man."

As soon as we got the birds processed and in the freezer, we did the math. It cost us $7,500 to feed our birds this year! $3,000 more than previously. (The exact percentage was a rise from 60 cents a pound to 95 cents a pound of feed.)

We made exactly $7,500 on our turkeys. We spent exactly $7,500 on our turkeys. We made zero dollars. We did get 10 turkeys for our freezer which was exciting. We also had community help us process and were able to give each family that helped a turkey. All of that is valuable, of course. 

John Kitsteiner, myself, and my two boys sat in front of the computer looking at the math and all of us felt like crying. It wasn't so much about not making money. We don't need the farm to make money. (But what if we DID? That’s a whole
‘Nother story.) 

But my boys were doing this for a business venture. They were trying to see if this would be something they could do and make money doing. 

Elijah “Sidge” has fallen in love with the rural life. He learned how to eviscerate this year (see the picture with his dad!) and is really good at it. He was inspired and excited to do it again and possibly be able to live on his farm without having to get a job off the farm as he grows up.

We go to the grocery store and say "Why is everything so much more expensive?" And then you sort of get it. Our feed costs went up over 50%.! We will have to raise the cost of turkeys from $6 a pound (already a LOT!) to $8-10 a pound! Seriously! That much of an increase with ZERO employees -- just all of us working for free. 

We just feel sad. Not for us. John has a full-time job off the farm. But if Sidge wants to make a future for himself in agriculture, it seems the only "way" is to cut corners and "do it like the big guys." (Use cheap feed. Don't move the birds as often, etc.) To do it RIGHT is becoming nearly impossible.

Food for thought .... support your local farmers if you can. And more than support them, understand why their “stuff” is expensive, pay it, and eat rice and beans a few other days a week just to do it :) Eat less meat but eat better meat. 

And I’ve been asked if this can be shared.
Please do! Bauernhof Kitsteiner

1 comment:

Katie said...

Great picture!