Hay growers and buyers have a new way to meet up, at a place which modernizes and simplifies how hay gets from the rake to the ruminants that need it.
Hayfinders.com is a new website created by a couple of New Mexico farmers. They built it to connect the consumer directly to the grower through classified ads that tell the buyer what they need to know.
Orlando Castillo and Joey Fresquez are brothers in law, and the owners of the site. They’ve been in the hay business for many years. They both would keep getting phone calls long after they’d sold out and delivered their hay crop, and Fresquez said they always tried to help the caller locate the hay they needed. That’s good business, because they want the caller to come back to them, when they do have hay.
Their research shows that their are 24,000 farms and ranches in New Mexico, and they needed a way to connect with each other and with livestock owners. Castillo has a background in web development and began working up a website to handle the job. It grew quickly, and with the help of the University of New Mexico’s Small Business Development Center at Valencia, the brothers in law developed a business plan, formed an LLC and partnership, and began expanding their site. What was just an idea a couple of months ago now serves the entire state of New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Arizona. It has a smooth interface and finds hay growers within 100 miles of the listed cities. The seller pays $12.99 a month to list; buyers search for free.
There are some other ways to find hay growers by using the internet; some people use Craigslist, and there’s another web service called Hay Exchange. While that site serves the same groups, hayfinders.com seemed much easier and simpler to use, with results posting on a map which makes it easier to figure out transportation. And while hayfinders.com is focused on New Mexico at the moment, adding other areas should be a breeze. It’ll be interesting to see how the site grows over the next year or so.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.