I did the math 9 times. I rewrote this post 4 more. I was sure I was wrong. But, this past week, after shipping out boxes for the day right here in the ranch store, I took a closer look at our profit/loss and realized we just couldn’t absorb the increase cost of production like we have been.
Since 2021, our dry ice alone has gone up 120%. While our shipping liners themselves have not gone up much, the cost of getting them here has gone up 100%. Shipping rates have increased (specifically to California at nearly a 50% increase, sadly). Our livestock feed went up 30% last year and another 30% this past month, even in though we buy in bulk. Our daily fuel costs have doubled and our hay prices are now up 20% more than they were last year. Our cost of organic feed for our meat birds went up an additional 57% over last year. Tractor parts have gone up, if we can even get them and sadly, our grazing season was delayed a month due to the wettest spring in 74 years here in the PNW. What does that mean? It means that we had to feed stored hay to our herds for a month longer than we normally do, increasing our costs even farther. We take advantage of as much economy of scale purchasing as we possibly can yet, here we are.
With tears in my eyes I have to admit, though, we simply cannot afford to absorb these costs anymore. We have tried for months to see if things would get better, wanting to weather the storm and see if we could diversify our way out of it, subsidizing these increases with things like classes and events. However, we’ve seen so many increases across the board, that sitting down to do the math left me in a puddle of tears.
Friends, we work hard. I have never clocked my hours but on Tuesday, I was up at 5:10AM and finally to bed at 11:20PM. In that time, we also had 2 other staff members (& an amazing friend who lets me trade ground beef and horse rides for help) in the morning helping to make it all happen. These days aren’t rare, they aren’t the exception, they’re the normal. We LOVE what we do. But, we simply cannot afford to absorb these costs and expect to be sustainable when working these grueling hours. Most people don’t know that Ryan also works a full time off farm job because, let’s face it, farming is extremely expensive and our business is young. His job allows us to continue to grow the farm but asking him to work an additional 40 hours a week off the farm just to pay the expenses of running our operation isn’t a sustainable solution for the long term. The farm needs to stand on it’s own and with the rising cost of production, it can’t do that with out raising our prices.
A biochemist, Robb Wolf said in a podcast about regenerative agriculture, “farming must be profitable to be sustainable” and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think anyone gets into farming to get rich. But, we still have to make it profitable to justify the hard work. Ryan and I work from dawn until dusk to keep us going and, friends, we want to last.
What to expect:
$1 price increase per pound on all cuts of meat except chicken. Since we had already increased our prices to reflect 2022 cost of raising our chickens, we will not be raising chicken prices again.
Shipping increases: $5 for each time zone and sadly, a $20 increase to California.
***Shipping will NOT increase for Farm Club!
Eggs will not increase at this time.
When to expect this:
Pricing changes are currently underway and will be reflected immediately.
Friends, we are grateful for what we do. We feel a deep calling to continue our work and are thankful that you’ll stick around with us