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Goosemobile Pays Off For Rural Couple
The Goosemobile has been a popular mobile store at the Farmers Market in Sioux Falls for a decade. Customers walk into the 26-ft. cargo trailer to buy chicken, goose, duck, lamb, pork, beef and even dog food from eight chest freezers.
  Combined with doing their own poultry processing, Tom and Ruth Neuberger have been finding new ways to generate income on their small farm for 3 decades. At 78, they hope to find a younger entrepreneur interested in taking over the business soon.
  The Canistota, S. Dak., couple installed poultry processing equipment in a 48-ft. refrigerated semi trailer in 1993, in an effort to generate extra income to keep their 160-acre farm.
  The Neubergers have a history of taking products directly to customers. For a time they were part of an association with other goose producers, which owned three trucks to deliver processed geese on different routes in South Dakota. When the others quit, the Neubergers purchased the trucks.
  Now, with rotational grazing, they raise 3,000 chickens, 100 geese, 200 ducks, 200 turkeys and a few beef, pigs and lambs. They direct market the meat and other products, including down comforters and pillows, goose grease and other byproducts.
  "It's really flourished especially in the last years," Ruth says. "We can't keep up with chicken breast orders." Besides whole chickens, they also sell eggs, cut-up chickens and three flavors of gourmet chicken patties.
  Their business has three parts: South Dakota Goosemobile, Pastured Omega Meats, and Dakota Down Products.
  "We have wonderful, faithful customers who appreciate quality, local products," Ruth says. The Neubergers haul their Goosemobile to the Sioux Falls Farmers Market every Saturday during the growing season and make weekly deliveries to Sioux Falls the rest of the year.
  The extra processing pays off, Ruth says. Chicken breasts sell for $4.50, for example, while whole chicken prices start at $5.75. They charge $3.50/lb. for geese.
  "We only have 160 acres, and by doing all these different things, we can make a living and satisfy a lot of people with good food," Ruth says. "It's kept us interested."
  The Neubergers would like to sell the business including the Goosemobile, the processing plant on wheels, and other equipment. Contact them for more information.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom and Ruth Neuberger, 45052 260th St., Canistota, S. Dak. 57012 (ph 605 296-3314; goosedown@unitelsd.com; www. sd-exports.org/sdpoultry.htm).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1