Our Mission—Helping Ag Families Get Ahead
Clear Ranch Ag Services is an Ag family owned and operated business, we believe in Ag down to the soles of our boots, and started this company to help other Ag folks just like us get a leg up in one of the hardest businesses in the world. A lot of Ag families are suffering, and we know it. A lot of Ag families struggle to make ends meet, pay bills, and to keep the kids moving forward in their lives while still turning a profit.
That’s why we started this business and created our “All Natural Liquid Rabbit Tea Fertilizer”, and that’s why we do everything we can to keep the price affordable (while still creating the best possible product): To help our community—to support Ag families just like us.
Reintroducing Rabbits to the Ag Community
Another way we’re trying to help the Ag community is by showing people the value of rabbits. Rabbits are often overlooked on modern farms. People see the more “traditional” animals, like cows, horses, pigs, or chickens as a more profitable investment.
We want you to think differently.
Rabbits can benefit your farm in a variety of ways. In addition to being the source of our amazing fertilizer, rabbits are a great source of meat. Not only is their meat delicious and valuable on the open market, but it’s much easier to keep rabbit meat clean and disease free. That’s because rabbits have few diseases that can be transferred to humans yet the ones that can be transferred are mostly harmless (like pink eye).
They’re easy to raise, process, and yield a great deal of meat. They take up very little space, and they replace themselves quickly (they really do breed as quickly as the old stories say!) There is also little competition when it comes to rabbit meat because it’s not something the big commercial farms are selling, therefore it can be profitable for a small Agricultural operation. They also can turn a profit when sold as pets.
So where’s the downside?
After moving from California, Ramona knew it was up to her to build on a beautiful lot where she could raise the family. With two sons and a daughter, she knew she had just enough help to be able to start what would soon become a thriving bunny haven!
She wanted them to see and appreciate the bounty that nature had to offer, so she got them started on the farm early. In 2008, she started looking around in Texas for a place to move the family. They had a dream as big as the Lone Star State itself. They must have scouted out about a million different sites, and honestly, were about ready to give up.
Then, she stumbled upon a plot of about 14 acres in Winnsboro. As they came around the corner, they saw a beautiful little pond right next to the old barn and at that moment she knew, This was home! It was time to move the 3 kids back to the Great State of Texas and make it so.
A Company Built on Family (And Rabbits!)
Like many kids in Ag families, our children became heavily involved in 4-H and FFA. Thanks to the gift of a very generous breeder, our oldest son was able to acquire his very first show rabbit—a French Lop named Jack. Showing Jack and winning awards sparked a love of rabbits in our family—and led us down the road we’re on today Our rabbitry now has over 200 rabbits, but it started with just a single Californian doe. We have both fancy breeds (or pet breeds) and meat breeds, and our kids still show the rabbits each year. They also sell the meat rabbits and the pet rabbits themselves.
They’re no ordinary rabbits either—our daughter has won Grand Champion Meat Pen at the Wood County Junior Livestock Show, and our oldest son won Grand Champion in his junior year of high school. They both have multiple Showmanship awards as well. All told, our rabbitry has produced 4 Grand Champion pens and 3 Reserve Grand Champion pens. And with all those rabbits on our property, and our children growing a small rabbit business, we thought we just had another waste product on our hands.
Until Mom had an idea…
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Like most families in agriculture, we struggled year to year to raise children, raise animals, tend to the land, and pay the bills along the way. Mom was always searching for new ideas to bring in more income. One day, while researching for the farm, Mom came across something interesting. Microbial fertilizers, based on animal manure, and created as part of a composting tea process. As it turns out, of all the manure bases to use, rabbit was one of the best… And we had it in abundance.
Funny how things work out.
Trial and Error
Not many folks will want to take on the fun of messing around with manure and hundreds of gallons of water, but we did. First Mom researched all she could find about this type of fertilizer: how it worked, how it was made, and what processes and ingredients produced the best fertilizer. She came up with the recipe for the fertilizer, and Dad came up with the process.
We began simply, with a 250 gal tank and hung nylons (yep, cheap nylons from the local dollar store!) We stuffed it with manure and made giant tea bags. The kids would help (reluctantly) in the process by stirring the mixture twice a day on their daily chore routine. After a week, a batch was ready.
When the fertilizer was finished, it was loaded by hand (reluctantly!) with 5 gallon buckets into containers for the customers, one bucketful at a time. One of our original customers still refers to those first years as “The Bucket Brigade.” If you ask the kids, they sure don’t miss those times!
Giving Back to the Ag Community
Most people would think of only profits when they make a product and sell it. We think differently. We see in our product something that could not only help us, but more importantly, could help our fellow farmers and ranchers cut their costs… And keep their families on their land.
Researching fertilizer prices at that time, we decided on a price of $6 a gallon, recommending that the fertilizer be diluted 1 gallon of concentrate to 5 gallons of water. It would then be applied at a 10 gallon per acre application rate. That brought the cost to fertilize down below an almost-unheard-of $11 an acre. This meant that crops and pastures could be fertilized for just a fraction of the usual cost of traditional fertilizers. We produced our All Natural Liquid Rabbit Tea Fertilizer and we learned it could perform just as well, if not better than, traditional fertilizers all at an affordable price.
Scaling Production for The Future (With 200 Rabbits Leading the Way)
The fertilizer sold very well from the beginning, so we decided it was time to scale the product. With a lot of trial and error, tons of research, and a little luck, we designed a “Manure Tea Brewing System” (patent pending) capable of making 1100 gallons of fertilizer in 3-5 days. These systems are built with readily available parts from the local hardware store—the main engineering principle?
“Keep it simple stupid!” In 2013, we put our first system into operation. At the end of 2014, we had 3 systems in full operation, with a 4th already built. In 2015, we added 4 more systems, bringing our brewing capacity up to 8800 gallons. And we can’t wait to see where this journey takes our family.
Our “All Natural Liquid Rabbit Tea Fertilizer” is currently what we are best known for, but we have big plans and big ideas for the future. We are growing year after year, and we plan to bring new and exciting products and services to the Ag community going forward.
Want to learn more? Just stop by! We love to meet all our new customers in person and show them the operation.