Lucy Dodd Interview YouTube

Lucy Dodd Interview – Lowan Park Produce – Pasture raised chickens SA

Speaker 1 (00:15):

Hello everyone, welcome back to the AgriAdventures channel,[inaudible 00:00:21] and today we are gonna go down South West in South Australia, South West, South East, sorry Lucy?

Lucy Dodd (00:30):

South East

Speaker 1 (00:30):

South East

Speaker 1 (00:31):

I was gonna swing. I was swinging at the moment for the people that can check the map. Okay. So Lucy, a Lucy Dodd welcome to the AgriAdventures channel. Welcome here uh briefly obviously for the many of the recordings that we’ve been doing the interviews that we’ve been doing in the last period of time so for whose following you know guys that AgriAdventures is looking after the local food producers we think about local produce and we try and we get in contact with whose behind the scene. So, Lucy, again welcome.

Lucy Dodd (01:08):

Thank you

Speaker 1 (01:09):

And uh um would you like to tell us a little bit more about yourself; like why did you want to have a business in food production and maybe we can you can tell me a little bit more about where you are located that’s why I begin that way

Lucy Dodd (01:25):

Sure

Lucy Dodd (01:27):

No problems

Lucy Dodd (01:28):

So I am and Lowan Park Produce and the main things that we do um is to grow pasture raised chicken. So I predominately think of myself as a farmer but as I’ve gone down this trail I’ve identified and found out that I’m a food producer as well. And what I love about the food um the business the food business side of it is that I get to spend a lot more time speaking to my customers about why is the way that we grow that we do. Um and looking to different value added products from the farm gate. So what we farm here um at Lowan Park is the chickens. We also have cattle and we do some crops as well mostly canola and oats but the cattle and the cropping we, we sell those to the main commodity market.

Lucy Dodd (02:19):

So, that’s really a pure farming side of things. But then with the chickens we sell those to butchers, restaurants, um direct to customers and at farmers markets. So we have a much closer relationship with our customers and uh we get to share our story of how we farm and why we farm the way we do. Hopefully in a sustainable manner.

Speaker 1 (02:37):

Okay and you why did you land over there? Like did you decide to start this business and you purchase the property and you launch yourself in the Australian countryside? Or (laugh) there was a connection?

Lucy Dodd (02:53):

Yeah, so the, the land that we farm on been in our family since the early 1920s. So, the land that I am on now I grew up on and I farm with my dad Wayne and um I grew up here and then I went to study and I worked in other areas in you know government and in sustainable agriculture in, in government sense. And then I turned back to the farm four years ago.

Speaker 1 (03:20):

Four years ago. So did you start these uh sort of direct sales or true market sales just four years ago? Or is something that you… okay.

Lucy Dodd (03:30):

Yeah, even more recently so when we came back to the farm or when we exploring what might mean for me to be on the farm we identified, I identified that we needed that we needed to have another business on the farm that would provide more of an income for me on the farm and um I was exploring options and the chickens don’t compete with the other aspects of the farm so land, the water or our resources except for time. Um, so it, it worked out quite well to do it that way. Uh and so I’ve only been selling uh commercially um maybe two years uh let me think so actually we started doing a weekly slaughter or weekly sales in March 2020. So we started a little bit before then but at that scale and selling into butchers was March 2020. And as we all know that was when COVID hit this world so it’s been an interesting time.

Speaker 1 (04:26):

Yes. Okay, um I am not familiar with the difference between pasture eggs or pasture chickens and cage free chicken for instance could you please give us a little idea about it?

Lucy Dodd (04:44):

Yeah. So, um the, the terminology of pasture raised chicken, and this is meat birds we’re talking about this is the meat not the eggs though it’s very similar in the raising practice, is that the chickens are outside um and they’re getting moved onto fresh ground or fresh pasture they so they get to have a great chicken life. They get to be in the sunshine um they get to scratch around in the sand they get to eat whatever bugs they find they still have a predominately grain based diet then they also supplemented by the pasture so maybe 10 or 15 percent of their diet is not the grains so they have a much better um uh more colorful in the fat so that can be really much healthier um a different texture because they much more active than most other birds um and, and more ethical so we do it as well because it fertilizes our ground directly with their, you know with their waste and we get direct where they are so we get their response of being a better pasture for the cattle afterwards as well.

