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TBF 052 :: Phil Kramer from Niman Ranch, News from the Farm, and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

Release Date: 02/26/2014

TBF 157 :: Crooked Gap Farm v2.0 show art TBF 157 :: Crooked Gap Farm v2.0

The Beginning Farmer Show

I have come to the realization that it is time to reboot the farm! Not that everything that we have been doing for the past twelve years has been bad, but rather there are some changes that I realize need to be made and in making them I think we are going to end up with Crooked Gap Farm v2.0. It's sort of like a Grand Re-Opening, or Church Re-Plant, or Version 2.0 of the farm. The core of the farm is going to be the same. We are still going to be all about raising great pasture raised meats, but there will be changes on the farm. Changes with efficiencies. Changes with marketing. Changes with...

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TBF 156 :: Three Needed Changes and a Hard Lesson Learned show art TBF 156 :: Three Needed Changes and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

Crooked Gap Farm has come a long ways in the roughly 12 years of it's existence! Sometimes I forget how far we have come from an empty 40 acre parcel in the middle of Iowa, but when I stop and take a look at it all I am very thankful! That doesn't mean that I have everything where it needs to be or that I'm ready to sit back and watch the farm roll along. There are a lot of projects that are needed on the farm these days. Repair projects, building projects, upgrading projects, and plenty of cleaning projects! But, I have come up with three that have been at the forefront of my mind lately ...

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TBF 155 :: Let's Talk About Meat Chickens show art TBF 155 :: Let's Talk About Meat Chickens

The Beginning Farmer Show

Let's talk about chickens! We've raised meat chickens off and on for about 10 years now, and it has never really been our strong suit. But, the demand is there and I would really like to increase our meat chicken production ... like really increase it! There is one problem though, well actually three problems. First of all we have settled on the Freedom Ranger breed for our meat chickens (although I'm open for suggestions because it still isn't my favorite ever). Secondly, I am totally committed to the "day range" system of raising the birds, but I'm not committed to a structure. And...

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TBF 154 :: Pandemic Farm Marketing and a Hard Lesson Learned show art TBF 154 :: Pandemic Farm Marketing and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

Hello Beginning Farmer Friends! We are back and better than ever. Well I'm not sure about better than ever, but we are back and I am getting pretty excited about being back (even though it is one episode)! I am excited to be able to "chat" about farming again, and share the happenings of Crooked Gap Farm and our plans for the future. In this episode I end up talking about what our farm marketing world has looked at during the current pandemic of 2020. Sales have been good (I think for many protein farmers that has been true), but along with increased sales and demand there have been plenty of...

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TBF 153 :: Family, Fun, and a Hard Lesson Learned show art TBF 153 :: Family, Fun, and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

In a time of unknown, I sit down and do what is needed: I have fun. Today I talk with my oldest son, Caleb, about his interests on the farm and where he goes and is wanting to go with them. He shares what his biggest interest on the farm is and what he does with it. With plenty of fun and laughter, tractors, a Hard Lesson Learned, and even rockets, this is sure to be a fun episode that you can't miss!

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TBF 152 :: Back Again and More Farm Updates show art TBF 152 :: Back Again and More Farm Updates

The Beginning Farmer Show

I am going to ignore the elephant in the room (this episode is being released during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic) and attempt to pick-up where I left off about one year ago! On the last episode of The Beginning Farmer Show, that sounds like something you would hear at the beginning of a soap opera, I had outlined the equipment and infrastructure that we had accumulated on the farm. What I was realizing was that maybe the equipment I had wasn't "right-sized" to where our farm was at the moment. The big question that was discussed though was, what are we going to do in terms of the hay operation....

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TBF 151 :: Changing the Inventory of a Farm show art TBF 151 :: Changing the Inventory of a Farm

The Beginning Farmer Show

Now that you know the large collection of things that we have on the farm I want to share some of my thoughts on what needs to head down the road, what needs to be added, and where I am the most confused! It has become obvious to me that one of the tractors needs to go, and in a perfect world it needs to be replaced by a skid loader that would be able to perform quite a few important tasks on the farm. Also, an addition to the shed is something that is at the top of the list once we can get the money together and the details figured out. The biggest question facing the farm at this moment...

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TBF 150 :: Taking Stock and Deciding What to Do show art TBF 150 :: Taking Stock and Deciding What to Do

The Beginning Farmer Show

I'm just going to be completely honest here. I have forgotten most of what it takes to post a podcast episode since it has been such a long time since I have regularly released episodes! With that in mind these "show notes" are really just going to be a link to the show if you'd like to listen on-line or share your thoughts on the Crooked Gap Farm Inventory that I detailed in this episode.  If you do make your way over to this post though I would love to hear what you think about the equipment and infrastructure our farm has accumulated over the past ten years. Do you have any advice on...

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TBF 149 :: This is Sort of a Test, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned show art TBF 149 :: This is Sort of a Test, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

Hey there! This is a BRAND NEW EPISODE of "The Beginning Farmer Show"!!! I'm not sure when the next one will be, but for now this one is here and I'm looking for direction when it comes to the show. If you have any good leads or ideas of farmers that you would like to hear on the show please let me know by clicking the link below and reaching out through the Facebook page. As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners...

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TBF 148 :: Hello Again, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned show art TBF 148 :: Hello Again, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned

The Beginning Farmer Show

That means this episode is all about the livestock on the farm ... how they've been handling the summer, what I've been doing with them, and whether or not we still have a farm period! Hopefully you enjoy the show!

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More Episodes

paulreachesLast week I had the opportunity to participate in a Practical Farmers of Iowa Farminar about "Making Niche Pork Work for You at Any Scale". The 90 minutes scheduled for the on-line event (you can click the link above to watch a recording) went by faster than I could have imagined and I learned a lot along the way. There were so many great questions from Kate, the other beginning farmer, that we didn't have much time to talk with Phil Kramer about Niman Ranch. Luckily I happen to know Phil because his farm was where we purchased our first Hereford gilt so I asked him if he would be willing to come on "The Beginning Farmer Show" to talk about raising pigs for Niman Ranch. Phil takes us through the process of bringing Niman Ranch feeder pigs to the farm all the way through taking them to the pick-up location and everything in between! The great thing about my discussion with Phil is that regardless if you are interested in raising pigs for Niman Ranch or not he shares a lot of great information about raising hogs outdoors and without antibiotics (they do use vaccinations and wormers in the Niman program). Phil grew up on a farrow-to-finish hog farm and has been working with Niman Ranch for 11 years now so the pig business is a business that he knows through and through. I only wished we lived closer so I could pick his brain more often! If you have any questions for Phil about Niman Ranch or just raising pigs from farrow-to-finish in general please leave a comment below and I'll make sure Phil gets your question and answers if he is able to.

Links Relevant to This Episode

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...