Larry Bailey’s Story
Our customer said with a smile, “That’s the best chicken I’ve ever eaten!” How do we get more customers to experience our uniquely flavorful, locally raised, pastured chicken, eggs, and lamb? As small organic farmers in Western Washington, we direct market our products to local consumers, fitness clubs, and chefs. After completing a 13-week farm business and direct marketing course, we developed a business plan and mission statement: to provide organic, high quality, flavorful, and nutrient-dense pastured meats and eggs for consumption within a 100 mile radius of Pierce County, Washington. Currently, we sell everything we raise. This past season, we sold out early, had to turn away many potential customers, and often did not have another farmer to suggest as an alternate source. Over the past two seasons, we’ve worked diligently to hold down production costs and increase efficiency.
There is a crucial area where equipment improvements can make all the difference, enabling us to labor efficiently, increase production, control costs, and maintain the high quality that our customers expect: We currently use portable electric fencing with the battery powered energizer delivering only a weak 3000-volt shock which is easily defeated by grass loading. Sheep are moved to new paddocks daily, with a two-hour daily labor input. Hens are moved 2-3 times weekly, again with a two-hour labor input per move. A much-needed, secure New Zealand woven wire perimeter fence, powered by a stronger AC energizer, generating 6000 volts, would enable us to set up permanent paddocks while improving our ability to keep our animals safely in and predators out. Additionally, the higher shock also alleviates the need to continually mow fence lines. The labor savings would be more than two hours each day. This boon could be accomplished for $1.68 per lineal foot in materials; we would supply the labor. Our total request is for $5,000 which will fund 2,976 lineal feet of permanent electrified fencing with a useful life of over 20 years.
As the saying goes “Everyone loves a good chicken dinner.” But, we want people, not predators, to enjoy our poultry. It is important to keep all of our poultry safe within a secure perimeter fence. Our chickens play an important role in sanitizing the pasture, lowering parasite loads in our sheep. They also provide valuable organic fertilizer that is readily available for the grasses and forage in our paddocks. The proposed permanent perimeter fencing would serve both poultry and sheep in our Management Intensive Grazing scheme.
Please partner with us in our endeavors to provide clean, healthy, high-quality, tasty and affordable organic products for local consumption. The additional revenue and cost savings from the permanent fencing infrastructure will improve profits and enable our farm to be sustainable so that we may better serve our local community. Please help us at Clean Food Farm as we strive to help customers be happier and healthier as they sit down with family and friends to enjoy the best-tasting chicken, eggs, and lamb they’ve ever eaten!