Lucy Dodd (05:50):

So that’s different than free range in that free range might be outside but most free range operations the chickens are still in a shed um might still be air conditioned and good conditions and they have acc access to outside but that doesn’t mean they are outside. And then of course you’ve got those um I, I say supermarket chickens of course it’s not all chicken but that the cheaper chicken and most of the chicken sold in Australia shed chicken so chickens that are 40,000 chickens to a shed that have grown really quickly um yeah that, that I’m trying to differentiate from.

Speaker 1 (06:26):

Yes, exactly. So you already open a lot of topics uh one of these the life span of the chicken or yeah the amount of uh, uh what do you call can call medicine that can be provided for these animals obviously being outside they maybe have less issues in terms of sicknesses

Lucy Dodd (06:46):

Mm

Speaker 1 (06:47):

And that is what, what your, what your knowledge about these do they not have susceptive to bad disease or less?

Lucy Dodd (06:57):

They should be less susceptible to disease I haven’t had disease problems I certainly don’t give my birds any um antibiotics a lot of birds get preventative antibiotics there are no hormones in Australian chicken industry

Speaker 1 (07:10):

Okay.

Lucy Dodd (07:10):

Anyway um so we don’t have those uh but because they’re outside and onto fresh ground all the time that disease factor is uh is less now that doesn’t mean it’s not there I’ve been very lucky so far um because you might have other problems in the sense of um they’re more birds in the environment so you potentially could have cross contamination from other native birds.

Speaker 1 (07:37):

Hmm

Lucy Dodd (07:37):

So we don’t want that

Speaker 1 (07:38):

How [crosstalk 00:07:39]

Lucy Dodd (07:38):

Has not been a problem for me at all.

Speaker 1 (07:40):

Okay and uh so how many people working at the moment with you on the business?

Lucy Dodd (07:47):

Hmm so it is mostly myself but as I said dads on the farm as well, so we work together and his selling helps me out and then I have some uh casual staff to help with the daily activities of the chocks because uh I can’t be on the farm everyday so if I’m at the farmers market or if I’m somewhere else the chocks still need daily attention so I would say that we have maybe two, two and a half people full time and title.

Speaker 1 (08:14):

Okay well it still good.

Lucy Dodd (08:16):

Still good

Speaker 1 (08:16):

And

Lucy Dodd (08:16):

Yeah and I And I like to be able to employ some local staff as well.

Speaker 1 (08:20):

Mm, so you uh actually produce the topic of the market uh in case people will be interested to purchase your chicken that you can also tell us after if they just buying the chicken or there are other products they can buy and may buy chicken so where do they can find you?

Lucy Dodd (08:43):

Yeah so my brand that I sell the chicken under in Lowan Park Produce and so I am at a farmer’s market or a couple actually the main one being at Adelaide Hills Farmers Market at Mt Barker that’s the one I’m at every week then in the limestone coast south east there’s a market that I attend um regularly its not held every week um but that’s the Limestone Coast Farmers and Makers Market.

Speaker 1 (09:09):

Hmm

Lucy Dodd (09:09):

What I have maybe half a dozen different butchers across Aladdin and Gambia um that you can find me um also you can buy online um I’ve got a website that you will see here in touch um on our Facebook page and I deliver into Adelaide weekly. Uh direct, from me directly or flyer career so we do hand delivery Adelaide but the uh the butchers that I’m at uh P&A Organics in Magill, uh Meat at the Market in Central Markets in Adelaide, the Collins Court with chicken at Gambia and SA Gourmet Meats in Glenelg in Adelaide as well. Always looking for more butchers so if anyone’s interested get in touch um but then I also have a couple of restaurants that um use my, my chicken as well.

Speaker 1 (09:57):

Okay so it’s different shades between the different, different markets okay and

Lucy Dodd (10:04):

Butchers yeah necessary sorry there’s different markets has been really necessary over the last few years, if I only had one of those avenues then at different times it wouldn’t work.

Speaker 1 (10:15):

Mm I know absolutely especially when the restaurants they closed down and then you have less yeah um so when i was reading a little bit of the description of your business on your website I found really interesting the fact that you speak about uh the whole use of the animal.

Lucy Dodd (10:34):

Yeah

Speaker 1 (10:34):

Not just, you know wing or just you know leg or just the chest so do you what do you produce apart and having obviously the chicken meat?

