And then there are changes like selling your cows to give yourself more time to make better business decisions.
That was a decision that we made final last Saturday when we closed the trailer door on our 6 heifers. Right now, my world feels pretty shaken. This is NOT the plan we wrote. This is NOT how the plan was supposed to go. In fact, selling the cows wasn’t even IN the plan. And let me tell you, selling critters that we intended to have around until ‘death do us part’ was a whole lot harder than selling bottle calves or market animals that we acquire, knowing from day 1 that their place on the farm is temporary.
So the world here at Brun Ko Farm feels pretty shaken up right now. But I’m sure that in 20 years this will look like a blip on the radar. And we are confident that it was the RIGHT decision – even though it was HARD.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. We STILL plan to build a dairy and a creamery. We STILL plan to sell milk & yogurt and other products. We have just decided to take a step back - build a little slower – and try to do it debt free. How in the world are we going to do this debt free? By taking our time – finding materials & equipment used and/or on sale – taking the time to build it ourselves (at least as much of it as we can do legally).
Why did we have to sell the heifers? Because they were all due to calve within the next 6 months and we simply couldn’t afford to feed them without being able to draw an income from them. Up until now, we have been able to make enough selling bottle calves to pay the feed bill but lactating (milking) cows eat significantly more than pregnant heifers and we don’t have the space or resources to feed the number of bottle calves it would take to cover expenses for 7 milk cows!
On the brighter side, we still have NP’s first ever cow, Abby. And our 2 youngest heifers, Lily and 54.2. And we will continue to raise bottle calves. Just maybe not as many.
Things you will still find at Brun Ko Farm this summer:
- Lots of delicious fruits and vegetables – we are planting ¾ of an acre in veggies and expanding our strawberry and raspberry patches!
- Bottle calves & milking demos
- Rapidly growing baby chicks!
- Hand pies, breads, and more (made to order)
- And a handful of other surprises that aren’t quite ready to be unveiled yet
With that .... Thank you so much to everybody that has supported us and that continues to do so! We look forward to seeing ya’ll this summer at farmers markets and here at the farm!
Brun Ko Farm