An Oregon goat dairy needs help- read on and pass along:
“I don’t know what the etiquette is for this type of diary. I’ve seen the most successful ones to be requests for assistance for a member posted in a diary by another member. However, it’s July and people are travelling and I don’t know who to ask so I am beginning to put it together and see how it goes.
It’s hay season. We have a small goat dairy located in Oregon’s Coast Range. We make luscious goat cheese which we sell at farmers markets in Portland, Corvallis and Eugene and which we also sell to chefs.
Through the worst of the bad economy, I’ve kept everyone working, no cut in hours, no raises but no pay cuts. I’ve paid all the operating expenses, all the utilities, all the taxes, all the expenses to take our cheese to farmers markets…. and we’ve squeaked by but the margins keep get tighter and tighter. Grain goes up, gas goes up, packaging and labeling goes up. Also, a forty year old woman built this sweet little dairy and farm and I don’t know where she disappeared to but this much older woman has been left in her place. I’m relying more and more on a core group of wonderful people, most of them women, who milk the goats, help with cheesemaking, assist me with herd health chores. Jobs, especially jobs for women, are few and far between in this isolated valley and most of these people have worked here on the farm for years and years. First and foremost, they love the goats. They all came to work this April, knowing I couldn’t pay them every penny each week until sometime in May, and wouldn’t be completely caught up with them until June. As of the end of June we’ve reached that point. Everyone is caught up and paid in full…”