Farmer Idea Lab #3

Farmer Idea Lab #3


Good afternoon everyone, this is Joanna Lelekacs and
I work with North Carolina Cooperative Extension through the Center For Environmental Farming
Systems. I serve as the Extension and Training Coordinator for the North Carolina Growing
Together Project and also coordinate Extensions local flagship program. Rebecca Dunning who
you see also pictured here and I will be moderating the webinar today and we wanted to just thank
you all for joining us. I’m sure we’ll have a few other folks coming on here in just a
moment. Just briefly the background for the Farm Idea Lab Series, this is the third in
the series today, Farm Transitions. The webinar series is intended to provide
opportunities for farmer to farmer sharing. It’s an opportunity for you as farmers and
service providers to hear success stories and lessons learned from other farmers. We
hope that you’ll come away with new ideas to help your farm become more profitable and
we also hope you’ll leave inspired to continue to evaluate your farm business as you adapt
to changing times, changing markets and new opportunities. I just wanted to thank our
sponsors today. As I mentioned I work with the NC Growing Together Project. That’s an
initiative for Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Our other sponsors include Farm Bureau,
the NC State Horticultural Science Department and of course the North Carolina Cooperative
Extension. Quickly the agenda for today, Rebecca Dunning
will provide the introduction here momentarily. Cliff Pilson then will talk about Farm Transitions.
Cliff is with CV Pilson Farm in North Carolina. He’ll talk for about 25 minutes and then we’ll
have some time for some questions. Again, you can type your questions into the chat
box at any point during the presentation and Rebecca Dunning will moderate those questions
and we’ll have Cliff answer some questions at that time. I’ll introduce Rebecca here.
Rebecca Dunning works as a researcher and project manager CEFS, the Center for Environmental
Farming Systems. She focuses on food system development and
manages the CEFS NC Growing Together Project which is a supply chain initiative to build
connections between small and mid-scale producers and mainstream market partners such as grocery
retailers and food service companies. With that, Rebecca I’ll hand it over to you. If
you could unmute your phone and I’ll hand this over to you, thanks.
Thanks Joanna. I met Cliff through this project, the NC Growing Together Project and I was
probably introduced to him by Ariel Fugates who is a graduate of NC State and in her last
semester of school she interned at Lowes Food Stores and she started working with Lowes
as their local purchasing account representative. She worked at the NC Growing other projects
as well. Cliff was selling and still sells to several Lowes stores. The last slide of
this presentation you’ll see him with his strawberries at the Lowes store in Pinehurst.
What we’ve asked Cliff to do today is to walk us through a bit of history of his family’s
farm. You could also mention where you are and some
characteristics of the farm. How it’s changed over time and how it has transitioned from
tobacco and sweet potatoes into a host of other products, selling into a lot of different
market channels, wholesale, retail farm stands, farmer’s markets, direct to grocery stores.
As questions come up I might jump in or I might just wait until the end, until Cliff
gets to his last slides so I won’t interrupt him. Cliff, do you want to go ahead and take
it away. Our farms been in operation for probably a
hundred or so years. From where we are currently, I know my grandparents farmed this land. My
grandpa he farmed tobacco and sweet potatoes which is where my dad picked it up from. I’m
a fifth generation farmer and I’m not sure about my great-grandparents whether they were
farming here or not. I never really asked those interesting questions like I should
have when I was younger. My grandparents are gone now. I’d like to know, but I can’t really
get that. I know my grandparents farmed it and my dad. All the kids did. They had six
children. They all farmed when they were younger. My dad was the only one who wanted to make
it his career and follow in his dad’s footsteps, one of the six. My dad really turned it into
a business outside of just supporting the family. He really turned it into something
more. Now he has several hundred acres of land. At first it was maybe 20-30 acres is
what my grandparents had. My dad has really put in a lot of time and hard work to make
it go. He also helped me definitely get where I am today and to be to follow in his footsteps,
it’s really nice. I definitely love doing what I do. I don’t feel like I work a day;
because, I enjoy what I wake up to do in the morning.
When I was younger I remember I didn’t really think I was going to be a farmer when I was
younger. I didn’t really like it. I don’t really take too well to authority and my dad
he would always make me get up in the morning and do this and do that. I didn’t really like
it. I told him I was really interested in sports and I was like well, I’ll just do something
with that, but I definitely changed that and I’m here. I really started when I took all
four classes of agri-science in high school. My sophomore year my teacher was speaking
about flowers and how you can make cuttings and grow flowers and sell them and stuff.
