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Adding Value & Product Diversification Moose Meadows Farm Quesnel, BC Presented by Heloise Dixon-Warren, BSc, RPF December 3, 2009 Prince George, British.

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Presentation on theme: "Adding Value & Product Diversification Moose Meadows Farm Quesnel, BC Presented by Heloise Dixon-Warren, BSc, RPF December 3, 2009 Prince George, British."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adding Value & Product Diversification Moose Meadows Farm Quesnel, BC Presented by Heloise Dixon-Warren, BSc, RPF December 3, 2009 Prince George, British Columbia Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

2 - FARM FACTS - 15 km. west of Quesnel, B.C. (Milburn Lake area) – encompasses 65 acres; Established as a bonafide (family) farm in 2002; atypical for the area Owned & operated by 2 Professional Foresters & their 2 girls Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

3 - FARM FACTS - Existing Products: Evergreen Products - wreaths, garlands, etc. Christmas Trees – fresh cut, choose & cut Birch Syrup Products - pure & value added Alpaca & Llama Products - socks, yarn, blankets Free Range Eggs Wild Berry / Fruit / Flower Jellies & Syrups Rustic Furniture – willow, birch, alder Silvopasture – Grazing, Christmas Trees, Syrups Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

4 - FARM FACTS - Existing Experiences: Educational Farm Tours Birthday in the Barnyard Workshops / Consulting – Wreath Decorating, Birch Syrup Production Farm Events –Sugaring Off, Christmas Markets Farm Gate Sales, Farmers Market Riding Lessons Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

5 - FARM FACTS - On-Site Retail Outlet (The Antler Shed Gift Shop)– farm & other local products; Accredited Agri-Tourism farm in Cariboo – Chilcotin; not typical for the area Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) under the Canada – BC EFP Program; Farm Stays / wwoofing Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

6 - FARM FACTS - Profiled in New Pioneers – Stories of 100 BC Women Entrepreneurs - Oct. 2008; Winner of 2008 IAF Award of Excellence for Innovation in Agriculture & Agri-Food for the birch syrup project (Birch Syrup Production Manual & 2 workshops) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

7 - FARM FACTS Innovator of the Year Northern BC Womens Award; 2007 Home Based Business Award Quesnel Business Awards; Articles in a variety of magazines (Western Living, Canadian Farm Manager, Small Farm Canada, Living Woods) Where we farm with the seasons (tag line!) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

8 2002 to Now 2002 Plan: Simple – a bit of land (20 ac), have a couple horses & chickens, grow Christmas trees; Opportunities; Timing; Vision Grew / Changed; Family Lifestyle Choices; knowledge / education base; Persistence 2010 Plan: More structured; marketing; growth; research & development (product, environmental) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

9 PRODUCTS AND EXPERIENCES Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

10 WHY WE DIVERSIFIED? Wanted to farm using what we knew best (trees & wild local plants!); Wanted to have a non-typical North Cariboo farm (we have 1 cow & shes a pet!); Statistics – <2% of Canadians on farms (today) vs. 50% in 1950s; Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

11 WHY WE DIVERSIFIED? Assessed our resources - physical (land, floral), geographic, labour, time, management, etc.); Control price rather than commodity market control selling price Niche products and experiences typically fetch a higher selling price (than commodity products) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

12 Reduced our risk by NOT having all our eggs in one basket! One seasonal product / experience drives the production and sale of other products / experiences (aids in the marketing throughout the year!) Works well with emphasis on local, niche markets WHY WE DIVERSIFIED? Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

13 DIVERSIFICATION Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

14 Factors to Consider (when diversifying ) Nearly ALL farms have land considered not viable or suitable for traditional agriculture; e.g. forested, wetlands, water bodies, rock bluffs Be unique in the marketplace – offer a product different than your neighbour. Start (very) small; be adaptable! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

