Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Barn Rules

Hoping that 2010 is a 180 from 2009 we are very hopeful for the future. At the end of 2009, we were courted by Red Barn Family Farms to start selling our milk to them. We thought the business was great but there is always a but and kinf of a dumb but. We rent the farm from my father-in-law. We want to buy our own farm one with a bigger barn so we can milk more cows and maybe something a little newer or up to our standards (that sounds really snobby but it isn't meant to be). First I'll tell you about Red Barn. Red Barn is all about the family farm and preserving the family farm and all it stands for. Red Barn farms are also certified by the American Humane Association which as far as we know no one else is doing this. Cows are also individually assessed by a veterinarian twice a year. More Red Barn Rules here. Take this for what it is worth but organic farms are not held to this high of standard. Bottom line the best cared for cows make the best tasting milk and cheese.
The BUT is we need to remodel the stall on one side of the barn to become certified by the Humane Association. Earlier this year and last year not by choice, we were afraid we might have to sell the cows (this is a whole other post). We did not want to stick money into a place we did not intend on staying at nor did we have the money to remodel. Kurt had already paid for half a silo (10 years earlier) and put in comfort tie stalls on the other side of the barn (7 years earlier). BUT here is Terry from Red Barn trying to get us more money for our milk, and we already have the throttle wide open. Doing all we can to pay down debt so we can try and buy a farm. Since the milk price is not cooperating, this is our chance. God is all but shoving Red Barn in our face. We are jumping with both feet in and we are very vested in this business's success. A side-note--Terry from Red Barn came around looking to buy our milk about two years ago when he first started. Better late than never!
It's business but we have to say good-bye to our current milk truck drivers and owners. I am going to miss those purple and pink trucks backing in our driveway all the same.

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