Around that time I was just getting my license and I was needing money to buy my gas and
do this and do that. I asked my dad; because, he used to grow tobacco. He stopped ten years
ago and about that time he’d probably been maybe three years since he hadn’t grown anything.
He had a greenhouse that he used to grow his tobacco plants in and I asked if he thought
it would be okay if I grew flowers in the greenhouse; because, my teacher had taught
me how to do it in class and sell them so I could make me a little money. Of course
he said, yeah he would help me out and he did. Looking back at it now I know I probably
didn’t make any money at all, he just let me see a little something so I could enjoy
it and start to like it. I’m sure I would have probably fall flat on
my face when I was 15 or 16 trying to make any kind of money out of something, I probably
wouldn’t have went back to it, but he definitely footed the bill for me and started me off
on the right foot with farming. I used to sell, we had a little community close by us
called Woodlake Country Club and there weren’t many houses there. They kind of supported
me; because, I was young and trying to do something with the farm and stuff. I would
sit out there on the corner, I knew where they would come in and out of their road every
day. They’d come by and buy flowers from me when I got off of school and on the weekends
and stuff. They really helped me get going. I did flowers
for maybe 20 years and it really didn’t work out. Once I got to learning about the money
and how much it cost to grow the flowers and it didn’t really worked out. I got to noticing
I really liked growing my produce a lot more than flowers. Squash and strawberries and
sweet potatoes and everything else. The picture that’s up there right now, that’s some of
the old tobacco barns. That’s actually where I’ve got produce at this year. It’s nice that
he still has a lot of his old tobacco equipment out. The greenhouse didn’t work out for me,
so I just started growing the produce, focusing more on that.
My dad he, this is going to be my fourth strawberry season. Looking after my strawberries and
my produce as well. When I first started he kind of just let me go. I was 19. I grew the
product. I looked after it. I watered it; whatever, it needed to be done. I sold it.
I marketed it. I just remember going out there and trying my best anyway. He would just let
me do my thing, which was probably the best for me. Just let me learn on my own experience.
It definitely probably cost him some money along the way learning, but hopefully, I think
it was probably worth it teaching me the lessons and such. Now we probably grow about 15 acres
of various produce items and about 100 acres of sweet potatoes.
The picture right there is of some of our sweet potatoes the year before last. The variety
is Covingtons. They grow really well. They’re really pretty as you can see in the picture,
grade number ones, which is actually your goal when you’re growing sweet potatoes. We
sell our sweet potatoes. My dad’s been selling to Food Lion for 40 years. He started that
when he was 23-years-old and I’m currently 23-years-old and I’m just now officially taking
over the operation. There’s a neat little story about how he got to sell his sweet potatoes
to Food Lion. He used to, just like I do with my produce sell to seven different stores
and grocery stores and restaurants. He started out that way, but he didn’t have
any places in this area. He was more in the Asheville area selling. He’d take boxes of
sweet potatoes here to there to different stores trying to sell what he could sell.
A few of the stores, they were called Food Town. Food Lion used to be Food Town when
it first started. I guess he was always selling good product which was what he’s always taught
me, that’s what I standby. He come in one day to one of the locations and the produce
manager told him that the boss had left a note that said, Chester Pilson you don’t leave
until I get to speak with you. My dad, it was later in the evening and he had to hurry
up and get to the other stores before they were going to close on him.
It was going to get dark, so he didn’t really know what to think about that and obviously
he was definitely, but he come in. Maybe 45 minutes later my dad wanted on him. He was
a really tall man. He had a really booming voice as my dad explains to me. Made him good
and nervous when he was talking to him; because, he really didn’t know what he wanted at first.
Asked him, you want to sell to all my stores? My dad said, “Wow that would be great, yeah.”
That’s kind of how that started. He’s been friends with my dad ever since. They started
their warehouse. My dad started packing sweet potatoes. You see on this picture here. He’s
had this sweet potato packing line ever since he was 23.
That’s where we pack all of our sweet potatoes. We pack them year round, but getting back
to my story. His name was Clifford Ray and he was one of the six people that started
with Food Lion when it first was Food Town. I’m not exactly sure with him changing to
Food Lion, but it’s neat; because, I’m named after him and he is my godfather today. I
never got to meet him. He passed away before I was old enough to really remember him. His
wife is still alive and I still get to see her regularly several times a year. That picture
is my dog. He loves sweet potatoes. I just love to take pictures of him.
