August 2011 Newsletter

By Karl Kupers on August 30, 2011

The difficulty in taking a month off from writing a newsletter is you either (a) forgot how to, or (b) have too many ideas to choose just one. I will let you decide which dilemma I am suffering from.

After a very late spring and very mild summer our family of producers are now doing what every farmer loves to hate. The reaping of what they have sown is now in progress or in our farmer speak, harvest is under way. I said they love to hate it only in the fact that it creates very long days, too much stress, and you are always looking out your window at the weather conditions. This particular harvest is full of good stories so far as yields are excellent in most areas. The environment has been very good in growing and maturing the crop with little or no stress and the plants have responded. Plentiful rain and cool days pampered the crop to, for some, all time high yields. That same plentiful rain and cool days delayed harvest by nearly three weeks across our producing region. We have had excellent harvest weather so far (warm and dry) and our southern growing area is near the end of their harvest. Our northern area is just getting a good start and they have some additional stress as they have a short window of good harvest weather under normal conditions. This delay will test the resolve of all to be safe and yet push to get the crop in the bin.

From the marketing side of our business we have seen some excellent growth over the past few months and hope the momentum will continue into the new crop year. Anticipating that, we will be bringing on an additional marketing associate to aid Debbie Danekas in the Seattle corridor market. Debbie has been intensely involved in this market area now for 27 months representing Shepherd’s Grain. This is the first time we have had our product marketed in one area with this amount of time and commitment. The outcome has shown us a very positive impact and we are trying to build on that momentum for the first half of this marketing year and then explore other areas within our marketing region that may benefit from a full time marketing associate. I will take this time to introduce Kelly Blume as our new marketing associate and looking forward to her meeting with our customers and understanding the dynamics of marketing Shepherd’s Grain flour products.

Also within our marketing program we are working on a new website that will have more capacity for pages we think are important. We will have pages dedicated to showcasing and linking our customer base where you can get products made with SG flour as well as retail outlets for either bulk or packaged product. We want to make the site more interesting to the consumer so they can further support our customers who use our flour for their products. We hope to provide even more information on our family of producers and how they work on their farms. We aspire to gain more interaction with our spotlight page so our customers can display whose wheat was processed into that bag of flour and partnered with the baker or chef to create the product you are tasting. We hope to launch this new site in September and I will post a note to all when that is going to happen.

For now I will as always, thank you for your support of Shepherd’s Grain and our family of producers. Hope you have had a good summer and let’s all pray for good harvest weather.