HMH Farms is capitalizing on the goat meat and good stock market. The farm also sells table eggs.
HMH Farms in Bushy Park, St Catherine, is co-owned by husband and wife team Hjort and Hazel Henry, who started the business in 2019 to supplement the family’s sources of income.
Part of the Jamaica Business Development Center’s Accelerator program, the company is now three years old.
Hjort Henry says their main motivation for starting the business was “to create passive income and generational wealth for myself and my family. By doing this, we are also helping to close the gap in the country’s import bill for food products such as goat meat and eggs and broiler chickens.”
It was an expensive business, but the Henrys estimate they are targeting a market in Jamaica with annual sales of more than $2 billion. To date, just over $24 million has been invested in the medium-sized meat and egg operation.
“My overall estimate of the value of the goat market in Jamaica is US$18 million, or north of 2.8 billion Jamaican dollars. My interest is less than 1.5 percent,” he shared with Hjort. The Jamaica Observer.
HMH currently employs three full-time employees and two part-time employees in the production of table eggs, which are sold to farmers to improve the genetics of goats on their farms, mainly to bakeries and hotels, and to grade Boer goats.
The farm also produces goat meat and sells it to consumers, restaurants and wholesalers. Hjort states, “Our competitive advantage is the genetics of the goats on our farm. We invested heavily early on in full-blooded Boer service rams from Unity Boer Goat Farm in Mandeville and Westside Genetics in Mandeville.”
“This allows us to breed and produce crossbreds with higher growth rates and a higher meat-to-bone ratio than our native goats. So instead of waiting a year for a goat to be ready for harvest, you end up with an 80-100lb goat in six.” – eight month.”
The farmer notes that both eggs and goat meat are in high demand. He noted, “The country produces only 15 to 20 percent of our domestic goat meat consumption. The gap is filled by imported old sheep. Therefore, the demand for increased production of domestic Jamaican goat is very high. The story is similar. for table eggs.
Hjort shared, “I’m still a seasoned businessman and sales professional on a lifelong journey of success and failure. I’m very grateful for where I am, the lessons I’ve learned, and the experiences I’ve gained over the years.
“I would say that I am a very determined and self-motivated person, once I have a vision to create or realize something, I go after everything to make it happen.”
“What drives me is freedom. I want to be free to live and love and laugh and take care of my family and loved ones and not trade my time for someone else’s dream.”
The pair’s previous focus was in manufacturing, retail and finance. Jobs include financial advisor, agriculture, agro-processing and retail at Sagicor.
Now, the Henrys hope to set an example for other entrepreneurs. Hjort said Finance on Sunday“I wasn’t born into wealth, so the seeds I’m planting now are not just for me while I’m here, but for future generations. Hopefully.”
The Henrys endured “many sacrifices and hard times” while building their HMH farm. Funding came from the husband’s mother and other investments and the sale of assets that were reinvested for the entire vision.
Today, the operation covers more than four hectares, including housing and production capacity for 150 breeding females and 300 children; Layer capacity for 2000 birds; Capacity of 600 broiler birds; slaughterhouse; 525 sq ft agro-processing facility; storage room; and living office, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and egg production room in the main building.
The farm’s target market includes mom and pop wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, direct to consumers, party promoters, round robins and organizers of nine nights. In other words, the product is available to anyone who needs it.
Challenges experienced in setting up and running this business include goat theft, access to capital or finance, manpower and security. There is also the high cost of grain and feed, which is an ongoing problem.
Hjort shared to date, “The total investment is north of $24 million, but below $30 million. The farm is still growing, so we’ve got revenue, but there are expenses that we have to fund from revenue to grow. Over the last three years, there’s been 10 percent in annual margins. There was an increase of -15.
To sustain the enterprise, Henrys plans to add more value-added products, increase the number of females to produce more children, invest in newer genetics through artificial insemination, and also purchase live animals from reputable breeders.
Farmer mentioned that he is hoping for funding under the leadership of the JBDC Accelerator program. The program prepares the company, “to be better positioned to take advantage of the grants and funding available through DBJ [Development Bank of Jamaica] programs with approved financial institutions.”
For marketing support, HMH Farms uses social media, referrals and print media to expand its reach. He is optimistic about the future.
Hjort said, “My advice to readers at different stages of their journey is simply to be grateful, look for victories and lessons in every situation. Know that your journey is never over until you stop trying. Be kind to everyone and always pay it forward.”
HMH Farms has invested heavily in starting full-blooded Boer service rams from Unity Boer Goat Farm in Mandeville and Westside Genetics.
Children from HRM Farms in Bushy Park, St Catherine.
Farmer Hjort Henry uses his experience in finance, agricultural processing and retailing to succeed in agriculture.
Hjort Henry, Bushy Park St. CEO of HMH Farms in Catherine.