On the Farm
When starting Mark's business, we wanted to make sure we had multiple avenues available for selling the eggs. You probably already know that he has an egg delivery route. He LOVES doing egg delivery each Wednesday! He also sells duck eggs at a local farm store called Wingover Farm.
As you might guess, another way to sell eggs is through a grocery store. We decided to look into selling duck eggs at our local food co-op. We read through all the "rules". Mark would need to get liability insurance. This is to protect him if someone were to purchase his eggs and get sick. Years ago, I think it was in 2017, I had actually attended a presentation about farm liability insurance. I can't believe that I actually found the information from that presentation but I did! In early September 2020, I called the presenter to get help getting the liability insurance. The lady that had done the presentation said she would get me in touch with an insurance broker that could help us. It seemed confusing because I thought that she was the one that was going to provide us the insurance. But, what do I know, this is all new to me.
The insurance broker called me and I gave him the information. Mostly, he wanted to know how many poultry we had. He started looking around and the weeks ticked by. At one point, he said that he found a provider but that they wanted to see our Farm Safety Plan. I spent the better part of an afternoon putting together Mark's Farm Safety Plan. I guess it was not convincing because they backed out. Actually, now that I think about it more, I think they wanted us to show the past 3 years of finances. This is impossible to do because the business was less than a year old! This came up more than once. How do they expect a farm to grow and get business to show finances if it does not have insurance to protect itself. Kind of a chicken and the egg situation...Finally, after about a month, the insurance broker just said he could not locate anyone that would be willing to insure Mark's business. He is too small and too new for most insurance companies to want to deal with an egg business.
Okay, now I had to start making calls. I just googled "farm insurance and Idaho" and started calling every listing that popped up. Finally, after about a month, I located 2 companies that were willing to actually provide insurance! The first quote was several hundred dollars (like close to $1000)! I was in shock! I was like, Mark is not even going to make that much money selling the eggs until he is in full production. Luckily, the other company we had contacted had a much more reasonable quote.
The company is COUNTRY Financial and Mark's agent is Crystal Wendt. Naturally, the company wanted all of our business. This means that we had to switch our auto and home insurance over to their company. A small price to pay for the ability to get insurance to cover Mark's egg business. A great advantage of the COUNTRY Financial insurance is that it is actually "farm" insurance. So, all the barns and coops are covered too! I even added our automatic gate onto the insurance (because we just had someone back into it and it cost almost $2000 to fix!).
Now that we had the insurance, Mark could take eggs to sell at the Moscow Food Co-op! Yeah!!!
Here is a close up of the eggs in the cooler for sale...
This was so eggciting and such an amazing milestone! It is a nice advantage to take a cooler full of eggs to one location, drop them off, and get paid! It is great to serve our community this way. I am pretty sure that Mark is the only one selling duck eggs at the Co-op. I think people are catching on. We brought 10 of the 6 packs last Tuesday and they were sold out by Saturday!
Crystal has been great to work with. She came out to the farm and took inventory of everything. She is very responsive to any and all questions that we have. I highly recommend her services if you are looking for insurance in north Idaho.
I want to also give a big THANK YOU to Stepping Stones. Last fall, Mark got a grant from Stepping Stones to help cover the expense of the insurance. If it were not for this grant, he probably would have had to wait to start selling at the Co-op but these monies made it happen! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The insurance broker just called me 2 weeks ago! He had another client that was doing something similar to Mark and wanted to know if we had ever located insurance! Too funny! I'm glad he called and I could give him the information to help another small farmer.
Where to buy ReMARKable Eggs
To recap, here is where you can purchase ReMARKable Eggs.
1. Off farm: just contact Denise at email@example.com and let me know what kind of eggs you want and when you want to stop by and pick them up
2. Moscow delivery route: contact Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more information about the delivery route. We only serve the city limits of Moscow right now. We may start a delivery route in Pullman at some point but not for a couple years...
3. Moscow Food Co-op: Only duck eggs are sold at the Co-op in 6 packs. We stop in often to make sure that there is always inventory there.
4. Moscow Farmers Market: we were not going to go to the Market this year but that has changed. We will start going about every other week starting June 5th. We don't have enough inventory to go to the Market every week at this point...maybe next year if the chicken coop gets built and we get more chickens! If you are interested in coming to the Market for eggs, make sure to like the Facebook page. We will always post to FB on the Saturdays that we are going to be at the Market.
Have an eggcellent day!