Lucy Dodd (10:45):

Sure, well the chicken meat is still the main thing and when I started doing the chickens I thought is there a way to sell the whole chickens um but far less people know how to roast a chicken then I realized. So I do sell all the cuts there’s maybe 14, 15 different cuts including the organ meats, the liver and the hearts uh and the necks and the feet. Um but then I also uh have a pet treat product so I sell the dehydrated pet um feet um for pet for dogs especially dogs love them and then I have a chicken liver pate that I sell a little bit of and chicken bone broth as well.

Speaker 1 (11:25):

Okay, okay so it’s, it’s not just one thing you can go and have all the all them…

Lucy Dodd (11:31):

Yeah

Speaker 1 (11:31):

Ingredients for your feast for that evening.

Lucy Dodd (11:34):

One does exactly right yeah

Speaker 1 (11:36):

Interesting and by the way generally for what I hear where there are chickens there are foxes where there are foxes there are dogs.

Lucy Dodd (11:45):

Hmm

Speaker 1 (11:46):

Dogs, we have dogs?

Lucy Dodd (11:47):

Yeah I do, I’ve got two, well I’ve got three dogs, but I’ve got two Weimaraners that their job is to protect the chocks from the foxes.

Speaker 1 (11:55):

Okay

Lucy Dodd (11:55):

And then I have a Staffy and her job is just to be supervisor of everybody um…

Speaker 1 (12:00):

Uh that’s good

Lucy Dodd (12:02):

There’s a day in the Ute with me or with dad um yes so we do have foxes um we use netting as well, like electric netting to really deter the foxes and that

Speaker 1 (12:11):

Hmm

Lucy Dodd (12:11):

Probably the most effective tool we have. Uh and we just have to understand that they’re in the environment so you know we, we have hunters come and shoot uh the foxes as well but touch wood um we haven’t had any problems for the maybe four or five months.

Speaker 1 (12:28):

All of this is that is pretty good

Lucy Dodd (12:31):

Yeah

Speaker 1 (12:32):

Okay, so um where would you like to go in terms of business what’s the vision that you have at the moment?

Lucy Dodd (12:40):

In yeah

Speaker 1 (12:40):

For you for the business?

Lucy Dodd (12:42):

Great. Um well to me it’s a great place to start I think I’m looking at how is it that we can live sustainably on our farm here at Bordertown. What is that um al, allows me to have a great country lifestyle, which I love and uh also connect uh to consumers who really want to eat good, good food that they know is grown well. Um, so that might be an extension into other things, not just chicken, it could be beef it could be um lamb it could be even some of our um cropping products that we sell under the brand. Um, because I do love, do love the lifestyle, I do love living on the farms so I want to make sure any business I have allows that. Um, but we do need to grow in our scale to make that work so looking at uh mostly selling to South Australia at the moment so perhaps looking out of states to sell into

Speaker 1 (13:34):

Hmm

Lucy Dodd (13:35):

But we’ve got you know we’ve got a good feedback on our product we could definitely sell more widely into South Australia as well so um probably increase the number of chickens by another third on top of what we have now um would be a more sustainable level.

Speaker 1 (13:51):

Uh huh

Lucy Dodd (13:52):

Financially and um we can do some of that employment too and then see where we go from there. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (13:59):

Yeah so interesting when somebody think about the farmer or the food producer they think about you know people checking chicken or things like that but there are so many numbers and things behind and its so true and, and for promotion that, that are there a bit of around all the time.

Lucy Dodd (14:18):

That’s what I love about it um I, I do love being a farmer but primarily I’m a business woman you know so its so they moneys got to pay so you got to think about that as you know does it need to be huge business but it needs to pay for itself. And uh I do really enjoy connecting with people so um about our farming journey. So it’s not always necessarily around the, the meat products it might be some training or it might be visits to the farm as well. Definitely open to that um I’ve got a couple of events coming up this year um that are chasing Australia events, and meet the producer events um that I’m really looking forward to.

Speaker 1 (14:55):

Hmm about this event. Okay, so thank you for being with us for today for being with us and telling about your business and your story a little bit and what do you want to go Lucy. And uh hopefully we will come to visit, if not me this time but still definitely other people that are following the, the program that will come to visit the farm the farmers market to see you I know it is not difficult to find you, you’re just at the top end and, and where the chicken are so that is kind of easy.

Lucy Dodd (15:29):

Yes

Speaker 1 (15:29):

Otherwise, see you again maybe somewhere in an AgriAdventures Socials or

Lucy Dodd (15:35):

Thanks so much, great to chat with you.

Speaker 1 (15:37):

Thank you, bye.

 

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