Diversify. That's my idea for the livestock farmer today. Do you know what you can get for a potload of 50 to 80 pound male goats at the end of Ramadan? Well, neither do I, but I bet the guy who knows how desirable that class of goats is at the end of Ramadan could tell you exactly. There are a lot of untapped markets out there. What can you sell off your farm that will supplement your cash flow?
I know many of you would never consider goats, but there could be something else – sell some raw milk on the side, feed out some hogs and sell them off your farm. Now is the time to take your own, proactive steps to securing you and your family's future at the farm.
Many of you are very worried about the prices of milk, the prices of beef. Dairy farmers can't make a living on $12 cwt milk. We've heard several farmers say that, here at OFN. So you can't sell milk for anything. Isn't there something else you can do with your land for a little while, until the dairy business kicks back in?
What about lambs? Fleece is a product you can sell. Honey bees, milk goats. I have a personal friend who buys gallons of goat's milk monthly to feed her lactose intolerant little girl. There are resources out there to help you diversify. Call your local Extension office, they'll give you some ideas. Set up an account on localharvest.org. Shoot, sell it on craigslist.com. Lord knows everything else is on that site. Think about it, there are so many scares in the food industry today, a lot more people are liking the idea of knowing the good ol' guy or gal who grew and butchered their hamburger. I'm not trying to put our buddies out of business at the stockyards, either. I'm just talking about a little diversification to keep your cash flow coming in. And I hope that if you get desperate, and you are worried about your livelihood with the farm, that you'll consider some options. I'm posting a bunch of great websites at www.ozarksfn.com that will give you information on diversification, on the times of year goat meat sells best to ethnic groups and on where you can list your own farm's products for sale. Keep your head up!
God Bless,

P.S. I need you to send me your favorite recipes so I can share them with your fellow Ozarks Farm & Neighbor readers. Please send yours to:  PO Box 6, Prairie Grove, AR 72753 or email them to:  editor@ozarksfn.com.

Melissa FullerEditorial / OpinionsArkansasDiversify. That's my idea for the livestock farmer today. Do you know what you can get for a potload of 50 to 80 pound male goats at the end of Ramadan? Well, neither do I, but I bet the guy who knows how desirable that class of goats is...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma