Open for Business with Katie Jantzen, West End Farm (June 8, 2021)
Katie Jantzen founded West End Farm in 2017 on part of her family's farm near Plymouth, NE. She raises 47 different types of vegetables, berries, melons, and herbs, and also sells honey, jam, and baked goods. West End Farm is currently made up of approximately 1/2 acre in vegetable production including a newly-constructed high tunnel, a small berry patch, and 10 honeybee hives. The main marketing venue for her crops is the farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, in which customers sign up for a produce subscription and receive a weekly box of fresh vegetables all season long. She also sells her products at the Beatrice Farmers Market and to a couple of wholesale accounts. Katie's interest in local food has been influenced by a range of experiences including growing up on a dairy farm, studying environmental science in college, managing a community gardening program for a food pantry, and working on CSA farms in several states. When not working on the farm or at her town job, Katie is also involved in a variety of food/agriculture organizations including the Southeast Nebraska Food Partners food coalition, Nebraska Food Council, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, and Women in Local Food and Farming, as well as several research projects with the Center for Rural Affairs.
icon search Searchable Transcript
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
[00:00:03.959]firstname.lastname@example.org: Good evening everyone i'm Brittany fulton the extension assistant of the nebraska have an agriculture program thanks for joining us today this is open for business.
[00:00:13.590]email@example.com: A webinar series that focuses on female agribusiness entrepreneurs, on the second Tuesday of the month.
[00:00:18.840]firstname.lastname@example.org: We feature in nebraska women agriculture to show their grit and determination as they share their stories about how they've overcome business shocks during our time together, please use the chat box located on the bottom of your screen ask questions.
[00:00:30.780]email@example.com: And we'll address those questions as.
[00:00:32.310]firstname.lastname@example.org: time allows today we are having a little bit of Internet issues, so you might not see our guests, the whole time or.
[00:00:40.260]email@example.com: But we're we're going to make sure that you guys know if you're for.
[00:00:42.630]firstname.lastname@example.org: Sure, but today we have katie jansen with us, and she found in West end farm and 2017 on part of her family's farm near Plymouth she raises 47 different types of vegetables, berries melons herbs and also sells honey jam and baked.
[00:00:58.050]email@example.com: Goods Western farm is currently made out of approximately half an acre and vegetable production, including a newly constructed high tunnel, a small Barry patched antenna honey bee hives the main marketing venue for her crops.
[00:01:10.110]firstname.lastname@example.org: Is the farms Community supported agriculture program in which customers sign up for a produce subscription and receive a weekly box of fresh vegetables all season long.
[00:01:19.650]email@example.com: She also sells her products at the address farmers market, and so a couple of wholesale he's interest and local food has been influenced by a range of experiences, including growing up on a dairy farm studying environmental science.
[00:01:32.280]firstname.lastname@example.org: In college.
[00:01:33.090]email@example.com: Managing and Community garden program for food pantry and working on CSA farms in several States but not working on the far.
[00:01:40.320]firstname.lastname@example.org: Right or town job he's also involved.
[00:01:42.690]email@example.com: In a variety of food, agriculture organizations, including the south east nebraska food partners.
[00:01:48.000]firstname.lastname@example.org: and Polish in nebraska food Council nebraska's farmer Union.
[00:01:52.110]email@example.com: nebraska sustainable agriculture agriculture society and women in local food and farming, as well as several research projects with the Center for rural affairs thanks for joining us today me.
[00:02:09.570]Katie Jantzen: So let me katie I am seeing a delay so i'm good.
[00:02:13.800]Katie Jantzen: i'm seeing a delay so i'm going to stop.
[00:02:17.010]Katie Jantzen: and hope that the sound quality is good.
[00:02:20.730]firstname.lastname@example.org: That sounds good, well we'll give it a try like this.
[00:02:23.040]Katie Jantzen: will hear me.
[00:02:24.540]email@example.com: So let's go ahead and you just start telling us about yourself.
[00:02:28.590]firstname.lastname@example.org: and your background.
[00:02:32.460]Katie Jantzen: All right, well, you kind of get an overview, but this is the.
[00:02:41.250]Katie Jantzen: Fifth season for West end farm, although, as was pointed out earlier i've had.
[00:02:48.540]Katie Jantzen: A bit of related experience in the past, but no amount that kind of experience really prepares you for something until you actually do it, so I have had.
[00:03:02.370]Katie Jantzen: For season now have lots of trial and error and learning by mistakes, but that's kinda learn best sometimes so we've had this year as well, has been pretty wild with strange weather and so i'm continuing to learn, quite a few things.
[00:03:20.610]Katie Jantzen: that's one thing about farming you get a lot of.
[00:03:24.660]Katie Jantzen: duplication, that you might not in a lot of other jobs.
[00:03:29.610]Katie Jantzen: So is there something in particular you'd like me to describe about the farm.
[00:03:36.810]email@example.com: I get let's just go ahead and have you jump right in and tell us about the farm and give us some details about what you're growing and kind of what you're doing.
[00:03:45.960]Katie Jantzen: Sure okay so for a little bit i'm located just outside of Plymouth nebraska which is west of the actress which is south of link so i'm in the southeast part of the state and i'm located.
[00:04:01.500]Katie Jantzen: My family's farm used to be a dairy farm and so where I growing my crops now is on our old cow lots so of berries are where the baby calves used to be.
[00:04:13.980]Katie Jantzen: And the high tunnel is in the mutton and the rest of the crops are in this spot and the dry cow lot, so I do have a lot of pretty good fertility, based on.
[00:04:28.920]Katie Jantzen: The newer that was there.
[00:04:31.800]Katie Jantzen: I mean i'm laid out on a bed thumb and i'm raising 37.
[00:04:38.640]Katie Jantzen: summit 47 different crops, because it's hard to keep track of all of those, but I have all your basic garden props tomatoes onions, beans, peas.
[00:04:50.970]Katie Jantzen: cucumbers broccoli cabbage all that stuff don't venture to my the weird things because I don't have a huge market for it, although some say customers enjoy trying new things, so this year I tried bok choy for the first time i'm also going to attempt fennel.
[00:05:11.190]Katie Jantzen: broccoli or fennel and Brussels sprouts in the fall, which can be difficult to grow see how that goes.
[00:05:19.260]Katie Jantzen: I Reaper our dairy barn to be.
[00:05:24.390]Katie Jantzen: packed building, which is still in the process of being repurposed but just had some electrical work finished in there today so i'm making progress.
[00:05:35.190]Katie Jantzen: we've small walk in cooler off the barn to have a place to produce and keep it cool after harvest and then.
[00:05:45.750]Katie Jantzen: My marketing venue is CSA which stands for supported agriculture so that's a model and customers are essentially members of the farm recipients of the harvest shareholders, in a sense, and that they purchase a subscription prior to the season.
[00:06:10.260]Katie Jantzen: And every week throughout the growing season they'll receive a box of whatever is from season that week and so that model is.
[00:06:20.610]Katie Jantzen: not new but not super old it's it came to the US mail 30 years ago.
[00:06:28.200]Katie Jantzen: And I like it, because it's a way of having a closer connection with the people who are buying likes and it's a way for them to have a connection to how and where their food is grown and by whom.
[00:06:45.300]Katie Jantzen: And one of the other nice things about that model is that there's there's a sharing of risk because farming is inherently risky business with primarily with weather, but after the variables as well.
[00:07:00.300]Katie Jantzen: And so, when P into a CSA model they recognize that they are sharing some of that the farm them so they've paid up front for the entire see and don't know if there will be a hailstorm that would take out most of the crops.
[00:07:19.050]Katie Jantzen: fun.
[00:07:20.790]Katie Jantzen: Or if there would be a flood or a tornado or something, be they wouldn't lose their entire investment but they end up.
[00:07:30.960]Katie Jantzen: Short, a few weeks, fortunately i've never had any major issues like and so it's been a pretty good deal.
[00:07:40.800]Katie Jantzen: So far, on the Risk Sharing aspect, but every year they're reminded that that there are challenges with farming and if something were to go wrong there, except that they may not receive as much in their box or a certain part of the season.
[00:07:56.880]Katie Jantzen: And then, with additional produce that I have, I also go.
[00:08:01.890]Katie Jantzen: The actress farmers market here locally and then have one or two other sale accounts that by small amounts, but that my real.
[00:08:13.230]Katie Jantzen: main.
[00:08:14.910]Katie Jantzen: The main customers are the CSA members they're the ones that receivers the best the if there's limited quantity of something to them.
[00:08:26.850]firstname.lastname@example.org: Great K that's kind of I think that's.
[00:08:28.830]email@example.com: Such a neat idea, the subscription boxes.
[00:08:32.250]firstname.lastname@example.org: kind of talking more about the subscription.
[00:08:34.140]email@example.com: boxes do they just go online to do that, how do they sign up and like what kind of demographics are using is it more of a younger crowd or is it an older crowd.
[00:08:46.830]Katie Jantzen: Yes, they can sign up through my.
[00:08:50.010]Katie Jantzen: eye, they can also talk to me i've got options on the website, for they want to sign up online and pay the garden, which is how bloody under people do it, or if they need to print a form and write it out and to check, you can do that too.
[00:09:02.130]Katie Jantzen: I can I.
[00:09:03.720]Katie Jantzen: Have a full range of customer demographics, which is not really something I was thinking initially when you think about your target audience or your ideal customer Avatar depending on what business language you use your ass to identify.
[00:09:21.420]Katie Jantzen: one type of person, and so, in my mind, the one type of person I really want to target is 35 year old woman married two kids in town wants to eat fresh doesn't have time or space to garden.
[00:09:35.550]Katie Jantzen: Oh, I maybe have one or people that would fit that and then otherwise have young single people, I have a married couples, I have some families with kids I have some elderly people.
[00:09:52.350]Katie Jantzen: On a garden anymore, but still want to eat fresh, so I was surprised, maybe I shouldn't have been but I was surprised range of customers that I wound up with.
[00:10:04.950]firstname.lastname@example.org: I think that is kind of surprising and that's really interesting.
[00:10:08.250]email@example.com: Okay talking more about you know you said you had to.
[00:10:10.800]Katie Jantzen: kind of think about.
[00:10:11.970]firstname.lastname@example.org: Who your target audience is going to be.
[00:10:15.060]email@example.com: Did you put that in your business plan can you talk about your business plan how you structured all that and how you got started.
[00:10:22.860]Katie Jantzen: Well, I started, I wrote first formal business plan.
[00:10:29.790]Katie Jantzen: A conceptual exercise for a class I was taking after.
[00:10:35.910]Katie Jantzen: college so kind of for fun not really for credit in indiana in 2012, and so we were asked to write a plan for our theoretical future farm so that's where I wrote a plan of course in the fall.
[00:10:54.660]Katie Jantzen: Is between then and when I actually started the farm it changed quite a bit, and so I I read row plan as part of another.
[00:11:03.180]Katie Jantzen: Community lead class that I was taking business planning or how I guess business preparation prior to starting a business, and then I have rewritten it, although it didn't require as much as.
[00:11:19.020]Katie Jantzen: I just rewrote it last year, and so I had written in all of the about the the target customer and have now discovered well it's still good to target that way, I have to realize that this appeals to a much broader than I was originally thinking.
[00:11:42.990]firstname.lastname@example.org: All right, katie can I.
[00:11:44.130]email@example.com: We talked about this a little bit last week when we chatted on the phone.
[00:11:47.820]firstname.lastname@example.org: But what's the biggest business shocks that you faced so far.
[00:11:54.570]Katie Jantzen: Well, that relates to what I was just saying about the broad.
[00:11:59.880]Katie Jantzen: Were demographic huge amounts of trouble.
[00:12:05.730]Katie Jantzen: There I mean every year i've had some issues, but nothing that's totally wiped out across I haven't had math again the stations that destroyed the garden or anything so my biggest business shot.
[00:12:17.490]Katie Jantzen: Was between the second and third year I lost almost half of my customers.
[00:12:26.640]Katie Jantzen: And some that that happens, you don't ever have a 100% retention rate with a CS and people will try it and then for various reasons they won't do it again next year they're moving away or just been lifestyle, I had one person who's good job for their way some work.
[00:12:42.870]Katie Jantzen: But I quite a few people between the second and third year who.
[00:12:49.650]Katie Jantzen: I lost, either because they died or moved to a neuron or had health problems or needed to relocate to be their kids and so to lose half your customers a lot of them were old really made me rethink how I need to.
[00:13:08.340]Katie Jantzen: focus and target my marketing to that younger demographic that I was thinking about so I have since been trying to brainstorm ideas of how to get the word out to the younger people and it's been a challenge, of course, with.
[00:13:27.780]Katie Jantzen: coven this past year, because I have to market locally, I can't really ship products across country and so.
[00:13:36.390]Katie Jantzen: When you don't have any local events local face to face opportunities to talk to people and coben that can be a challenge, but I have tried, a little more with my website and with social media try and get the word out locally.
[00:13:57.390]email@example.com: Now that's that's super interesting to.
[00:14:00.300]firstname.lastname@example.org: Reaching a younger demographic I think is really tough.
[00:14:03.750]email@example.com: And like you said, I think, social medias have one way to do it.
[00:14:08.490]firstname.lastname@example.org: But you know.
[00:14:10.410]email@example.com: As we look forward in the.
[00:14:12.300]firstname.lastname@example.org: In the future, you know, do you see any other potential shocks coming that are similar to that or how do you prepare for anything like that.
[00:14:22.530]Katie Jantzen: Why.
[00:14:25.680]Katie Jantzen: Other than trying to recruit younger members it's really hard to prepare like that, just because.
[00:14:33.420]Katie Jantzen: This so.
[00:14:35.310]Katie Jantzen: inherently uncertainty with weather all these other barriers.
[00:14:39.720]Katie Jantzen: I think.
[00:14:41.610]Katie Jantzen: Should.
[00:14:43.980]Katie Jantzen: It takes time it takes years for businesses, and especially CSA businesses to really find the right customers that will continue to stay.
[00:14:55.590]Katie Jantzen: With the business for several years, and so I think it's just a matter of.
[00:15:01.470]Katie Jantzen: Taking several years for people to try it out and then either figure out it's not for them, or is for them, and through word of mouth they'll kind of bring in the people that they know that would be a good fit.
