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Defending beef. a great video

City Guy

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I'd venture to say that most mega-farms began as family farms. Survival of the fittest. Every time a farmer or rancher goes out of business chances are we have lost a weakling. Same in any business at any time in history of capitalism.
 

Nesikep

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City Guy":npj3hu7x said:
I'd venture to say that most mega-farms began as family farms. Survival of the fittest. Every time a farmer or rancher goes out of business chances are we have lost a weakling. Same in any business at any time in history of capitalism.

But how does that affect the economy overall?.. Doesn't it follow that when farms conglomerate ad infinitum, that 'jobs' are being lost... Now I don't know the specifics of how 'employment' is calculated, but if farm sizes continue to grow, less people will have employment.
With the fall in prices below production costs that's driving SMALLER farms out of business, is it really fair to say the small farms are just "weak"?
 

City Guy

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Where do I begin?
One overall effect of larger farms is cheaper food and probably safer food (healthier and better tasting, I doubt, but safer..most likely). When people spend less on food they have $ to spend on other things. With more food production we have more exports which may create jobs in that realm. The jobs equation equals out. Even if small farmers are squeezed out most of them are highly employable because of their work ethic and peripheral skills. Not many ex-farmers on the public dole, I'd wager.

Another possible effect of larger farms is smaller carbon footprint, energy $ savings if you prefer.

Another is accountability. It is easier for health officials to track the produce of one farm than ten farms in case of health issues.

Yes, we loose the romance of the idyllic farmstead in a pastoral countryside.

More to follow after breakfast.
 

City Guy

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Farming and ranching remind me of the serenity prayer--control the things I can. Commodity producers have no control over the prices they receive for their products, yet it seems that is where they concentrate their efforts--at least their vocal efforts--quite honestly whining and crying and begging the government for aid!
What they can control is costs. What I see on this and other forums cost control simply means price shopping. True cost control in any business involves eliminating as many costs as possible, not just containing them.

Every business person should look at every product and service they buy and every task they perform and ask "WHY DO I DO THIS?" Start with the expensive things and make a side by side pro and con list. Nothing is exempt or assumed or taken for granted. Cost should not be a consideration at this point, only necessity. Then write an honest summary of your findings. As Thomas Jefferson said "Question everything". Keep asking why?, why?, why? until you have the cost backed into a corner fighting for it's life. A farmer's wife once told me "Those cows have to be fed every day" NO THEY DON'T! They have to eat every day but they do not have to be fed every day. Make that happen and spend the saved time with your kids. Better yet, switch from "feed" to grass and spend ALL the time with your kids.

More to follow--time to walk the dogs.
 

HDRider

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What if government regulations and monster lobby efforts drove all restaurants to become one of four major chains?
 

City Guy

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HDRider":3qxqbwzm said:
What if government regulations and monster lobby efforts drove all restaurants to become one of four major chains?

Most independents would go out of business, some would become part of the chains and a few would come up with a better idea. In a few decades one or two of those better ideas would become chains and drive one of the old chains out of business or absorb it.(Ever hear of Montgomery-Ward, Kresege, Grants, Woolworth?) Most of the businesses of 100 years ago are not around today and the same will be true 100 years from now. Tomorrow's giant is today's seed.
 

callmefence

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Small business is important. Without it everyone would be a employee. City guy is right. when one fails and another is successful , it's because someone made better decision-making, worked harder or was luckier. Whatever the reason it's part of the free market. The ones that fail become employees of the ones that don't. ....And the party never ends.

The danger comes when the government regulations make the playing field uneven.When a business must have employees dedicated just to dealing with red tape. It will pretty much take the little guy out.

I agree with running lean. We have survived some tough times and closed some competition. (I'm speaking on the fence thing of course) simply by starving them out. doing work for less with less.
Doing without a full time Secretary or a commissioned salesman. We could be a lot larger. If we wanted to be. But I'm quite content. I think it's just perfect. When I get ready to quit I plan to become a thorn in the side of a bigger outfit in town. And sell ..
Things may change. If they do then we have to change, or quit.

One thing for sure. If you fail in any business venture. You really can't blame but one .
 

Nesikep

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When a small business is burdened with an extraordinary amount of paperwork and has to hire someone to do it, that hurts like heck.. a large company.. who cares, they can dedicate a team to do it.. Same goes for finding tax loopholes and everything else..

As for food safety and security, have you not been keeping up with the food recalls these days? It's not making a very convincing argument for the big companies being safer.
 

HDRider

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City Guy":jxv3u5h7 said:
HDRider":jxv3u5h7 said:
What if government regulations and monster lobby efforts drove all restaurants to become one of four major chains?

Most independents would go out of business, some would become part of the chains and a few would come up with a better idea. In a few decades one or two of those better ideas would become chains and drive one of the old chains out of business or absorb it.(Ever hear of Montgomery-Ward, Kresege, Grants, Woolworth?) Most of the businesses of 100 years ago are not around today and the same will be true 100 years from now. Tomorrow's giant is today's seed.
How about letting the market drive what works without big government steering it?

Did you watch the vid?
 

HDRider

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callmefence":2rre2puw said:
Small business is important. Without it everyone would be a employee. City guy is right. when one fails and another is successful , it's because someone made better decision-making, worked harder or was luckier. Whatever the reason it's part of the free market. The ones that fail become employees of the ones that don't. ....And the party never ends.

The danger comes when the government regulations make the playing field uneven.When a business must have employees dedicated just to dealing with red tape. It will pretty much take the little guy out.

