Melo Farms

Campaign Time!!!

We lost the tractor a year ago ... will not be able to go through this winter without one ...

5,000 people with $10 for #givelynnalift  

Watch the 3 minute video and share with 10 people who you think would help keep Melo Farms in Detroit with the pastured (clean) protien you enjoy ... depend on .. or may find valuable to you in the future.

Thanks ... 

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Help us … help you … and those who follow ..

Over the past 4 years, Melody and I have built Melo Farms from a dream to a $100,000 in sales a year business. Most of that is our Pasture Raised Berkshire Pork and is complimented with seasonally raised Pasture Raised Chicken. We have also partnered with other 'like farm' families and brought to market Pasture Heritage Turkey and Pastured Lamb.

We were preparing to look for partnerships and/or investment to get to the next level, but then the tractor broke (bad) and while a lot of labor has been invested to keep this valuable resource running it is now beyond repair. We need to find a replacement quickly as spring is an intense season. Without the tractor (and other needs) soon … Melo Farms, as you know it, will not be able to stay in operation.

We do have options but our primary belief is we as a community need a Melo Farms and many more like us. The food industry has turned livestock into 'frankenstock' and continues to lobby for less transparency. So help us .. help you … and those that follow.


We need to raise approximately $50,000 to continue be the Melo Farms you (or should) know.

Why invest, donate or support?

Take a Stand – since we started in 2011, we know several small pasture (pork / chicken) farms who have dropped out. We are the largest Heritage Pastured Pork farm in SE Migigan and maybe state wide. These funds enable us to continue to this growth profitability and continue to incorporate other family farms into our Community Farming program. It's important to you – your family – your friends ….
Health – Factory Farms (livestock) are responsible for over 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US. These operations create incubation environments for 'super bugs' and therefore become a risk to all of us. Furthermore, all of the 'good' you look for in meat, such as Omega-3, etc. has virtually been eliminated in factory meat. Just because it looks like a 'hunk of meat' .. doesn't mean it's what you think it is.
Taste – If you don't know yet … it's time to. Frequently, we hear “that was the best _______ I've ever had.
Humane - Our vet and his wife came to the farm .. .his wife said “when I die I want to come back as a pig and live at Melo Farms!” Other than regular massages our animals have it pretty good. Our practices are driven by what we call 'instinctive habitat'. Pigs / chickens / etc. are animals that have only recently been removed from a natural lifestyle / cycle and converted into 'frankenstock', so we provide a healthy / safe environment and try to stay out of the way.
Business - We are very transparent in our operations and more information can be found at www.melofarms.com/fundme. Our major cost are feed, processing and gas. There isn't much we can do about feed or processing cost, but it's fuel / logistics is the tipping point for profitability. Unlike any other 'farmer' we take our product to the processor – then go back to the processor to pick up USDA packaged product – then take that product to market. Add to this that our USDA processor for chickens is a 200 mile round trip and it's 120 miles round trip to Eastern Market. So if we double the number of chickens we raise / sell, we move into profitability immediately. Since we can turn chickens in about 10 weeks it's the 'low hanging fruit', while the pig population lag in it's growth.

Use of Funds

In general terms we have put everything we have into Melo Farms, by developing pastures, acquiring equipment, operational loses, etc... This had put a lot of pressure on pent up items. The tractor will take up the majority of the funds, but each of these line items have become important to resolve in order to move forward.

Tractor – From a 'work' perspective this is the most important piece of equipment on the farm. It moves shelters, compost, snow; prepares pastures'; etc... As an example, we use about 2 tons of feed a week and from our silo it's moved to pasture and then into feeders. With the tractor, the feed buckets only need to be lifted once into the feeders. Without the tractor, the buckets are handled 3 times, which means Lynn is carrying 6 tons of feed a week! (which would be like hauling 1200 grocery bags) Beyond the physical challenge, we can't spend hours a day moving feed.
Truck Maintenance – The truck is number 2 on 'most important piece of equipment. It hauls pigs / chickens to and from the processor and of course hauls our freezers to market. The truck is approaching 200,000 miles, but is solid and warrants the repairs vs looking for a replacement.
Farm Materials – All of our shelters are built on the farm and we use as many recycled materials as possible. For the spring we have several pig shelters that need repairs and we need to build about six hoop houses. Other funds will go to chicken feeders, electric fence, post, etc...
Labor – The spring labor load is significant and getting someone local who can just dive in an knock out some of the repairs and construction is the only way we can hit our chicken start dates and get the pigs out of winter pasture.
Medical – We've pushed back on some 'repairs' :)
House Flooring – (see note below)

On the personal side, we want you to know that as farmers – our business is our life. For example, we haven't put a floor in our house since we moved here (bare underlayment) in 2010. So, just for our own sanity (cleaning, etc.) and being able to house an intern, etc. it's on the list.


Closing

We've come to the community for funding with the hope you've seen our financial and labor contributions as our investment in what is at the end of the day a community benefit since we are not 'profiting' from the farm in a financial manner … but know we do 'profit' from having helped several of you improve your health or at least lay a foundation for a long life with options outside of the food machine. And we're ready and excited to continue that effort with your help.

Often an indicator of success is adding employees and we’d like that too. But there are behind the scenes people we pay that makes us part of their success. Specifically I’m talking about our processors. We have processed at minimum 70 hogs and 1200 chickens per year for the past three years. This makes us part of C Roys, McNees and Munsells revenue. Why this is important is their existence as USDA inspected processors means ALL small farms in area – even those not currently represented at any farmers market just raising and processing for family, friends and neighbors continue to have a resource. Small farms need processors and processors need small farms. So we do have employees we pay each week that are part of our farm to fork success.

Raising animals that will eventually become food that nourishes us is no small undertaking. Raising animals year round on pasture, loading them for processing, taking the farm (pork, eggs and chickens) to farmers markets weekly is a physical but fulfilling marathon.

Why bigger – there is a
There’s lots of reasons to make a stand for change
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Organizer

Melody Lynn Nye 
Organizer
Yale, MI
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