He loves eating about everything. He’ll eat squash, cucumbers, all my produce. It’s really
neat how my dad got started in his operation. Now he’s letting me start off. My previous
operation was sort of how he started the sweet potato operation. He always told me you’ve
got to crawl before you walk, I’ve definitely been learning that the hard way, whether I
liked it or not. Getting back to the places that I sell to for my produce; because, my
dad’s sweet potato market, he’s already got that down pat; because, he’s been doing that
for such a long time. I sell in town Southern Pines, Pinehurst area to Lowes Food, Harris
Teeter, many different restaurants in the area.
We have our own farm stand. We’re going to open up, which you see in the picture there,
where we sell a lot of our flowers and our strawberries or any produce item I have available
at the time. In downtown Southern Pines this year, I’m going to open up a retail stand
there, so I’ll have two stands, which is what I’ve learned, most definitely you have to
live both sides of the fence if you’re going to produce and try to make it successful as
an operation. You’ve got to have wholesale and retail; because, I would say wholesale
is a lot cheaper price and you have to grow large quantities of your different produce
items, but if you’re going to be a small produce farmer, the more that you can sell retail,
the more successful that you’ll be in the long run.
Which is what I’m trying to get towards by opening up my store in Southern Pines. I hope
it’s going to work out. We’re just now fixing to get it up so hopefully it’ll open it up
the first week of May, it’d be nice, so I can still have some of my strawberries and
other produce items will be coming in then. My biggest challenge for pretty much the whole
operation is probably to make is successful it probably comes down to two main points
and that’s what I can sell my product for and obviously how much it costs me to grow
it. It sounds simple but it’s a lot more in depth than that. There’s so many restaurants,
they understand that your product sells much different than what they can get off of the
truck. They’re willing to pay a better price for your product; because, it may taste way
better and it looks way better. What I’ve learned with some is that grocery
stores, they don’t really care as much about that. I had an example about it. I tried to
sell sweet potatoes to a particular grocery store and what he had on the shelf really
didn’t look pretty at all. They were probably sweet potatoes that I probably would have
culled, but he was getting a nice price and that’s what he was selling them. I was wanting,
my price was $3.00 to $4.00 a case higher than what he was buying for and he showed
me on his price list there and told me if I could match that he would buy from me, otherwise
he wasn’t going to buy anything from me. That’s one of my biggest challenges there
is I can grow something for them and then they hit you with a price, well if you can
sell it to me as cheap as the guy with 300 acres, then you can sell it to me. I can’t
do that; because, I’ve only got three acres. A larger farmer he can grow his tomatoes or
such and make a dollar a box and sell a million boxes and at the end of the day his bank account
looks pretty good, but if I make a dollar a box and sell ten boxes, I wasted my time.
I shouldn’t have even grown them for that. The biggest difference is the looks. They’re
going to pick there’s green and then they’re going to gas them.
They put them in a big tractor-trailer and then they gas them with ethylene so that they
ripen and they do not open up that truck for the whole route from California to here. From
Florida to North Carolina; wherever, they’re going. When they open them up, they’re just
turning pink and they’re just changing their colors so when they get them on the grocery
store shelf they’ll be decently ripe for customers. They were just picked green from the start
and don’t have any flavor at all. Same way with strawberries. That’s probably my biggest
hurdle there is trying to make the larger operations like your chain stores and such
understand. You have a premium for your product; because,
it’s a lot better than what you would, it’s a lot healthier too; because, you lose a lot
of vitamins in shipment, so it’s healthier for you and better tasting and looks better
to sell them around better. Their bosses are telling them, “Hey what are you doing paying
him .50 more a box more for it, you can be making this much more on the bottom line.
I don’t care what it looks like.” That’s definitely my biggest hurdle there. My short term goal
is probably just really getting on my feet growing the produce. I’m really getting it
down pat. Learning how to do it. Being successful at it and starting my retail
store in town. Getting it to going. Getting it successful. My uncle he owns the place
that I’m going to be selling at and he’s going to be renting it out to me. He’s really successful.
He owns a restaurant and a health food store and stuff in town. He’s been doing the retail
operation for 30 years, really knows the ins and outs. He’s definitely my mentor on that
side, so I’m feeling pretty good about being successful there. My long term goal is really
just being successful and continue farming. That’s basically, especially because, I love
doing what I do. I want to keep doing it for as long as I possibly can.