I agree with running lean. We have survived some tough times and closed some competition. (I'm speaking on the fence thing of course) simply by starving them out. doing work for less with less.
Doing without a full time Secretary or a commissioned salesman. We could be a lot larger. If we wanted to be. But I'm quite content. I think it's just perfect. When I get ready to quit I plan to become a thorn in the side of a bigger outfit in town. And sell ..
Things may change. If they do then we have to change, or quit.

One thing for sure. If you fail in any business venture. You really can't blame but one .
So you'd be happy if government drove all fence work to one of four companies? You know you wouldn't.

Why is it ok with beef? That's what is happening.
 

City Guy

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HDRider":3l0rzoo9 said:
City Guy":3l0rzoo9 said:
HDRider":3l0rzoo9 said:
What if government regulations and monster lobby efforts drove all restaurants to become one of four major chains?

Most independents would go out of business, some would become part of the chains and a few would come up with a better idea. In a few decades one or two of those better ideas would become chains and drive one of the old chains out of business or absorb it.(Ever hear of Montgomery-Ward, Kresege, Grants, Woolworth?) Most of the businesses of 100 years ago are not around today and the same will be true 100 years from now. Tomorrow's giant is today's seed.
How about letting the market drive what works without big government steering it?

Did you watch the vid?

President Reagan was correct "Government IS the problem". Letting the market determine what works is best but the results would be the same. Government makes things worse, wastes money and speeds up the process.
USA is a big country but Modern media bring us closer together. People in California see and want what people in Vermont have and vice versa. Those desires are best assuaged by large volume--big companies efficient transportation. If you want to remain small you have to provide a product that cannot be shipped such as hair cuts, scenery, manicures, massages, landscaping etc.

For small farms/ranches the answer IMO is niche markets-direct sales. Take advantage of the huge "eat local" trend. Market is skyrocketing for "organic" "natural" "pasture raised" "grass fed" "humanely raised". Jump on that, especially if you are young. Join forces with your neighbors. Set standards and stick to them. Promise low, deliver high. Tell the quality story. Clean up your place and encourage people to visit (nostalgia is a very salable product). Signs, brochures, ads. Branding, total image, always on duty, even uniforms. COOP is the way to go--just be willing to give up some powers of decisions. Every body uses the same breeds and breeding scheme and management system, same feed from the same source. Uniformity is the key. Attractive packaging, on time deliveries. If it were easy everybody would be doing it.
 

callmefence

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HDRider":3qzthuxv said:
callmefence":3qzthuxv said:
Small business is important. Without it everyone would be a employee. City guy is right. when one fails and another is successful , it's because someone made better decision-making, worked harder or was luckier. Whatever the reason it's part of the free market. The ones that fail become employees of the ones that don't. ....And the party never ends.

The danger comes when the government regulations make the playing field uneven.When a business must have employees dedicated just to dealing with red tape. It will pretty much take the little guy out.

I agree with running lean. We have survived some tough times and closed some competition. (I'm speaking on the fence thing of course) simply by starving them out. doing work for less with less.
Doing without a full time Secretary or a commissioned salesman. We could be a lot larger. If we wanted to be. But I'm quite content. I think it's just perfect. When I get ready to quit I plan to become a thorn in the side of a bigger outfit in town. And sell ..
Things may change. If they do then we have to change, or quit.

One thing for sure. If you fail in any business venture. You really can't blame but one .
So you'd be happy if government drove all fence work to one of four companies? You know you wouldn't.

Why is it ok with beef? That's what is happening.

No sir. I wouldn't be happy if the government drove anything anywhere. I sure didn't mean to imply that. The success of a business should be solely dependant on....the nature of business.
Not hamstrung or helped by the government.

I've reread my post. I don't see where your getting that?
 

Commercialfarmer

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6 months ago, I worked for one of the smallest up and coming corporations in my field. Today, I work for the largest. Mine was eaten by a company that wasn't even in the field 4 years ago. As of last week, they now own 3 of the nations largest brands.... that's pretty much what we are now. Brands/division of the same larger shell. I'm afraid that with verticalization, independent guys will be a thing of the past. And I'm watching it happen right infront of my eyes.

Too much centralized power, and very few even understand the dangers of it.
 

Nesikep

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all this vertical integration is all fine and dandy for low prices.. BUT, when SHTF, there is ZERO security with it.. If one cog in the wheel breaks, it all falls apart.
Taking beef as the example, if at least beef would all be processed in-state, if a disaster strikes in one place, you can get some from the neighbors and it's no biggie... If it's all conglomerated, there's no one to borrow from.
 

greybeard

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Nesikep":g6mtv30p said:
all this vertical integration is all fine and dandy for low prices.. BUT, when SHTF, there is ZERO security with it.. If one cog in the wheel breaks, it all falls apart.
Taking beef as the example, if at least beef would all be processed in-state, if a disaster strikes in one place, you can get some from the neighbors and it's no biggie... If it's all conglomerated, there's no one to borrow from.
USA, until the shale oil plays came along, kinda saw the same thing with oil. Everything O&G is on the Gulf Coast. (almost)
 

Workinonit Farm

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City Guy":3ben5ui7 said:
If you want to remain small you have to provide a product that cannot be shipped such as hair cuts, scenery, manicures, massages, landscaping etc.

For small farms/ranches the answer IMO is niche markets-direct sales. Take advantage of the huge "eat local" trend. Market is skyrocketing for "organic" "natural" "pasture raised" "grass fed" "humanely raised". Jump on that, especially if you are young. Join forces with your neighbors. Set standards and stick to them. Promise low, deliver high. Tell the quality story. Clean up your place and encourage people to visit (nostalgia is a very salable product). Signs, brochures, ads. Branding, total image, always on duty, even uniforms.

Good advice, right there.
 

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