We are all organic. We were first certified in 1996. We own 2000 acres, 400 farm ground and 1500 pasture with the other 100 homestead and meadow. We run 120 cow/calf operation raising our calves to yearlings. Our son is working his way into the business as Bob is getting older so together they leased another 953 acres. We raise brown and golden flax, blue corn, millet (grain and hay), barley, 2 varieties radishes, 5 varieties beans, oil and confection sunflowers, alfalfa seed, 5 pea varieties and we are always trying new varieties.
With this grant we were hoping to increase our cash flow and be able to move all our product.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
The objective of this project was to complete an edible seed finishing and bagging facility for use on farm as well as for regional organic farmers use to develop off farm marketing directly to public and retailers to add value to crops.
We have moved in the barn, gotten the foundation poured, the barn fastened down, doors on, outside of the building secured, the cement poured, electricity and water in and the cleaning room built.
Robert H Beguin and Robbie Beguin have worked tirelessly on this project. They have gotten the foundation poured, the barn fastened down, doors on, outside of the building secured, the cement poured, electricity and water in and the cleaning room built. We did not keep track of their hours, but they more that contributed the share of their contributions. They have talked to people far and wide about their facility.
Dorothy A Beguin has been and continues to do the bookkeeping
Tim Weber worked and lived in the shop next to the barn so was there whenever someone needed anything. He also worked on the barn whenever he had a spare minute. Also with Bob and Robbie.
Ray and Barb Retzlaff helped tighten down the outside, when we poured cement and when we built on the room.
Shelly Beguin designs and makes our labels, brochures and business cards. She does the internet marketing and ships out UPS size shipments. She has gotten our products included on a web page. She has made bean soup mixes and created unique containers for them. She has gone to several area craft shows with these products and hand out our brochures. Each fall she presents her bean soup at the Gordon Chambers Christmas opening. A lady there has a cornbread mix, so they go together and let people sample cornbread and bean soup. She sat up a booth and gave a talk on Entrepreneurship at the Rural Issues for Women one day educational opportunity to inform and empower rural women on January 12, 2002 at Chadron, NE.
We feel that we have accomplished the objective of this project. We now have a complete cleaning and bagging facility. It has enabled us to sell most of our products. We have shipped Pinto beans, great northern beans, light red kidney beans, millet, alfalfa seed, radish seed, and peas to California in one load because we can now sack each variety separately. This one semi load was $15,550 worth of product. We had held some of this crop for a couple years and did not have a full semi load of any one crop. We have been able to sell peas and oats to numerous panhandle operators (from Harrison to Chappell) to plant for feed. We have used the facility to clean for other farmers in this area.
We gave the advertising money to Shelley Beguin. She has done more to get the word out about our facility than anyone.
We did not have an advertised field day. We did have one for our OCIA chapter. Shelley hands out our brochures at craft fairs and at the Women in Ag Day in Chadron. An account of this day was in the Gordon, Rushville, Crawford and Chadron papers. She has been approached by a free lance writer to do an article on our operation for the Western Business publication.