Thriving Farmer: Eden Creamery

Thriving Farmer: Eden Creamery

A family of scientists turned cheesemakers!

 

Cassie and Asaf are the farmers behind Eden Creamery, just outside of Boise, Idaho.

“We’re a couple of scientists turned cheese makers,” Cassie says. “I guess you could call us “Curd Nerds.”

Asaf is Israeli and settled on Eden Creamery as the farm’s name, after the Garden of Eden. There, he and Cassie raise a rare breed of goats, the beautiful Oberhasli.

Their farm is a full-circle operation, where they rear and milk goats and make handmade farmstead cheese in their Grade-A, ISDA Certified creamery.

“We’re proudly raising a ton of kids,” Cassie says. “Well…we’re raising four of the human kind and an ever-increasing number of the goat kind.”

But Cassie says that getting into farming wasn’t a long, strategic discussion. Rather, it just sort of…happened.

“It happened kind of by accident. Cheesemaking was a hobby that got out of control.”

Like many farmers, it was the love of the farming enterprise that attracted Cassie and Asaf. Whether it’s growing vegetables and fruit or tending to livestock or, in their case, making cheese, farmers often get hooked on the “farm work.” But, once they turn that into a business, they quickly discover they must focus on marketing if they want their farm to thrive. Because effective marketing is what allows a farmer to find and attract loyal customers.

“Marketing, marketing, marketing is the most challenging part of running a profitable farm business,” Cassie says. “I wish we would have understood that and focused on it earlier.”

Fortunately, Cassie found Small Farm Nation Academy in 2018 and has been a member since.

“The help with website design, video courses and the online community are the biggest reasons I’d recommend Small Farm Nation Academy,” Cassie says. “I’ve also taken advantage of the one-to-one coaching with Tim when needed, and it’s nice to know there’s coaching there whenever I need it.”

Small Farm Nation designs and
hosts custom websites with online stores
for farmers across the United States,
Canada and beyond. Our web designs meet the needs of each individual farm.

Small Farm Nation Academy offers
online farm marketing courses that help
farmers to build their brands,
grow their email lists and
attract loyal customers.

Thriving Farmer: Holt Creek Jerseys

Thriving Farmer: Holt Creek Jerseys

This busy farmer made time for marketing!

Ben Gotschall is a busy man. Working with his wife Tammy and their growing daughter Charlotte, Ben and Charlotte run two farming businesses.

Raising Jersey cows has been a passion for Ben since he was a boy. 

“Even at that young age, I was serious about developing a top-tier production herd of Jersey cattle,” Ben says. “I set for myself the goal of having the highest-producing Jersey herd in the state of Nebraska. I bred my cows to high-production bulls and purchased cows and heifers from high-producing herds in the Midwest, and by 1997, as a senior in high school, I had the top herd in the state for milk.”

Ben established a small herd of Jersey cows, one of the top 10 small Jersey herds in the U.S. for butterfat production. He sold commodity milk to the Dairy Farmers of America, who picked up every 3 days. Like many dairy farmers at the time, Ben fed the cows a specially-designed production pellet in the parlor, and fed the heifers a heifer grower ration of corn. He kept their calves in individual hutches where they were fed milk replacer and calf starter pellets until they were weaned at 6 weeks old.

It was a classic high-input, high-production, low profit business, even when milk prices were attractive.  It was not a system designed to be profitable under unfavorable economic conditions, and it was not sustainable.  When milk prices dropped in 1998, Ben’s income from milk sales to DFA was insufficient to cover his cost of production.  He was faced with the infamous choice many small dairy farmers then and now confront: GET BIG, OR GET OUT!

Ben had to find another way.

Today, Ben runs Holt Creek Jerseys, where he sells Jersey cows, bulls and semen with organic, grass-fed and A2A2 genetics. To help market that business, he built a website with the help of Small Farm Nation Academy

But Ben and Charlotte do more than raise cows. They milk them, too, and sell raw milk in Nebraska. They market raw milk, grass-fed beef and pastured pork through another business, Davey Road Ranch. 

