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Preteen Profits From Chicken Business
David Beekman may only be 12, but he already has his own successful farm business.
David comes by his love of farming honestly, as both of his parents were involved with 4-H and FFA from an early age. Their operation, Hickory’s Legacy Farms, is named for David’s grandparent’s property, Hickory Grove Farms.
“When I was seven, my parents wanted me to have a project of my own so that I could learn responsibility and make some money, but I wasn’t old enough for 4-H yet,” says David. A poultry business was a natural choice.
“I like chickens, and they’re small and pretty easy to care for. At first, I just raised some for us to eat and sell a few to friends and family, but then my mom found out about Market Wagon, and I decided to sell through there.”
Market Wagon is an online farmers market and food delivery service. Farmers and vendors can list what they have available, set their prices, and update the inventory weekly. Customers have a week to put in orders through the site, and the Beekman family and other sellers get an email with the final orders by Wednesday. That allows them to bring everything to the hub on Thursday morning, at which point Market Wagon delivers it directly to people’s homes.
While Market Wagon has hubs all over the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic, David sells in the Northeast Ohio hub. “For now, I mostly sell chicken on Market Wagon, but also sell sweet corn, ornamental corn, and mini pumpkins,” says David.
Selling might be the easy part of this farming venture, as David puts in most of the hard work of raising the birds himself. He raises approximately 300 birds a year and is continually experimenting with new products to sell.
As with any self-run business, David’s farming venture has benefits and drawbacks. “I like when we go pick up the baby chicks because they’re really cute. I like knowing people like what I raise, and I like the money, too, but I’m mostly just saving that. I don’t like the ‘business’ stuff so much - sitting with my mom and figuring out all the costs and how much I have to charge, but I have to do that to make money.”
For other kids interested in starting their own agriculture venture, David offers this advice:
“First, make sure it’s OK with your parents because they have to help, like if you can’t drive or need help with the computer, and because they have to let you have space for your animals and pay for things until you can pay them back when you sell your stuff.
“It’s a lot of work, and you must ensure the animals are taken care of every day because they rely on you. So, you can’t decide part way through that you don’t want to do it anymore.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hickory’s Legacy Farms (ph 440-506-8246; hickoryslegacyfarms@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/HLFGoats).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1