Dawnnell Holmes: Becoming Central to Your Community
Dawnnell Holmes will explain how their farm has diversified and successfully tapped into the growing local foods movement, becoming integral and essential to buyers in their Springfield, Missouri and Ozarks region. Tying production to marketing to creating a vital presence and visibility for the farm has cemented them in the community. Learn how she went from a farm wife who a few years ago didn't know a Facebook from a Twitter but now successful navigates the realms of marketing, sales, distribution, food processing, agritourism ... all the while being a hands-on farmer.
Dawnnell Holmes swears she grew up in the Middle of Nowhere, USA, until her husband Cody moved her deeper into the Missouri Ozarks. Since then she has learned to milk cows by hand, castrate bull calves, boar pigs and ram lambs, butcher chickens, ride green-broke horses, and entertain thousands of school-aged children. And she has done all of this while being a mother, cook, maid, teacher, wife, marketer, salesperson, food manufacturing supervisor, photographer, agri-tourism entertainer, webmaster and more. Dawnnell, her husband, Cody, and their daughter, Taylor, now operate the Rockin H Ranch, home of Real Farm Foods, in a sustainable and humane way with a Holistic Systems management approach.
Dubbed the Milk Maid and Cow Whisperer, she completely manages the farm's 20-Jersey-cow, grassfed dairy, raising the calves on their mothers and utilizing the same grazing approach as the beef herd on the farm. She also oversees the production of their laying hen operation with the help of Taylor. Dawnnell manages the marketing of the retail business of the ranch through an integrated website, online social media, weekly farm e-newsletter, blogging, printed material, customer relations and more. She is in charge of their weekly farm-to-home delivery program. She has authored articles for Acres U.S.A. and other publications and is currently working on a life book encompassing raising and cooking with grass-fed meats along with tales from the ranch, homeschooling and being a farming/ranching wife. She is a frequent speaker on traditional farm foods and farm crafts and skills. Rockin H Ranch is a 1,000-acre, multi-enterprise, community farm raising grass-fed beef, lamb, raw cow milk, pastured pork, poultry, eggs, raw goat milk, cheese, all-natural produce, Shiitake mushrooms and old-fashioned lye soap. They offer sales of their products through home delivery, on-farm sales, farmers market, retail stores and restaurants.
(1 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds) Recorded Saturday, December 14, 2013