The contract grower program is in its conceptual stage, but we feel that our demand for fiber is strong enough and our concept for how the program would work is far enough along that we want to put the idea out to people to consider:
Growers would have an opportunity to select between two programs:
Fiber Herd Program - growers that elect this program would reserve a certain amount of pasture land to house a group of fiber animals (only one gender on any one farm). These animals would be hand selected by The North American Suri Company to ensure a certain amount of fiber in various grade and color classes. We would collect fiber from all parts of these animals and pay a flat rate per lb, regardless of the grade.
What would be required of the grower under this model?
- Land that is largely free of forest and weeds
- Outbuilding(s) to allow the animals to come in from the elements during rain and snow - they are growing your crop!
- A means to keep the animals cool during the summer months - again, minimizing stress on the fleece.
- A willingness to keep the animals clean during the year - you may elect to coat them in the winter or use other means to keep them clean and dry.
- A willingness to take shearing day seriously! While we would pay a set rate for fiber, it would only be for fiber accepted per the terms laid out in the "What Fiber We Accept" sub tab on this site.
- A willingness to cull animals that become to coarse or develop other unwanted traits. We would provide you that feedback.
- A willingness to allow The North American Suri Company to select the Suris you would house.
- A willingness to sign a contract with The North American Suri Company agreeing to sell us a percentage of your clip each year. That percentage would likely range from 75% to 100%. Any remaining percentage could be retained by the grower for your own farm store promotion.
- A willingness to learn to grade. If we are going to pay a pre-determined amount per pound (presumably higher than non-Fiber Herd Program farms), we would expect the contract farm to grade its own fiber and ship in bulk.
Seed Stock Program - growers that elect this program would need to embrace science and have a willingness to cull! We would work with each farm to determine which of your animals would be selected for the seed stock program and then work with you to develop a breeding plan to improve fleece quality and poundage. Most likely, the preponderance of Suris would need to be white, though there would be a select group of colored animals that would be included. Selection traits would include histogram information, biopsy information, and EPD information. Seed stock farms would be required to breed a certain number of animals each year. The grower would be able to select the "keepers", and The North American Suri Company would purchase the culled animals at a pre-determined amount. Those animals would then be placed in our Fiber Herd Program. "Keepers" could be sold to new or existing Seed Stock farms as we would love to see this program grow! We would also purchase your seed stock animals' fleeces each year at the same rate as those in the Fiber Herd Program.
We currently have one grower farm on which we are testing animals, and we have made our first seedstock animal purchase from a farm able to provide extensive data on histograms, annual fiber poundage, biopsy data, and epds. Once we have these farms to a point of profitability, we will roll out the program to others!
Contract Grower Program
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