15 Challenges Legislation not reflecting trends Primary Agricultural Products for Classifying Farm Land (as per BC Assessment Act) – many products NOT considered farm revenue for the purpose of farm classification e.g. experiences (agritourism), non-timber forest products (birch sap, wild food products), value added products (syrups, jellies, jams, etc.) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

16 Challenges Limited support from local government levels for agricultural diversification (economic cut backs); Many people do not know how to assess their resources (physical, geographic, labour, management, etc.) to determine their opportunities Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

17 Challenges Encouraging consumers to purchase, and support, local products when less expensive products and experiences available; Dont try to compete with Wal-Mart!! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

18 Rewards Positive feedback from community and region validates the approach and belief; Economic returns, Self Sufficiency, Sustainable; Enjoyable, Lifestyle, Challenging, Innovative; Increase in local available agricultural products Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

19 WHATS WORKING FOR MOOSE MEADOWS FARM! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

20 Co-operative marketing (FARMED / Farm Fresh Product Guide in North Cariboo; Farmers Market); Joint Advertising (Birch Syrup ad in a BC Small Scale Food Producers Magazine) Best Tools are word of mouth, excellent service & quality products (there are many things you can do with are at NO COST!!) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons MISCELLANEOUS

21 Evergreen Products Large industry in eastern Canada New Brunswick produced ~ 4.1 million; Christmas wreaths = $20.5 million CDN.; 8 th year; seasonal employment – 6-8 persons fulltime for 6-7 weeks; Collected over 7500 lbs. of boughs Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

22 Evergreen Products Individual, Corporate, & Fundraising Orders; Shipping products throughout North America (2008 – 1600 created); Wreath Decorating Workshops hugely popular! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

23 2008 – provided 700 wreaths to Thrifty Foods (grocery chain); A Dog Named Christmas movie (June, 2009) Evergreen Products Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

24 Birch Syrup Began production in 2006 (tapped 15 trees) 2009 tapped 230 trees Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

25 Birch Syrup Only 12 commercial producers in Canada (3 in North Cariboo / Quesnel area); All producers state demand is bigger than supply; Industry expansion potential – birch is found coast to coast to coast; Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

26 Birch Syrup Season – April (after snowfall but before gardening & planting season) Niche industry – premium price ($ / litre); chefs LOVE it!!! Sell at farm gate, internet, market, sugaring off events; Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

27 Christmas Trees Most trees at retail locations (e.g. Save On Foods) are from central and eastern Canada; Cultivating (shearing) wild natural regeneration – Fresh from the Forest; stump culture Offering Choose & Cut; farm gate sales; The Experience! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

28 OTHER EDIBLE WILD FOODS Dandelion Blossoms – jelly & syrup Fireweed – syrup & jelly High bush cranberry – syrup Wild Rosehip – syrup Saskatoon – jelly & syrup Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

29 OTHER EDIBLE WILD FOODS Consumers will pay more for value added products made with NTFPs; Unique products – sets you apart in a competitive market; Will attract consumers resulting in increased purchases of more conventional farm products Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

30 OTHER EDIBLE WILD / WEEDS FOODS wild food is for the poor a staple, for the rich a delicacy, and for the frugal a delight A weed is a plant whose virtue is as yet unknown Pliny the Elder (Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, AD 23 – August 24, AD 79) Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

31 AGRITOURISM Educational Farm Tours – school groups, families, individual, etc. Birthday in the Barnyard On Farm Festivals & Markets Workshops – Wreath Decorating, Birch Syrup Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

32 AGRITOURISM Benefits: Earning income while promoting your business; Enjoyable; Educational; Promotes your other products / experiences; Diversifies the revenue stream! Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

33 QUESTIONS and THE END… And… THANK YOU Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons

34 Additional Information Heloise Dixon-Warren, BSc, RPF Moose Meadows Farm 2861 Nazko Road, Quesnel, T: / Website: Moose Meadows Farm Where we farm with the seasons


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