Last week, 12 students businesses pitched their ideas at the Regional 5 Minutes Top Events. While all the teams were given a percentage of a $3500 pot of prize money, the big winner that night was Emily Newborn, a young woman with big plans for her rabbit and chicken farm.
Emily’s Farm raises these small animals and feeds them a balanced diet she provides, giving her the ability to sell meats free of the chemicals so often injected into poultry and other meats.
The Problem Being Solved
Emily’s Farm wants to offer consumers to opportunity purchase means that are not full of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Excitement and Worry
While Emily is excited to one of the only local small farmers selling small animal meats, she is also worried that stored will always be able to sell their meat at a lower price.
Where the Idea Came From
Emily is a fourth generation farmer. “I grew up with my family killing chickens for our dinner table,” she says, adding that she would assist with the process. At ten years old, she joined 4-H where she discovered that others would be interested in purchasing the meat from the chickens she was raising and presenting. Every year she purchased more and those she didn’t take to competition, she sold. “It soon grew into a business,” she says, “And as my customer base grew, people began asking about meat rabbits.” Now, Emily is in the process of building the meat rabbit business and growing the chicken business.
Who is your target customer?
Right now, her target customers are local people, friends and family as well as supporters of 4H and FFA.
At the moment, Emily’s biggest challenge is growth. “The process currently is all manual labor, so it is hard to fill all the orders that my customers want,” she says. “Also, with the growth of my meat rabbit business, I am growing outside of my barn that I am currently in.”
While Emily has found a processing plant that could help her face this challenge, this does add cost to each bird.
Though a research project, Emily concluded that rabbits fed a balanced diet (against those fed only pellets or only vegetables) had the best meat. This information was the basis of her business.
So far, the project has been self-funded through the sales of her products at fairs and contests.
Emily has solid plans for the next few years-
- I would like to see the company expand to meat rabbits in one year.
- I would like to see the company expand to pork in three years.
- I would like to see the company expand to beef in five years.
To move these plans forward she says she, “will also need to expand the company by producing a website and looking into more marketing to continue to grow my customer base.”
Emily’s advice for young entrepreneurs? “Start small and work your way up. Running a business is hard work, but in the end pays off, especially when your customers are satisfied and rave about your product and want to know when the next set of products will be available to purchase.”