Informative Tour at Crosswind Farm
On Thursday January 24, 2013, Farms at Work hosted its second in a series of farm business management tours at Crosswind Farm, an award-winning goat dairy in Keene, ON. Despite the frigid temperatures and biting winds (the group learned firsthand where the name Crosswind comes from), the twenty participants enjoyed an extended opportunity to tour the farm and hear directly from owner and operator, Cindy Hope.
Starting off in Crosswind’s brand new production facility, the group got a chance to view the farm’s setup for pasteurization, as well as the “hooping” of goat feta cheese. Cindy took the opportunity of shelter from the cold to explain the history of Crosswind Farm. She spoke about the philosophy behind her production and marketing techniques, and was very candid in talking about some of her mistakes along the way. If there had been any doubt at the outset, Cindy made sure the group understood that Crosswind Farm was no overnight success story; it is a business built on years of trial and error, dedication and hard work.
After giving us an opportunity to swoon over some of the farm’s newest kids, Cindy brought the group back down to Crosswind’s new farm store for a chance to continue her discussion on marketing and value-added production methods. Cindy explained that the farm store was added to the business to help further develop her personal connection with her customers. She said that she had always wanted a welcoming place on the farm for people to visit, sample some of the varied product line, and get to know the people behind the scenes. It certainly was a welcoming place last Thursday afternoon, Cindy having provided trays of samples and several carafes of hot cocoa made with fresh goat milk. And, completely unexpectedly, Cindy was generous enough to put together a lovely gift basket of Crosswind products as a door prize for one lucky winner.
Farms at Work would like to thank Cindy and Kevin for generously offering their time and expertise in hosting this farm tour. And of course, a big thank you to all the participants who braved perhaps the coldest day this year to join us in learning about this successful goat dairy and meat operation. Stay tuned for updates on future farm tours in the region!