How do you carve out a solid market for pasture raised chicken in a crowded marketplace?
Jeremiah Vernon of Vernon Family Farm in Newfields, New Hampshire joins us today to share how he is proving the value of good old fashioned unmodified food to his community. Vernon Family Farm has gone from moving 1200 chickens to 20000 in just six years, while maintaining optimal operations.
Jeremiah shares about his background, how they have scaled their on-farm store and now event space, and how they have diversified with the chicken to grow their sales and customer base.
Join us for this episode to hear all about what Jeremiah does, how he does it, and the heart he does it with!
How Vernon Family Farm ended up focusing on chickens 1:15
If Jeremiah recommends working as a farmhand before starting your own farm 2:49
What Jeremiah was looking for when buying land 4:12
What Jeremiah focused on first when building his farm 5:33
What a typical day on Vernon Family Farm looks like 8:00
About the logistics of hauling the birds 10:40
What systems Jeremiah put into place to ensure optimal operation 12:07
How climate impacts the farm 14:58
About the hardest thing Jeremiah has done as a farmer 17:21
How Jeremiah improves work/life balance 18:19
Who Jeremiah’s mentors were during his farming journey 20:06
What became of Vernon Family Farm’s mushroom and pork operations 25:33
What systems he’d implement sooner if Jeremiah were to start over 28:21
How Jeremiah delegates roles on the farm 30:56
How Jeremiah establishes positive relationships with workers 32:38
How Jeremiah found his employees 35:32
What Vernon Family Farm does for marketing 38:06
What percentage of the business is wholesale to distributor 39:49
What specific product varieties Vernon Family Farm focuses on 42:29
How Jeremiah got started with rotisserie chicken 44:26
How Jeremiah charges for having other farmers use his facilities 50:08
When Jeremiah realized that his business model was working 51:07
How Jeremiah started with value added products 53:54
The biggest mistake Jeremiah sees newer farmers making 56:20
About Jeremiah’s favorite farming tool 57:58
Jeremiah’s thoughts on whether or not now is a good time to start a farm 1.00.35
Where you can find more about Jeremiah and Vernon Family Farm 1.03:15
About the Guest:
Jeremiah Vernon is a 10th generation New Hampshire native. He grew up in New London, NH on his family farm on Pingree Rd. and has always had a love for animals and the outdoors. He graduated from Proctor Academy and received his Bachelor of Science from Bates College, earning a degree in Biology. Post-college, Jeremiah worked on Nezinscot Farm in Turner ME, where he fell in love with farming and his wife, Nicole Vernon.
He has farmed land on the Seacoast of NH for over 10 years. He is passionate about the land his family owns now on the Seacoast, which happens to be in the same school district where his wife teaches and children are schooled.
Resources and mentions:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/vernonfamilyfarm
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vernonfamilyfarm/
And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!
We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.