One important aspect of business is being willing to adapt to changing times. When businesses can adjust to meet the needs of their customers, they can be more confident that they will exist into the future. This is especially important for family farms, since many dream of one day handing off their way of life and what they have built to the next generation. This is something that Henry Farms of Knox has been able to successfully do over the last century.
Henry Farms is in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. This family farm is currently run by the third and fourth generations, John and Andrew Henry, respectively. Since 1918, the farm has grown from 15 cows to 250 head of cattle. This growth is in large part due to generations of wise investments and innovation. Knowing this, the family continues to look for ways to innovate.
During a vacation to Texas, Andrew and his wife Jill visited a dairy farm and learned about A2 milk. The “A2” refers to an allele found in cows that is responsible for beta casein, a component of the protein found in milk. Most cows, especially in the US, have at least one A1 allele meaning they cannot produce A2 milk. A2 milk is a specialty product that has a specialty product that has promising research around health benefits. Now 90% of Henry Farms’ cows are producing A2 milk.
Looking to capitalize on this and other aspects of their business, Henry Farms applied for and received a $15,000 grant through the NE-DBIC’s Marketing and Branding Services Grant program. With these funds, they have engaged with consultants to improve their website and Customer Management System. This will allow them to be more efficient with their time and responsive to the needs of customers. In addition, the business—with the help of a professional—has started marketing to businesses in the surrounding six counties in order to sell their specialty product. In the future they are hoping to add a new route for milk delivery.
With much more work to go, Henry Farms is optimistic about expanding their business, and making it possible for their children to have a say in the future of the farm.
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center’s (NE-DBIC) Dairy Marketing and Branding Services Grant program provides funds to value-added dairy processors in the Northeast to access professional marketing and branding services to elevate their businesses. Projects funded by this grant aim to increase the exposure and promotion of regionally produced dairy products guided by marketing/branding professionals. Funded projects aim to increase consumer awareness of products, develop market channels and distribution opportunities to increase product placement, support innovative strategies to increase consumption, and/or increase business revenues.