Tag Archives: farm raised pork

A Brand or Logo- Why Is It Important

Do you have your own brand or unique product? If you don’t, how will anyone pick you or your product over others? How do you set your farm or your product apart from everyone else?

Creating an identity  that people notice is what all businesses strive to do. Your identity is almost as important as your product. Having an identity or brand will go a long way in the eye of the consumer, just like street credibility. The more often a consumer is in contact with your identity, the better your product seems.

Humans are funny creatures, what we see  or hear creates our reality. Our brains collect and store data, some we use immediately, some we use to support later thoughts.  If we shop for a product, a product that we have stored thoughts on,  is immediately in better standing than one that we have nothing to recall. Stored thoughts can be from seeing the product first hand, or from a friend that has told us about it. Branding creates stored thoughts that can be used to validate and support decisions of consumers.

Humans are also herd animals, we strive to belong. A brand can give you opportunities to give someone a sense of being a part of your business or product. If you put on a baseball cap, what is on it?  It will usually have a brand or logo of something that you have an interest in, a sports team, a hunting brand, or a saying of some kind. This is how companies can get placed into your stored data and how they can influence your buying decisions.

Branding is used by companies to represent them. Companies use names, symbols, jingles, styles of writing, and even animals to create their brand. Ranches use a symbol burned into the hide of cattle to represent them and show ownership, these symbols are called brands. Can you see a Clydesdale horse and not think of beer?

As small business owners we should tap into this marketing tool. We should be finding ways to get stored in consumers minds. Product or brand placement is everywhere, stickers on vehicles, t-shirts, coats, hats, signs, billboards, radio spots, commercials, and even tattoos. even with a shoe-string budget, a business should be able to find a way to place their brand in the view or ear of a consumer.

If you are a farmer at a farmer’s market, make sure your tent has your brand or name on it. if you have your meat processed to sell, have the processor put our name on the label. If you drive a vehicle,  have your brand or name on a magnetic sign that you can stick  to it. Get t-shirts made to wear when you  are out shopping, and give them to friends to wear.

There are a thousand ways to get noticed. Even the cheapest ideas can give your business a boost. Get creative and get seen or heard by your future customer.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Makin’ Bacon Trial #1

Curintg Pork Bellies
Pork Belly in bag with cure mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I started making bacon last night. I separated out 5 lbs. of pork belly to cure. I have 2 packages that are about 2.5lbs. each in the fridge curing. I am  already excited to taste the final product.

I did some reading and compiled the information that I found into one recipe and process for making my own bacon. I went with a brown sugar and salt cure mix with some additions.

The working part of the cure is the salt. Salt removes moisture and prevents spoiling. Sugar is added for flavor and to smooth out the roughness of the salt.  Other spices and flavorings can be added to suit your individual taste. I added some of my favorite pork spices like garlic, pepper, cloves, and some liquid smoke.

It is important to measure out the correct amount of Curing Salt #1 for the weight of the pork. Curing salt ( Pink Salt) is used to retain the red meat color and to prevent botulism. There are recipes that do not include pink salt, but to obtain the  true flavor for bacon it is needed.

I decided to add the curing salt to my mix last. I mixed all the ingredients in one bowl for the entire batch of pork. And of course, I tasted the mix to get a feel for what the flavors would be. (One of the reasons to add the Pink salt last, don’t taste test after the pink salt is added.)  I then weighed the separate portions of meat that went into each seal-able  bag and figured the amount of Cure #1 for each bag. I separated out the amount of mix I wanted in each bag and then mixed in the curing salt at that time. This way my flavor profile for the mix was consistent, and I knew that the correct amount of Cure #1 was added to each portion of meat.

I rubbed down the pork belies with the cure mix while they were sealed in the bag. the cure mix will draw out the moisture from the meat and infuse some of the flavor from the spices. A brine will form in the bag over the next few days. I will turn the bags over each day and rub the mixture into the meat. As the meat cures and the moisture is removed the meat will shrink slightly and start to firm up a bit.

Before the weekend, I will check the meat and see if it is uniformly firmed up, or if some areas feel like they need more salt. I can always add a little  more salt (not pink salt) to draw out more moisture, or I can allow a bit more time for the process to complete.

Once the curing is complete my next step will be to rinse off the cure.  I will then work on getting our bacon smoked. I can’t wait until next weekend when I fire up the smoker. I will let you know how t goes.

 


 

 

Selling Litters of Pigs

You had a litter of pigs, now how can you profit from them? they have to generate income for your farm to thrive. Your goal should not be to break even or much worse lose money. Here are 4 considerations for making a profit on your new litters.

1. You must know your expenses. What does it cost to keep the sow and boar? Your sale price of the litters  must cover the expenses of: feed, wormer, bedding, housing, electric for lights and waterers, marketing costs, and any transportation costs.

2. Your sales must exceed your expense. You now should have a grasp on the amount of your expenses. Divide that amount by the number of litters you plan to have and add on your profit margin. That amount can be divided by the number of pigs in the litter to arrive at the selling price of each piglet.

3.  Different areas of the country vary on what a weaned pig is normally sold for. Don’t hesitate to advertise yours for more than the normal. Chances are the lowball sellers are loosing money and won’t be around long as competition. If you start advertising yours for what they are worth, the market in your area will reconsider their prices as well, and move closer to yours.

4. If you plan to make money on raising livestock, plan to invest in quality breeding stock. You will not be able to ask top dollar for a low quality product. Having high quality animals will set you apart from others, and your asking (a price that will allow you to be profitable) will no longer be questioned.

Good luck!