Kris von Dohrmann and her husband, Bert, have manufactured specialty beef products in Jefferson, N.H. for over a decade. In 2003, they started to build up Otokahe Farm to raise Belted Galloway cattle for freezer beef, breeding stock, and related products. Bert also developed in 2009 a product called Belted Beef Jerky, a delicious high-protein snack containing their own lean beef.
|Kris von Dohrmann of Otokahe Farm|
Kris had a solid business plan and put a lot into developing Belted Beef Jerky. But without a commercial dehydrator and other equipment, they couldn't obtain the US Dept. of Agriculture approval necessary to bring this new product to market. Kris had financed the farm's purchase through traditional means, and didn't have enough collateral to get more financing for equipment.
Why the Community Loan Fund made the loan
Otokahe Farm provided a diverse agricultural income. Kris's commitment to producing quality meat products made us confident that she would succeed. The Community Loan Fund also connected Kris with a consultant, who helped her organize and report her financial data from the new Jerky line.
We made the equipment loan, and Belted Beef Jerky is now available for purchase online and from North Country retailers. The revenue Kris generated from the beef jerky business enabled her to expand the herd from 12 animals to 35 to 40 animals, depending on the time of year. This allows them to smooth some cash flow issues and continue to slowly grow their markets.