A Feasibility Study for a Sheep and Goat Market
This study examines the possibilities of producers selling grass-fed sheep and goats in a market location with simple slaughter facilities.
I took the FastTrac New Venture class offered through the Kaufman Foundation, UMKC school of business and Missouri Extension Service. The class ran for 5 days over 3 weeks. We went through all the steps of a feasibility study, group and individual exercises, and took feedback from fellow students, instructors and speakers. I found out how to look up business information on the internet, and where to find customer information at the library. (This was in April)
I called and visited some local processors, ethnic customers, and lamb or goat producers to get a feel for demand and prices.
In November I presented the material I had at the Small Farm Conference in Columbia MO. Discussion with others after my talk gave me many more resources and questions. I came home and contacted more experienced people by phone and e-mail.
1. Established demand for this type of market is great.
2. Found sources for state and local regulations.
3. Learned there are several potential models for this study.
4. Found there are potential insurance providers I was unaware of.
5. Confirmed high interest in new markets by lamb/goat producers.
6. Found that this concept is not easily understood by Midwestern regulators and they may give inaccurate information. Best to get copy of codes, state and local.
I will continue to refine results. Draft an outline of the study and look for any holes to work on. Find a time I can go over my work with Helen Swartz.
I spoke November 4, 2006 at the Small Farm Trade Show and Conference in Columbia, MO. About 40 people attended. I plan to send the finished study to sheep and goat publications. I will ask Helen Swartz of she wants me to present at any Missouri small livestock events.