A piece of advice for high school students or people in college or just farm families
in general is definitely don’t let the farm go away. I can’t stand to see nice farmland
that just gets sold up for houses and such. I understand you’re going to have some of
that; because, we’re there on population, but definitely need to try and keep farm country
around; because, there’s few and far between now. That’s pretty much the jest of my operation,
where I’m at and what I’m trying to do farming. I appreciate everybody’s time listening to
me today. Thanks Cliff, that was great. I do, I have
a few questions that I’m going to pop in and if others want to jump in on the chat room
that would be great. I wonder about the retail store, is that something that you are going
to offer year round and are you going to have products other than your own produce? What
were your thoughts on that, how you’re going to operate it?
As far as year round, I’m not sure, probably not mentally focused on keeping it, my product
what I sell, what I grow there fresh. Picked the day of, taken to the store. I’m going
to try to be different than grocery stores, otherwise people will just look at me as a
Walmart or a Food Lion and they’ll say, well I’ll just go get it from there; because, you’ve
got the same stuff. I’m definitely going to try to be different and as far as year round.
If I’m going to have any products other than my own, it’ll only be if there’s something
that I can’t provide myself on the farm, that I can source from somebody who’s local then
I will do that and put their name on it, not mine, so that the people know it’s not grown
by me. As soon as I can and learn how to grow it, I will grow it and it will be supplied
by me. Do you think that your restaurant customers
you could also source them from that store, you can have restaurants be able to come in
if they wanted local products, they could come in a pick them up there. You already
have some accounts in Southern Pines to work with.
Yes, definitely. Yeah, I think that’ll probably help me out. The convenience of the restaurant;
because, sometimes they don’t always need a lot. They just may be short for the weekend
and need ten pounds of tomatoes to finish out or something. They can just run right
up there; because, I’ll be five minutes down the road from them. They’ll be about to get
that and it will probably benefit the both of us.
Here we have a question that someone has asked about how you’re calculating? How can you
figure whether or not you’re profitable and what you should charge on your particular
produce product? Do you figure it in a spreadsheet or do you something like Veggie Compass
or some kind of budgeting software? How do you make those pricing decisions?
What I do is I definitely, I look at the wholesale market. Then I look at the retail market and
see the difference. Then I’ll go to Lowes Food. I’ll go to Harris Teeter, Fresh Market,
compare those prices. I never check Walmart; because, my product is way different than
what Walmart is. They’re really cheap on everything, I’m sure everybody knows. I’ll check the more
higher end retail outlets, especially Fresh Market, they usually get a pretty good price
for their product. Then I’ll go from there and see how my mine compares to what they
got on the shelf and I’ll take it from there. I’ve got a pretty good idea of production
that I should be getting per acre of different products. I also adjust based on that too;
because, I’ve been doing it a few years. I can take that and that way I know how much
it costs me to grow it and stuff. There’s always the variables, but that’ in everything.
That’s basically what I do. Because, you’re anticipating opening your
store this summer, did you put in a bigger variety of products that you’re trying to
grow for the come up season so that you have a greater range and fewer kinds, but smaller
amounts, so that you can have more variety in the store, or are you pretty much doing
like you’ve been doing the last couple years in variety production?
Yeah, I definitely grew a lot more this year, quantity wise and variety wise in hopes to
bring in different varieties to the store for people to get. Convenience is really key
I think. If they’re just going to come to me. If I was just to sort of start raising
tomatoes and sweet potatoes some people aren’t going to come; because, I didn’t have squash,
cucumbers and green beans at the same time, where they can just go to Fresh Market and
pick that up; because, that’s what they needed and they could get it all at once and go home;
because, they’re busy and don’t really necessarily have the time. That’s definitely what I did.
I grew a lot more varieties so that I could add to the convenience of a company purchasing
product from my store. What about season extension? I saw there’s
some greenhouses? Are you currently using those now for any of your products? Were those
put in recently? Any other way that you do see it?
Yeah, okay. In our greenhouse which is dad’s old tobacco greenhouse, 40 foot by 200. We
do greenhouse tomatoes in it currently. We start those from seed around Thanksgiving
every year and then we’ll plant them in the greenhouse around the first week of January
and we’re harvesting them currently. We stop harvesting those the end of June as soon as
our field tomatoes come out; because, when those come out prices drop it’s not even worth
selling greenhouse tomatoes anymore; because, nobody wants them; because, of the price.
Season extension, other than that, I don’t have any way to extend my season in the fall.
I’ve been working with my soil officer to help me get a hot tunnel so that I can grow
an extra crop of tomatoes in the fall, so that they don’t get that first frost in November
and hopefully I can pick for another three weeks and extend the tomato crop. I usually
get four crops in a year of tomatoes including my greenhouse and if I could get a hot tunnel
I should be able to get an extra in there, so that’s what I’m looking at there.
