Renewable Farming

Wall Street Journal features farmers who beat low ag prices with creative marketing

Wall Street Journal writer Jesse Newman captures the mood of today’s creative, optimistic farmers who are growing products for higher-value markets. They’re using their management and marketing skills, both of which are highly valuable and not easily found on the farm.

January 9, 2017 — You can see the original article at this link. What we found significant is that the WSJ is acknowledging the “food revolution” which is leading food buyers to connect more closely with food producers and gain fresh, wholesome and often organically produced foods.

The story outlines what you’re facing now:

“Since World War II, grain farmers have sought to boost profits mostly by increasing yields, driving down costs and expanding their operations. Bigger, more sophisticated equipment and high-tech seeds have encouraged a trend toward larger, more capital-intensive farms.

“Now, growing demand for locally produced food and drinks is coinciding with concerns about volatile crop prices, providing an opportunity for farmers to try shrinking the gap between their crops and consumers.”

Newman’s report also notes that more farmers are transitioning into non-GMO crops, to gain a price premium and avoid the extra cost of traited seed.

Many of the farmers we work with as WakeUP clients have a special “niche” — a specialty product, or a unique production method which helps them achieve an unusual efficiency.  We bumped into one example when visiting with a bakery firm, Great Harvest Bread Company. This firm franchises its marketing concept to over 200 retail outlets, where fresh bread and other bakery products are sold in a restaurant-like setting. One critical factor here is that flour is ground daily, just before bread is baked, for maximum flavor and freshness.

The connection with farmers: Great Harvest buys its wheat only from wheat growers in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” who produce it under exacting contract specifications. The three points of the triangle in north-central Montana are Havre, Conrad, and Great Falls.