[00:15:13.770]Katie Jantzen: But just hard to reach all the right people initially is one of my biggest challenges.
[00:15:22.170]email@example.com: yeah that's that's definitely understandable, I know you mentioned.
[00:15:24.450]firstname.lastname@example.org: This a little bit ago.
[00:15:26.400]email@example.com: About coven but what did you do I mean you said there wasn't really any local events so how did you overcome.
[00:15:34.560]It impacted you.
[00:15:39.210]Katie Jantzen: Well, fortunately, I was not nearly as impacted through Code as a lot of other businesses and even other businesses were.
[00:15:49.320]Katie Jantzen: Because I had had people already sign up prior to code really starting, so I had some of my CSA customers locked in and our local farmers market continued with various safety modifications.
[00:16:06.240]Katie Jantzen: But both.
[00:16:08.940]Katie Jantzen: Both USA and farmers market were.
[00:16:12.930]Katie Jantzen: Basic saying I mean they were on track for the same revenue, as the previous year, so I didn't really take it from that, but I also don't think I was really able to get the word out in a way.
[00:16:28.140]Katie Jantzen: Like to and we just had our first we just completed the first of our main CSA season.
[00:16:37.620]Katie Jantzen: With the final delivers the week and so yesterday was the week when people come out to the farm to pick up their boxes and it was nice to be able to encourage.
[00:16:51.720]Katie Jantzen: to sit around and get to know each other and maybe look at the farm.
[00:16:56.520]Katie Jantzen: see whether something, whereas last year doing coven I was wearing a mask I was shoving boxes and people's faces that they were really quickly so that they weren't a real people.
[00:17:06.990]Katie Jantzen: So from that standpoint, it feels so much better this year, doing the Community part of Community supported agriculture.
[00:17:17.670]firstname.lastname@example.org: About that does feel super nice to like actually see people's.
[00:17:20.310]email@example.com: faces this year and actually get to talk to people and not feel like you're in a rush all the time for all of our viewers that are on right now, if you have questions about anything we're talking about go ahead and drop them down the chat.
[00:17:32.070]firstname.lastname@example.org: box and we'll get to those questions um katie.
[00:17:36.420]email@example.com: As as a female ag entrepreneur.
[00:17:39.000]firstname.lastname@example.org: What kind of challenges have you.
[00:17:40.140]Katie Jantzen: faced.
[00:17:45.060]Katie Jantzen: well.
[00:17:47.880]Katie Jantzen: I have a lot of help, so I haven't had any drastic challenges but there's some little minor things that you don't always think about and.
[00:17:58.350]Katie Jantzen: Not necessarily because i'm female, although some are.
[00:18:01.830]Katie Jantzen: One of the big challenge is just people, not knowing what i'm doing i'm not growing soybeans and so that can be kind of a weird thing for people to wrap their heads around what exactly are you doing what farming, what do you grow so that's challenges just trying to have people.
[00:18:23.430]Katie Jantzen: Stand what i'm doing which interestingly, I had a bit of an issue with my insurance my vehicle insurance agent.
[00:18:34.710]Katie Jantzen: Because I have a foreign policy my farm pickup and apparently this company didn't think that vegetable farming counties.
[00:18:44.850]Katie Jantzen: And so I wasn't going to be allowed to have stuff on the farm insurance it so anyway, that was a frustration so yeah vegetables evidently aren't farming depending on for us.
[00:18:57.810]Katie Jantzen: Also.
[00:18:59.820]Katie Jantzen: As as a woman, and maybe it's partly because i'm.
[00:19:04.590]Katie Jantzen: A woman, especially initially I don't think people really took me serious when I would.
[00:19:12.240]Katie Jantzen: need to somewhere for for whatever it was related to the farm.
[00:19:18.960]Katie Jantzen: When I was trying to set up my bank account my foreign bank account for the person I was working with kept referring to me as you guys you guys, because you know.
[00:19:30.510]Katie Jantzen: We I wouldn't be doing this without a husband or something which I don't have, by the way, so it's just.
[00:19:38.280]Katie Jantzen: Little things like.
[00:19:40.380]Katie Jantzen: I guess misperceptions of.
[00:19:44.130]Katie Jantzen: Whether a young female could actually be a farmer and whether vegetables actually counts as farming, so I think it's mostly benefit issue i've been.
[00:19:56.850]Katie Jantzen: When I was first starting I needed a lot of thing, and I was looking for cattle panels to put around my to keep out all kinds of critters and I wasn't so I was trying to find them at farm auctions, because if you've ever bought.
[00:20:10.980]Katie Jantzen: Cattle panels they're really flimsy so I was looking for the old ones at auctions and.
[00:20:18.150]Katie Jantzen: sent my wasn't sure how.
[00:20:22.620]Katie Jantzen: How I would be perceived bidding.