Ben’s parents run yet another farming business! 

So, clearly, Ben has farming in his blood and has been around it all his life. But, like many farmers who transitioned to selling directly to customers, Ben discovered he needed to develop a new skillset.

He needed to become an effective marketer.

“Before joining Small Farm Nation Academy, I struggled with social media, creating a good website and email marketing,” Ben said. “But now I’ve learned how to design and maintain my website, and I’ve grown my email customer list and grown my social media/online presence.”

Ben has a tremendous amount of farming experience and has words of wisdom for new and experienced farmers.

“Knowing your financial numbers via accurate bookkeeping is vital to making timely and effective decisions on a farm. I wish I had outsourced my bookkeeping to a professional sooner so I could spend more time on marketing and customer engagement through my Small Farm Nation website and customer e-mail list.”

Small Farm Nation designs and
hosts custom websites with online stores
for farmers across the United States,
Canada and beyond. Our web designs meet the needs of each individual farm.

Small Farm Nation Academy offers
online farm marketing courses that help
farmers to build their brands,
grow their email lists and
attract loyal customers.

Thriving Farmer: Rolling Hills Cattle Company

Thriving Farmer: Rolling Hills Cattle Company

Abandoned cart numbers decline by 80%!

The mother and daughter team of Christina and Hailey operate two farm businesses in Minnesota.

“We named our farm Rolling Hills Cattle Company,” Christina said. “And we call our meat business Grillin Meats. The beautiful rolling hills of our property made our name easy. Everyone loves to grill, so Grillin Meats fit really well!”

At the ripe age of 2, Christina’s family made the move to her great-grandparent’s house to live. Part of the privilege of being next door to grandpa’s farm was being able to go with her dad to the farm to help feed the calves.

So Christina grew up on a dairy farm and you could say that farming is in her blood. But, rather than running a dairy farm, Rolling Hills Cattle Company has the oldest herd of 100% Minnesota Bred British White Cattle.

Christina says she has really enjoyed developing a line of beef cattle after growing up in the dairy business. Today, she and Haily offer commercial and registered British White Beef cattle & semen to other farmers. But that’s not all Rolling Hills offers.

“We offer AGA Certified Grassfed and finished British White beef cattle as our main product,” Christina says. “But we also raise Mangalitsa hogs, and a wide variety of poultry, hair sheep, and eggs.”

Like mom, Hailey has had the privilege of growing up on the ranch. She started her micro-farm with chickens when she was 12. Hailey manages the ranch when Christina is away at the farmer’s market, making deliveries or taking care of ranch business.

While Christina certainly knows farming and has been around it her whole life, farm marketing and technology…well…that was another matter.

“Before joining Small Farm Nation Academy …believe it or not, I couldn’t figure out how to add a contact-us page. Or an email sign-up form. So I was struggling with technology!”

Christina says the biggest problem she and Hailey struggle with is finding time to get it all done, something every farmer can relate to. But these awesome “Farm-Hers” love what they’re doing.

“I wish we had started 10 years sooner. I had no idea what we were missing out on!” Christina added.

Christina created two websites with the help of Small Farm Nation, one for each of her farming businesses. And it has really helped her and Haily spend more time as “Ranch-Hers,” which is what they love.

“The lessons on the small farm nation program and emails have helped us refine our website and get our “abandoned cart” numbers to drop by 80%. The Small Farm Nation websites are affordable and in the long run a much better bargain than other platforms without extra fees.”

Small Farm Nation designs and
hosts custom websites with online stores
for farmers across the United States,
Canada and beyond. Our web designs meet the needs of each individual farm.

Small Farm Nation Academy offers
online farm marketing courses that help
farmers to build their brands,
grow their email lists and
attract loyal customers.