Lessons in entrepreneurship

Yesterday the last of Madeline’s 4-H pigs went to the locker. A bit of a sad day for her, but all a part of being a hog farmer. And a hog farmer she is. Even though her own hogs are gone now, she still goes out every morning and chores our sows, boar and butcher pigs for us. I laughed the other day when she told a newspaper reporter, “Hogs are kind of my thing.”

You might recall she started out with 8 pigs, lost 2 early on, ending up with 6 to choose from for the county fair. 4-H’ers are allowed to take up to 5 to the fair – a derby barrow, a derby gilt, a market barrow, a market gilt, and a 5th one to round out a pen of 3 entry. Hogs brought to the fair are not allowed to be taken home again. They must be sold right from the fair to the packer, at grade & yield market price.

In the interest of actually making a profit on her hogs, she decided she’d only take 4 to fair and sell the remaining two head directly. One of our customers even came to the farm to select and load their pig themselves (most of the time we select the pig and haul it to the locker for our customers.) Madeline helped them pick the one they took, telling them why she thought he was the better pig, and helped load him up.

We haven’t sat down and figured her actual profit (or loss) yet, but I do know that she’ll gross almost as much on the 2 head she sold directly as she did on the 4 head she sold at market price!

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6 Responses to Lessons in entrepreneurship

  1. Good for her – although do your kids have to sell at market price – do they do an auction? We have an auction, where the minimum price the kids will receive is market price, and then the kids can “invite” businesses, friends, family etc. to bid on their projects – last year the average price on hogs was $.60 above market price. So the kids that get out there and talk to businesses can do decent, and the businesses can always sell the animal at market price if they don’t want it.Glad she is enjoying the animals though…Kris

  2. squire says:

    Great job. I know you are very proud of Madeline, hey I am too. I love to see young people (she is not a kid anymore, remember she is a teenager) doing things that build character. her pigs may be gone but her lessons will stay with her her life.Sorry I had to throw in the “teenager thing”, hehe.

  3. Twinville says:

    Go Mad Dog!! What an excellent business woman you are!!And don’t let any potential boyfriend tell you it’s not feminine to be a Hog Farmer! :)You do your thing, girlfriend!

  4. Susan Sophia says:

    I think that is so cool! Ah…thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Christy says:

    That is a hard lesson to learn but a good one for a farmer. I may be asking Madeline for pig advice sometime in the next year.

  6. Anthony Kuhn says:

    A great object lesson for a budding entrepreneur. I’m happy to see you planting the seeds of business in such a young farmer and I hope she continues to reap the benefits of what she’s sowing: monetary and otherwise! Thanks for your thoughts and I’ve linked to this post in my blog at the Innovators-Network today! Keep up the wonderful posts at your blog.