Q: How much does it cost to participate in the Farm Profit Program?
A: There are no program fees for the Farm Profit Program. We understand the supply chain starts at the farm level, which is why the farmer comes first.
Q: How is this preparing my farm for the future?
A: We believe that mature organic farms can feed the world. Transitioning to organic production can deliver comparable average yields, reduced pesticide residue, better soil health and increased farm profitability. We feel that diversifying your production system and your revenue streams can set your farming operation on a path towards long-term viability and profitability. It can also provide real opportunities for future generations to return and prosper within the operation.
Q: My neighbor tried organic farming and lost money.
A: Let’s be honest, there are barriers to organic transition, and every farming operation is different. Organics may not be right for everyone. We think of it as a long-term investment strategy for farmers looking for a new and profitable market that rewards those able to navigate the learning curve. It’s true that some farmers see decreased revenue through the transition, but the vast majority see significantly better profitability in the long term. It’s worth staying the course.
Q: What sort of profit margin can I expect during/after making the transition?
A: It’s different for every operation, region, and market, and the answer largely depends on you. Our job is to help you make the choices and changes that will maximize your profit while investing in the productivity and health of your land. Generally, farmers experience decreased productivity through the transition, which can be a challenge economically. However, once certified, prices for organic crops have been two- to three-times what conventional prices are and most farmers find that they at least double their returns per acre.
Q: Do I have to convert all of my acres at once?
A: No. Many growers find that field-by-field transition is easier to manage. It lets you take the process slowly, learning as you go and assessing whether organic is a good fit for you. When you partner with Pipeline Foods, we refer you to agronomy consultants who can support you through the process. There’s is a significant learning curve and it’s better to have success with a smaller number of acres than it is to bite off more than you can chew in the first year.
Q: What’s different about the Pipeline Foods supply chain?
A: When we buy your crop we sell into markets throughout the country, using our relationships with customers, strategically-located facilities, and logistics expertise to return value to the farmer. But what we get really excited about is making the supply chain more transparent so that you know exactly where your grain is going. Consumers want to know where their food comes from. We think it’s time for farmers to know where their food is going. There’s great pride in growing something consumers want to buy and knowing that you’re genuinely appreciated as a farmer.
Q: I’m interested in partnering with Pipeline Foods to transition acres - what’s my first step?
A: The transition from conventional to organic will look different for everyone. Pipeline Foods partners closely with our farmers and suppliers to provide certification support, an initial agronomist consultation, software solutions, long-term contracts, financial support tools, and a solid network of like-minded farmers.