How to Start a Farm Business that Makes $120K/Month (Pt. 1)

this is Max and this is Amelia I think I got it right and we're here at grace harbor farms grace Harbor Farms makes a variety of goat milk products also other dairy products and from there so lotion to skin care products you can find those in more than a hundred stores nationwide we didn't have any money we didn't have anything in mind we just had two goats and we made some soap but we lost the biz Oh Tim and grace Lukens started the farm back in 1999 with just two goats and their story is incredible they've gone through ups and downs with a bankruptcy due to something that happened we'll share about that and they've just risen back out of that crisis in an incredible way but when people came to me came and said why don't you make cheese or milk and stuff I said no why do I want to do that dairy farms are dying like flies I mean why do I want to do that start making yogurt yogurt was fantastic yogurt took off we ended up with a lot more demand than we hit meat thanks to their success they now buy milk from two other farms but they also maintain a grade a dairy farm on their property this is it this is a mini grade a goat dairy you could do it for cows be slightly larger but the concept is the same and farming in general is a really complicated business that's why we made this into a two episode series this is part 1 make sure you come back and check out part 2 [Music] question about what budget you had in mind when you started out when you start out what do you money was it we didn't have how did you spend it we didn't have any money we didn't have anything in mind we just had two goats and we made some soap we went to the mall when we went to the mall that kiosk rents were expensive but we were selling enough soap we thought to pay that which we did we made it sort of but we had no we didn't start with the budget we didn't start a plan we just went yeah when we started it started it out and we didn't we didn't buy the goats with the intention of building this business we had no concept at all what would happen 20 years later so when we decided to make soap it was because hey these goats are kind of fun and we liked them and and so let's let's see if there's a way we can turn this hobby into a business because that was kind of my orientation I wanted to I wanted to make a business out of it and graces sister Christie lives over in Port Angeles area said hey I've got this friend and gosh they sell like I think they sell $100 a weekend and soap at the farmers market woman oh okay that'll do it so grace learned how to make soap and that's how we got in the farmers market [Music] it's been a while that's cool so Dave what about starting a farm as people are watching this right now they're wondering Han this is exciting goat's milk food products yeah what are some steps they need to take to make it happen it starts there if you want to start a farm I recommend getting a goat or a cow or something right so you literally start with one yeah sure one or two you I mean two is great cuz then I got a friend but I mean we'll show you literally how we started this is actually a prototype dairy we started again on site where a Creamery is that little goat right there and the other ones out in the field they're all specific breeds that can breed year around so that's some nerdy goat talk and you know people will will like that but if you want to start milking goats great a status you need a goat milk parlor right so come on into the office here and you can put a goat on each side you can milk them we even have an official sign here it's very awesome so we will milk these goats into a bucket it's a closed bucket it's gonna go each goat into the same bucket and capture the milk and come on through here part of a grade-a goat dairy is you have to have a milk house that's separate your milking parlor has to have an enclosed room or ceiling so you saw that in there so this is the milk house you can wash everything separately in here it's clean there's no manure or anything then the one of the main things is you have to get your milk below 45 degrees within two hours comes out of the animal about a hundred degrees roughly and so this is a mini bolt tank look at that hey there's your bottles yep this is it this is a mini grade-a goat dairy you could do it for cows to be slightly larger but the concept is the same it's not that complicated snatcher 'el to over complicate things I'm surprised I thought it was gonna be a lot more to it but we've got one room you've got to go and you've got room – absolutely true yes so they may not be simple people it's the kiss method right right [Music] well the farmers market was very successful people were telling us oh wow this soap is great it's the best thing I've ever used on my skin and can you figure out how to make some lotion so I did I figured out how to make some lotion and by the end of the farmers market season people were saying oh where can we find you when the farmers market season gets over right so we rented a kiosk it fell this fair mall we're selling soap and lotion and the mall we were there for two and a half years through three Christmas seasons and we made a lot of soap to pay the rent it's expensive in those places then you have to keep it manned all the hours that the mall is open but we launched a business but as soon as people see the zionists that you're doing the goat products they say do you think cheese and no we don't make any cheese but when people came to me came and said why don't you make cheese or milk and stuff I said no why do I want to do that the dairy farms are dying like flies I mean why do I want to do that but after about a year people kept coming back coming back coming back and we went oh maybe they actually will buy this stuff so Dave thanks for being with us pleasure you're now the man in charge I am that's what they taught they tell me how does that make you feel stressed the time absolutely sleeping well at night yeah that's good that's good that's awesome I like standing here it smells incredibly good you know filled with essential oils where it all began I wanted to ask you about your product line a couple of things how do you come up with it and then labeling do you do that here do you use someone else just so we couldn't better understand the process yeah so we've come up with everything ourselves grace has actually been the main formulator for especially the skincare she did all that basically herself and then we when we started the dairy products side of everything she's done most of it and then I've helped in the last couple years formulate some products and good stuff going everything's bottled made in-house with the