[00:20:27.600]Katie Jantzen: People would would think in their heads, like can't get bid outbid girl or something so I sent other people to to do you can say.
[00:20:39.750]Katie Jantzen: Oh, and then my five about.
[00:20:43.020]Katie Jantzen: Being a woman in agriculture really not that important but it's frustrating basis evidently clothing companies don't think arm because it's extremely difficult to find work clothes made.
[00:20:59.460]Katie Jantzen: by men, especially some all women, so I by children's work love so yeah anyway that's a petty gripe but third challenge you don't always think about till you face it daily.
[00:21:13.080]email@example.com: No that's that's funny that you say that.
[00:21:15.570]firstname.lastname@example.org: So we do surveys after each event and stuff and asking like topics that.
[00:21:21.240]email@example.com: Women in nebraska would like to hear about.
[00:21:23.730]firstname.lastname@example.org: and clothing comes up a lot because it's.
[00:21:26.430]Katie Jantzen: it's an issue.
[00:21:27.570]email@example.com: There isn't really a work clothes for women.
[00:21:32.730]firstname.lastname@example.org: We have a couple questions that are.
[00:21:34.380]email@example.com: There people sorry.
[00:21:38.160]Katie Jantzen: A few companies that sell workflows Roman and they're pink or they have flowers on them and.
[00:21:44.400]Katie Jantzen: At least double of what men's clothes costs.
[00:21:49.410]firstname.lastname@example.org: yeah it's not great options and we do have a couple of questions that have come in.
[00:21:54.870]email@example.com: So the first question is.
[00:21:57.240]firstname.lastname@example.org: they're interested in knowing if you accept.
[00:21:59.850]email@example.com: usda vouchers, and what your experience with them husband.
[00:22:07.290]Katie Jantzen: um you.
[00:22:09.750]Katie Jantzen: Were five bad i'm not quite sure what usda you're thinking of but i'll talk about the one i'm thinking of, and if this is not a ask your question again.
[00:22:22.320]Katie Jantzen: At the Beata sparring partner at a lot of farmers markets in the state, you can go through a certification process to accept.
[00:22:32.040]Katie Jantzen: seniors market nutrition program coupons or vouchers and that's distributed through the nebraska department of ag I believe or not, it might be a national program probably is but it comes through the nebraska department So yes, I have certified to take the.
[00:22:51.900]Katie Jantzen: And I know other markets like the larger ones in Lincoln and some other larger towns, you can also certified.
[00:23:02.070]Katie Jantzen: WIC that's the women and children and there's a program I don't have our local market doesn't have the capacity for those.
[00:23:12.090]Katie Jantzen: Although we're looking into the future, so right now all accepted the senior farmers market nutrition Program.
[00:23:19.860]firstname.lastname@example.org: Perfect I think that answers that her her.
[00:23:21.960]email@example.com: her question that she had our other question is.
[00:23:24.870]firstname.lastname@example.org: Has your broadband.
[00:23:25.950]email@example.com: Capacity been an issue.
[00:23:29.640]Katie Jantzen: Well, in case there's a delay on this video and I can't.
[00:23:35.520]Katie Jantzen: My screen is not a good enough example, yes, this is a huge bubble, and I was.
[00:23:42.630]Katie Jantzen: I was just complaining, in fact, before we started that my plan be my backup was that I was going to be at the office of my town job, and of course there, we have the Internet upgraded today only one out so that was not an option either so i'm here at the farm with.
[00:24:03.630]Katie Jantzen: Terrible Internet and it's incredibly frustrating for situations like this and for I mean just the basic stuff I do I send out an email every week.
[00:24:14.340]Katie Jantzen: CSA customers explaining what's in their box ever seen a box or your Community terrified by it so anyway, I send an email every week it can take forever to just.
[00:24:25.500]Katie Jantzen: Be emailed so things like that are super frustrating trying to website it's yes it's a huge challenge and really that we have some senators and the rest of the legislature work.
[00:24:42.870]firstname.lastname@example.org: yeah it's I mean it's an issue.
[00:24:45.240]email@example.com: for everyone across the state and it.
[00:24:46.620]firstname.lastname@example.org: Is super frustrating but we're making it work and we'll get through this for sure, but our next question is what's your biggest crop success and your biggest crop failure.
[00:25:00.810]Katie Jantzen: Those are different, every year, based on weather and other conditions, so the very first year, I had.
[00:25:10.740]Katie Jantzen: Basically failure with carrots, which was so frustrated we worked on a farm in indiana that grew the most beautiful gorgeous carrots.
[00:25:20.730]Katie Jantzen: and mine were terrible there were small and better and I couldn't figure it out and, finally, after the entire year of failure figured out that it was a water issue and I need to just my timing.
[00:25:32.400]Katie Jantzen: But, also, that first year, it was the year of the pumpkin and watermelon and no clue I was going to have so many I had hundreds and hundreds of bumped into watermelon, and so the story or.
[00:25:45.390]Katie Jantzen: differently, every year, one year I was absolutely drowning in.
[00:25:51.150]Katie Jantzen: Last year, my cantaloupes were total flop, I didn't want to sell which is super frustrating but love channel.
[00:25:59.160]Katie Jantzen: This year, I am in the middle of the best strawberries i've ever had it's fortunately drawing to a close, because i'm getting tired of picking them already.
[00:26:09.690]Katie Jantzen: And it remains to be seen what else to work well and not work well and so it's pretty hard to to plan, which is why I enjoy the diversity.
[00:26:22.740]Katie Jantzen: I have, because when I have a total flop i've got 46 other crops to fill in to me that my customers still have variety.
[00:26:34.620]email@example.com: You mentioned that you're kind of tired of picking strawberries.
[00:26:39.750]firstname.lastname@example.org: Do you have employees and and how does that work on your farm.
[00:26:44.550]email@example.com: or they just kind of seasonal and talk a little about your employees.
[00:26:49.980]Katie Jantzen: Right now, I do not have any employees i'm pretty small scale.
[00:26:56.400]Katie Jantzen: But I do.
[00:26:59.640]Katie Jantzen: A lot of help here and there, as I need it from my parents, since I am mess on part of their farm, so my mom has been helping me pick strawberries this year I just.
[00:27:10.620]Katie Jantzen: texted my dad today and asked if he would replace my cooler door handle some time, so he helps me fix things when I need I built a high tunnel this winter.
[00:27:22.530]Katie Jantzen: And when I say I mean my parents my neighbors and my friends did most of the work to help me get a high tunnel constructed and I have had a lot of help here and there, with different.
[00:27:37.440]Katie Jantzen: This point I do not have any formal employees.
[00:27:42.300]firstname.lastname@example.org: Is that part of your your plans or goals.
[00:27:44.430]email@example.com: Moving forward, you know your five year plan is to.
[00:27:46.590]firstname.lastname@example.org: Take its employees or interns.
[00:27:51.510]Katie Jantzen: Yes.
[00:27:53.340]Katie Jantzen: Employees probably because interns are pretty nimble thing with employment law and.
[00:28:01.650]Katie Jantzen: Really didn't have.
[00:28:05.040]Katie Jantzen: I don't know legal ease, but from my understanding.
[00:28:09.720]Katie Jantzen: The only way, you can we can turn if they're totally useless, so let me explain that statement.
[00:28:17.880]Katie Jantzen: there's several I think there's five qualifying factors and One of those is that they can't.
[00:28:25.170]Katie Jantzen: substantially or materially contribute to your business in some way it's really supposed to be just emotional experience and so you're benefiting from that actually doing a good job.
[00:28:36.060]Katie Jantzen: You need to be paying them as an otherwise you're just exploiting their Labor that's my understanding of the legal.
[00:28:45.990]Katie Jantzen: structure around how you do employees versus.
[00:28:50.550]Katie Jantzen: So, in the future, I would have employees, probably not in turn would probably just be seasonal part time initially because do is very seasonal in nature, I don't have.
[00:29:02.250]Katie Jantzen: Capacity winter growing at this point, and so really I start doing some things outdoors at the very end of March, if there's not snow on the ground.
[00:29:13.230]Katie Jantzen: And then i'm picking up the last of the stuff the irrigation things from the field November and so during the winter I wouldn't have any a full time person deployed, but I could do temporary or seasonal work.
[00:29:31.290]email@example.com: That makes total sense.
[00:29:33.600]firstname.lastname@example.org: You mentioned the high tunnel, and I know this is kind of a popular topic across the state, I noticed in my household.
[00:29:41.850]email@example.com: we're always interested in the high tunnel and hear all about it, so how about you just tell us about the high tunnel and how you how you got to constructed and if you did any programs and yeah tell us about that and.
[00:29:56.130]Katie Jantzen: This is something that I had been one for years, and it would have been great to start with it, but I also knew that there's a certain amount of expense that goes into that and late, and I wanted to.
[00:30:11.490]Katie Jantzen: try out this whole farming venture putting too much capital into it initially and I started the first year, this is my, this being the fifth first year i've had a tunnel, so this is my first protective culture on growing experience at all so.
[00:30:32.730]Katie Jantzen: But I had started looking into this prior to even starting the farm dawn to talk to the NRC yes, because there's a program equip and part of that one of the options.
[00:30:47.220]Katie Jantzen: That is a cost share program for high tone, and so the way that works is because of the concert if it's.
[00:30:57.660]Katie Jantzen: An erosion control and other associated benefits of a high tunnel, if you construct it and it meets all their specifications they.
[00:31:07.230]Katie Jantzen: Pay you back for a portion of those costs, based on a formula around so many dollars per square foot.
[00:31:16.050]Katie Jantzen: and asked about that initially prior to even starting farming and at that time change all the time at that time, the rules were that I needed to have.
[00:31:25.620]Katie Jantzen: At least two years of growing experience or have props in that area for two years, or something like that, so it was out of the question, then, entirely, and then I had finally gotten.
[00:31:41.520]Katie Jantzen: A couple of years under my belt decided that this was going to work out and it's nice to kind of graduate to the next level and have a high that's when I started talking again with the NRC s and began the process of applying for that kosher program which took.
[00:31:58.380]Katie Jantzen: Some time, and so I finally, this is funny story how this all worked out, I had talked to them, I think, at the end of the fall of 2019.
[00:32:11.910]Katie Jantzen: And stark ation process but there's certain there's different deadlines.
[00:32:16.590]Katie Jantzen: And about when you can apply, and so I finally got the application in and then got notification of approval, about a year ago, and so I knew I was approved for the cashier program and then I.
[00:32:30.810]Katie Jantzen: Actually, build the tunnel and complete it.
[00:32:33.840]Katie Jantzen: And so I had called the supplier I wanted.
[00:32:38.010]Katie Jantzen: Right, then in June and asked what their lead time was and they five weeks, and so I knew I didn't want to start building it until fall because it went right in the middle of my plot, and so I still have.
[00:32:49.590]Katie Jantzen: Growing where I need to build this but by the fall I have that out so five weeks prior to when I wanted to start building it, I called the company and so.
[00:32:59.700]Katie Jantzen: ready to order this and they said, well, we just had another farm in another State put in an order for 42 ahead of you.
[00:33:11.490]Katie Jantzen: So we time was going to double that, and so I quickly figured out for sure what I wanted got all my specs in order sent that back and then found out huge company had ordered another nine tunnels prior to my.
[00:33:30.840]Katie Jantzen: My order, and so I was getting pretty nervous, and so I finally got tunnel ships and arrived in November and we fortunately had a pretty mild and so we were able to do quite a bit of work.
[00:33:45.720]Katie Jantzen: All throughout the winter and it took quite a bit longer than I thought it would to be well, so I finally completed it I got the plastic on had it for in March so i've had it going for about three months now.
[00:34:03.120]firstname.lastname@example.org: that's how it always works and sounds like you did a lot of research and it still.
[00:34:06.810]email@example.com: didn't go the way you wanted it to but.
[00:34:09.300]firstname.lastname@example.org: Do you have any tips or advice for anyone.
[00:34:12.420]email@example.com: Who would want to do a high tunnel how how they work with that rcs any tips for that.
[00:34:20.610]Katie Jantzen: i'm working with and rcs.
[00:34:24.060]Katie Jantzen: I would go in know that it will be a long process, because of the deadline, they have to work around or the I can't even submit application, except during certain times of the year, know what those dates are but go in and talk to.
[00:34:42.510]Katie Jantzen: Jim and maybe we should be able to explain how what that process is why information they need from you and roughly what the timeframe.
[00:34:51.510]Katie Jantzen: From application to approval and then from June to inspections of payment The other thing is high tunnels, along with growing vegetables in general are kind of a new concept in some parts of nebraska.
[00:35:07.980]Katie Jantzen: So, if your agent isn't familiar with, that there are other counties that.
[00:35:15.510]Katie Jantzen: have done these before and they they need.
[00:35:19.500]Katie Jantzen: For advice about how to do the program or something like that.
[00:35:25.560]Katie Jantzen: On the farmers and if you're planning to put one of these up do a lot of research First, there are many different styles and size.
[00:35:36.750]Katie Jantzen: and manufacturers and options that you can put in and so.
[00:35:42.240]Katie Jantzen: Possible go visit several farms that already have these in place, because the best way to learn is to actually.
[00:35:51.450]Katie Jantzen: One of these in action and talk to the farmer and find out.
[00:35:58.290]Katie Jantzen: Why they chose what they chose, why did they choose a Gothic style versus around, why did what did they do about drainage issues, why did they build a.
[00:36:06.810]Katie Jantzen: wall, why did they choose drop down and roll up curtains there's all these different options, and so the more you can learn about what works in our climate.
[00:36:18.600]Katie Jantzen: has a lot of wind and snow, so you don't want a flimsy one, so it requires quite a bit of research, you can't just jump into this and it's going to last if you just pick the cheapest option.
[00:36:34.980]firstname.lastname@example.org: Some good advice I think lots of research.
[00:36:38.490]email@example.com: And I only had the high dental for a couple months and you're growing season here, but have you seen a difference in growing in it.
[00:36:48.630]Katie Jantzen: Definitely I I was really surprised by how.
[00:36:55.020]Katie Jantzen: In the spring, because you have the added benefit of extra warm days, and so I got kind of over excited and planted a ton of stuff in there.
[00:37:04.200]Katie Jantzen: And it through super well and it turned into a jungle and so net by with clearing it out so that support tomatoes can actually see the light again since they're the things that are actually supposed to be in there, so.
[00:37:17.700]Katie Jantzen: It makes a huge difference it's not heated, so I can't you know go all the way through the winter, but even solar game on sunny days will really.
[00:37:29.940]Katie Jantzen: far ahead of field crops and you all have it covered so even if it's really, really cold.
[00:37:38.970]Katie Jantzen: there's not snow inside it can't rain we can't snow inside and so even on really cold days you can at least have dry dry land.
[00:37:53.880]firstname.lastname@example.org: katie what's.
[00:37:55.260]email@example.com: Do you have in your goals in the next upcoming years.
[00:37:58.410]firstname.lastname@example.org: To add another high tunnel, maybe.
[00:38:06.060]Katie Jantzen: i'm everyone i've talked to who has a love it so much and you don't run out.
[00:38:12.000]Katie Jantzen: but also after the process of building it and how long it took and how frustrating, it was i'm not going to jump into that just yet, but I might someday.
[00:38:24.750]email@example.com: understandable for sure.
[00:38:26.580]firstname.lastname@example.org: building projects are always kind of tough.
[00:38:32.190]email@example.com: If anyone has any questions go ahead and drop them in the chat box and we'll get to them, but for our next question here what advice would you give to someone like yourself.
[00:38:43.530]firstname.lastname@example.org: Wanting to start a business like this, what would you tell them.
[00:38:47.250]Katie Jantzen: I would definitely say, if at all possible.
[00:38:54.750]Katie Jantzen: And even work for someone who is doing something similar and best preparation, I had for this was being able to work for several other CSA farms and actually see hands on how it grows how they market it how customers receive it.
[00:39:17.250]Katie Jantzen: it's That was the most helpful thing I could do, and so, for anyone wanting to start, I mean anytime but especially something as hands on and variables.
[00:39:30.540]Katie Jantzen: If at all possible work in the industry, before you start your own.
[00:39:42.540]email@example.com: Another question came in, have you done any research on geothermal.
[00:39:51.450]Katie Jantzen: I have heard about.
[00:39:54.450]Katie Jantzen: geothermal greenhouses I have not pursued that.
[00:40:00.900]Katie Jantzen: Because I don't think I would really have a market for the wind ups, I mean the benefit of a geothermal greenhouses that it's much more efficient to keep in the winter and.
[00:40:15.090]Katie Jantzen: I say you can grow a lot of things in the wind.
[00:40:19.710]Katie Jantzen: In greenhouse but without supplemental lighting and things things like tomatoes bunch of stuff are really very feasible and so you do a lot of green some root crops, but I don't really have it for just those items at this point.
[00:40:37.980]Katie Jantzen: So I know there are examples out there of geothermal greenhouses I think probably if you would just search on YouTube you'll find vidyo tourism things but I personally have not really explored that.
[00:40:57.060]firstname.lastname@example.org: katie if anyone's interested, how do they find out more about you and your.
[00:41:04.050]Katie Jantzen: I have a website in West end farm and he, like nebraska calm and then i'm also on.
[00:41:14.190]Katie Jantzen: Book as West end barn and he as well.
[00:41:19.230]Katie Jantzen: And then, if you're in the neighborhood you can always stop by the address farmers market on Thursday afternoon highs well.
[00:41:27.870]email@example.com: that's kind of a bummer for us folks that are not in that area.
[00:41:32.190]firstname.lastname@example.org: and, hopefully, maybe one day you'll.
[00:41:34.710]email@example.com: Do a traveling farmers market or something so we all can can give it a try.
[00:41:39.150]firstname.lastname@example.org: What do you think about that.
[00:41:42.630]Katie Jantzen: that'd be pretty fun might be a challenge to trance.
[00:41:47.910]Katie Jantzen: Quite a produce a ways away, but it would be kind of fun.
[00:41:53.790]email@example.com: Well that's all the questions that I have that are coming in, and thank you so much PDF for joining us and Thank you everyone else for viewing and an answer, asking questions, been a lot of fun to chat with you guys and you'll be receiving a short survey in your.
[00:42:08.250]firstname.lastname@example.org: email, and I would really appreciate your feedback on today's webinar and also your input on future sessions.
[00:42:14.940]email@example.com: Our next open for business.
[00:42:16.410]firstname.lastname@example.org: will be July 13 at 630 central you can find more information at the website, who died while.
[00:42:23.280]email@example.com: You were also is looking for for more people to participate in open for business, so if you know of anyone.
[00:42:31.590]firstname.lastname@example.org: Or you yourself wants to be interviewed here, you can always send your your name your business name a short description and contact information to email@example.com but thank you again for joining us, and I hope to see you next time.
[00:42:49.200]firstname.lastname@example.org: Thanks katie.
Log in to post comments