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Why Don\’t We Sell Local?

Should We Sell Directly to Consumers?

This question has been asked of me several times. With the hardships going on with the hog market, is it time to sell directly to consumers?

First and foremost, I am not opposed to anyone who does sell directly to consumers. For us, the logistics just don\’t make sense. Here\’s why:

Even though we are small hog farmers, our barns have a capacity of a little over 3000 hogs. There is no way we could fill our barns and sell 3000 hogs at one time to consumers.

Some may ask, why don\’t you spread out the age of the pigs so you have a more continuous supply instead of one group all the same size?

It\’s about the health of the animals. When you mix different aged pigs together, it affects the overall health of the pigs. Pigs do better when they are all the same age. Trust me, we know because we have experienced this in the past.

Should We Scale Back the Number of Hogs We Raise?

The next question may be to scale back the number of hogs. I going to be honest, that is hard. Our entire life has been about efficiencies. Making the most efficient use of our barns. Farmers are always about being efficient.

To sell directly to consumers, the meat must be processed at a USDA-inspected facility. None of our meat lockers are USDA-inspected. Yes, we could probably go further away to find a facility.

To find a facility would mean a lot of work.

**Figuring out the logistics of processing the hogs

**Marketing.

**Startup costs

**Controlling costs

** Preparing for the unknowns

And where we are at in our lives, we just don\’t have the energy or time to start something new such as serving directly to consumers. If we were 20 years younger, possibly.

Will this be the way of the future?

I don\’t know. There are many people dependent on affordable food prices. The cost of direct-to-consumers would be higher. I feel we need to serve all types of consumers.

And, again, I don\’t fault anyone who wants to purchase their food in that way. I just know it is not for everyone–for both consumers and hog producers.

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