For the tomatoes do you sell those to all of your different market channels? Do those
go through your farm stand and grocery stores and wholesalers, or is it just for farm stands
or how’s that play out? Yeah, I sell them to everybody. I just base
it on priority. My store gets it first; because, that’s my best price and I try to take care
of my people at my store over anything. Second, I’ll go to my restaurants and then third I’ll
go to my grocery stores if need be. I try not to. The price isn’t as good, but if the
production is there, I’ll definitely have to make that call or sometimes your restaurant
doesn’t need it and you have to juggle that around, but I definitely base it off of priority;
because, of the price, the different markets, but I sell to all three.
Do you any kind of, not contract so much, but do you feel like you have kind of handshake,
pretty firm handshake agreements with wholesalers in the stores about what they’re going to
purchase from you or is it just every time you’re kind of making a deal every time?
It’s more of a handshake agreement. Nothing on paper. It’s kind of hard to get contracts
on paper for produce. Like my Lowes Food in Pinehurst, the manager, he’s really happy
with what I’ve been bringing in and I’ve been doing business with them for three years.
He’s told me if I can grow it, he’ll buy it. I’m under the understanding, he’s a man of
their word, I do much talking with managers and stuff. I’m sure every once in a while
I’ll run into where, no I didn’t say that and I don’t want this, but that’s just the
nature of wholesale business as my daddy has taught and he has learned the hard way in
sweet potatoes; because, it gets tough sometimes in sweet potatoes.
Like you said, you have to play both sides or all sides of the fence, so you’re kind
of protecting yourself? Yes, most definitely.
We have a question about, again about business, kinds of skills. There’s production skills
and marketing and sales skills? What would you advice to new or younger farmers on how
to develop their business skills? Maybe they know production really well, but they’re not
so knowledgeable about how to market their product and sell their product into new channels,
what would your advice be? Well, I was really lucky; because, I had my
dad to go off of and he pretty much taught me everything, as far as business goes. Just
watching him and how we would negotiate and speak with people. Just sitting there watching
him while he was on a call talking to somebody about selling sweet potatoes, just to soak
it in and understand just how it works when I was young; because, I didn’t really understand.
I was kind of lucky at that. I also I just soak it in from other people too. I might
go to a restaurant and the chef might be on the phone with so and so about doing something
for the business. I’ll just soak in how he’s talking and what he’s telling them. Whether
it works or gets the job done or what. I was more lucky on that. I didn’t have to
go to school to learn any of my skills; because, my dad had experienced. I fed off of that.
If I didn’t have him I really don’t know what I would have done. I guess I would have gone
to State and learned about farming like that, but other than that I was just lucky I had
my dad to learn from. Let’s say you were going into a restaurant,
it’s kind of hard, a new farmer, or somebody that who’s been selling at the farmer’s market
but then wants to expand into restaurants or sell direct to grocery stores to know when
to go to restaurants, who to ask for and sort of then the initial thing that you say. Can
you give some advice, like if I was a young farmer and I met you at the farmer’s market
and I want to go and visit these three restaurants that I know of, what would be my best way
to go? What would be your advice to me? You’re definitely going to have to bring them
some of your stuff. More times than not if you’re just going there to talk to them, telling
them who you are, what you grow. You’re not going to get the benefit of the doubt which
you’ll get more, you get more of a chance if you bring product and it looks good. You
don’t want to just bring your absolute top shelf strawberries biggest ones that you had
out there in the field; because, you don’t want to bring that to them and let them see
it. Then when you actually bring strawberries mix of everything, then they’re going to think
you were trying to run them around. Most places when I try to set up a new market,
I just bring product by, drop it by. Talk to them and ask for the chef. Ask who buys.
Who runs the operation and most of the time they’re pretty nice. They’ll tell you, the
chef, they’ll let you talk to them. You’re going to get some places it’s no right off
the bat, that’s just in everything. It’s always you no, if you don’t ask definitely.
With the grocery store would that be the same thing? You kind of go in with some of your
product and ask to speak to the produce manager? Yeah, yeah. That’s kind of what I did. A lot
of it is also who you know. A buddy that works for me, he worked at a local Harris Teeter
for five years before I tried to sell to them. I kind of already had my foot in the door
when I went to talk; because, he knew them very well. I was lucky there, but mostly you
bring your stuff by and talk to them is what I’ve been doing and finding it pretty successful.
As far as young, kind of new specialty type products, following trends, like cano is real big, collards. Do you see anything that you’re interested in following
as far as a trend or a product like orange beets or something else, or Asian vegetables?
That you’re trying to get into some kind of an ethnic market? Is there anything you’re
thinking of, as far as that, going in those directions?
Not so much. Maybe once I get on my feet a little better as far as the operation entirely;
because, this is my first year really running it all by myself. I feel once I’m successful
in growing what I do and doing what I do now, then I’ll step out and try and look at new
opportunities and such like that. Currently I don’t want to get in over my head with something
I don’t really know how to grow yet. I just want to stick with what I do and do it really
well first, before I really branch out. Can you as far as distribution cold storage
on the farm, where your farm stand is and your kind of collection site, do you have
any kind of cold storage there like forced air or hydro-cool and then when you distribute
do you distribute in a refrigerated truck or how does that work?
Yeah, we have three coolers that can get down to 32 degrees if need be. That’s where I keep
all my produce, strawberries, blackberries and peaches. I have two coolers at our sweet
potato warehouse that are just air conditioner units so we can keep our sweet potatoes to
55-60. When we make deliveries, last year I just used my truck, my personal truck and
I filled the back of it up with produce and turned my air conditioner on. Because, I’m
just 15 minutes from town the produce isn’t going to be sitting there that long. As long
as it’s chilly enough in my truck, like tomatoes and sweet potatoes and stuff I would have
in the back and have a little roll cover on there that I could take out.
Open and close real easy, so I could make my deliveries. This year I have me a produce
truck which is a cooler refrigerated truck; because, I plan on doing more stores and stuff,
so I got me one for that this year. Was that a used truck? Was that pretty easy
to find a reasonable cost point? Yeah, yeah it was a used truck definitely.
It was easy to find. It depends on how picky you are I guess. I was pretty picky, so I’ve
been looking for probably a year and just thinking about the idea of getting one. I
knew I needed one this year so I got lucky and ran across one in December that was pretty
much perfect. I went and got it. I just got it from Penske Truck Rentals. They take care
of their trucks really well, so I thought buying a used one from them would probably
be a good idea. This might be the last question. I hate to
end with food safety, but people are always interested in and somewhat worried if they
haven’t gone through it before, the GAP certification, auditing. Can you tell us about your experience
getting certified and how much trouble is it to upkeep that certification?
Well, for me it’s worth it; because, it got my foot in the door in several different places,
especially on my wholesale side; because, it made me different than the next guy that
was trying to grow stuff and a lot of your wholesalers are going to demand for you to
be GAP in the future, so if you go on and be GAP you’ll be more successful in your endeavors
and places that you’re trying to go. It’s not bad being GAP. They have several different
rules and stuff that are just ridiculous, but that’s just the nature of the business.
There’s always different rules you just really don’t understand but you just have to do it
if you’re going to stay in operation. I don’t think it’s that bad.
Now when you, every year with your check visit, about how much does it cost you a year just
to get re-certified for GAP or do they just come out one time a year?
He’s going to come out twice. He’s going to come out once for applying visit for an inspection.
He’ll come out again for an unannounced inspection to make sure you’re doing right. He charges
$90.00 an hour. He charges from the time he gets in his vehicle, wherever he is located
at to the time that he gets back to his spot. It probably took $1200.00 to get GAP certified
and all the paperwork and time that you have to put into it and all the extra. They make
you keep up with everything. It’s fairly costly, but for my operation, besides that it’s worth
it. Well Cliff, this is Joanna, thank you so much.
We are out of time. I really appreciate your time and I know it’s getting into a busy season
for you. Your strawberries are coming ripe, you’ve got a lot going on. Thank you for taking
time out to share your story today. Folks, we have recorded this and we will post that
to the Farmer Idea Lab site. You see the website here. Once that recording is finalized and
captioned, we are going to talk about how the Farmer Idea Lab series went this spring
and we hope to return with a new webinar in the fall, so watch that website again in the
fall and we’ll post to the same list servers that we did this time. If you would help us out we’d like to hear
how this has gone for you and suggestions you have for updating, improving and changing
or keeping the same these Farmer Idea Lab webinars. I’ve posted in the chat box a link
to a survey. I’m going to try and send it out to you as well through a sharing tool
on the webinar platform. Hopefully, this will open up a survey in your web browser. Thank
you all for being here. Cliff, thank you. Rebecca, thank you for moderating today. We
appreciate all the good information. Hope you all have a great afternoon.

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