skincare side the only exception that is the bar soap making bar soap is actually slightly dangerous so that has been outsourced to a local company local meaning just across the Canadian border but they're just a few miles from us here so beyond that everything you see including all the food products and stuff that we'll look at later that's all done here later up here what about soap that's dangerous to make just in that know when you make so if you deal with lye I don't know if you're familiar with that but it can burn you so and if you add it too fast into your liquid soap mix it can actually kind of blow up so interesting yeah yeah there's tricks of the trade better hand it over to people that are doing it on a mass scale yep know what they're doing [Music] we added the bottled milk thing and added cows that just it just expanded this way so we started with this and then it went like this we had a big crisis and we kind of folded for a little while but we recovered from that and that's when David and Tim decided that let's make the yogurt and we had a really good relationship with our customer base in Seattle who just had started just with a little bit of cheese and then these other things and so they would practically take anything we will produced so they bottled started making yogurt the yogurt was fantastic yogurt took off we ended up with a lot more demand than we could meet so we had to make choices on how we're gonna get how we're gonna get enough milk because we were milking 12 or 15 cows here on 70 goods abroad much too much for this property to handle so at that point we literally farmed the animals out to other farms that we just became a processing business and at the same time that we had the e.coli crisis we split the businesses then we have a skin care business which is called grace harbor international and we have the dairy business which is doing business as grace Harper farms and we did that for two reasons which both turned out to be smart thing to do the first reason was in case that we ever had a crisis again the whole thing wouldn't go down that we would still have you on either side if there were some kind of a crisis the other business would still survive and the second one was if we ever wanted to sell one of them we'd still have the other [Music] yeah we actually make all the skincare stuff right here so come on over let's check it out all right so this is the this is the brains here it's not a lot of room nope but you guys lean it's lean I saw Paul Akers on your channel it's lean man yeah no it's good stuff you guys are going after the model yep that's definitely part of it so what happens here walk us through a quick process of really what's here to be honest with you the quick process is in everything within the lotion world gets made just in a in a five gallon pot basically right so it gets melted or there's our little burners over there little melters everything gets melted added together mixed up MSM creams our number one seller and that is actually somewhat complicated on a sciences or chemistry style things so grace has been really good at about that and formulating it figuring out how to have people create you know mix it based off of her recipe and stuff so once it's all mixed together which most of its I mean you know it's on in there because the label but then how we actually get it to bind together and stay together and stuff that's kind of sort of a secret but as soon as it's done there then it gets bottled just immediately so that they set up tables here and this is this was made today so it's actually still a little bit liquid but it's really cool setting up and and then you label it right here I see the label you gotta label rolls their label rolls there gets get labeled and then the last step is gets boxed up so whether it's getting shipped across the world I mean we've literally shipped international to many different countries or it's just going down to the local Billingham co-op that's amazing man are you sharing your story and some format that people gravitate you know these days people love the story of local and where you come from how started if so how are you doing that and is that a big part of your success as well would you contribute it to your success we don't have a formal way of doing that right now but we tell the story individually with and people oh and you're exactly right people love the story yes sorry and I try in my newsletters to have some story each time the newsletters go out of him once a month or right now just recently hired a guy to help us with social media so he's starting to tell the story a little bit more there David does a good job with Facebook and things like that getting the story out those are the way that stories get told now with with video and like what you're doing yeah that's good especially for you guys if you currently operate a font small large mid scale if you can share with us how you're effectively sharing your story for Tim and grace and for them to take that to the next level he that would be really cool to hear your experience and your success and how exactly are you sharing your story how has that impacted your bottom line and really your service [Music] [Applause] are you selling online if so what platforms are you using what are your plans to grow in that space as well yeah for the food side it's a little harder just because refrigeration you know all that good stuff so we do sell to a couple retail partners that do pack food boxes so they sell online or a supplier to them so I don't know a ton about that food world selling online the skincare side we do saw online that's our primary sales funnel from our own website so we've done that for years but then now everybody's on Amazon right so we've done the Amazon thing and it seems to be good Amazon's getting a little harder to deal with too because if you claim pain relief or anything you know I mean it's going to maybe get flagged that you're making a some sort of healing claim or something of that sort right those days so there's some things to some some hoops to jump through so to speak but yeah I mean it's it's the the wonderful age that we're in is YouTube right you can learn just about anything on YouTube these days and so we've done a lot of that there's so much we can talk about and that's why we've we're gonna share this in two episodes but please ask questions subscribe hit the bell button so that you don't miss any videos from us we've got a lot more coming and I hope that we're getting better each time and we need your feedback to get better if you guys have any suggestions we want to hear from you all right we want to hear from you

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