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Reflections on Competing Online for Grants

We’ve competed twice now, following the rules explicitly, only to be passed over for consideration.

In this post, I’m not pointing fingers, or laying blame on anyone, just laying out the facts as we see them.

In the first competition, the winners were young women (it was a women only contest), who are developing high tech companies. What we found curious was that none of these high tech businesses appeared to have any social networks, as determined by zero votes in the Social Media phase of the competition.

In the second, most recent competition, the Social Media phase counted for 25% of the criteria. The remaining criteria was based on your plan for using the money, how you determine success, etc. To me, if you got more votes than your competitors, your “social score” should be higher. I guess our other scores were much lower.

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Posted in Agvocating, Cajeta Project
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FedEx Small Business Grant Competition: why we want to win

There’s another competition and we’ve been selected to participate. This one is the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition. It’s a national competition. That means the competition is stiff. With your consistent, daily vote through Feb 23, we have a good chance to be selected.

Our Grant request is very straight forward. We will use the funding to help  us purchase a piece of equipment that we shouldn’t need, but may very well be required to have. It’s a make or break for the project, as it’s more than  60% of our budget. There is  little way to save on  other stuff to allow us to purchase this.

Here’s the piece of equipment:

A 4 Gallon Legal Table Top Vat Pasteurizer for $3900

 
Chart Recorder   Table Top Vat Pasteurizer
 
Including:
  • A legal 4 gallon pasteurizer (3-A Approved) available with either 110V or 220V heating elements
  • Chart recorder with digital indicating thermometers,

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Posted in Cajeta Project, Goats
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Cajeta Project Update

Bet ya’ thought I was too busy to make Cajeta. Never gonna happen as Mom is hooked on the gooey sweet stuff.

The recipe is pretty much perfected for one gallon batches. Once it’s tested for Water Activity by Utah State University, I’ll be able to concentrate on raising money to build the commercial kitchen.

Going from 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon batches was quite interesting. It’s taken considerable effort to discover the proper times to add and remove the cinnamon sticks, add the vanilla, and then  cook to the proper consistency. Without serious technical equipment, I have to rely on sight, smell, how the mixture drips off the spatula, and the temperature. Being at better than 5000 ft altitude has played a significant role, as water boils around 202 degrees.

So, I am currently developing an “Indegogo” project to help with some initial equipment and the cost of the product testing and label design and approval.

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Posted in Cajeta Project
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Huge race to the finish… we want to remain #1

We’re now entering the final week of competition  for the “She Can Pitch” sponsored by Grow America of Utah. There are more than 50 companies now entered.

We are in 1st place and with your help will be there at the end of the race.

Here’s why we deserve to win:

  • We want to win to validate our project. We will be making Cajeta, a traditional Mexican sweet caramel sauce.
  • We meet every criteria set forth by the judges of this competition.
  • We have a written business plan complete with projected financials.
  • Making Cajeta allows us to use the milk from our Nubian and Alpine goats.
  • This project costs a fraction of what it would cost to build a cheese making facility.
  • There is a very high demand for Cajeta.

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Posted in Cajeta Project, Goats
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“She Can Pitch” by Grow America

 

We (the Four Country Gals) have entered a contest called “She Can Pitch” sponsored by Grow America. We have 15 days to garner the most “votes” via social media platforms to win $10,000. We’re absolutely, positively, sure you and your friends and families will propel us to the top of the votes.

We plan to use the winnings for the Cajeta project. While we are personally funding the goats, and all the research, development, product testing, and licensing, we are seeking funds to assist with building the commercial kitchen.

The commercial kitchen will be housed in a 20 ft shipping container. That will help keep it clean and sanitary here on our windy, sandy desert. It will have electricity, and water, as well as an electric stove, refrigerator, all the required sinks (3 compartment, hand washing, and mop sink), and  suitable product and supply storage.

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Posted in Around the farm, Cajeta Project, Goats
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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