There once was a time when pheasant farms were small enough to where you could yell across the pen for what needed to be done next. But at MacFarlane Pheasants, we’ve grown so big that our communication has had to change. Nothing beats the face to face, but our communication, from the office to the farm and from the office to our customers, increasingly relies on electronic means of communication. Here’s why.
Think of the office as the fingertips of the modern pheasant farm. While our staff that works the pens is vital to creating our legendary pheasant varietals, the office acts as the point of contact for our customers and the dispatcher of information to the farm crew. The office sometimes fields calls for employees calling in sick, which is then relayed to the farm managers.
The farm crew itself acts as the muscles, and we’ve grown some big muscles. This is especially important during our adult pheasant season, which has already begun. Customers have option of pickup or delivery (depending on your location) to receive their mature bird orders, and the farm crew packs them up to head out. But there’s more than just putting them in a crate. Weather conditions can require adjustments as to when the birds are crated. A hot day means the birds have to be packed and shipped earlier than normal. Rain makes catching birds more difficult, so the farm has to start packing them earlier. And then there are our customers, to whom the arrival time must be coordinated and adjusted as necessary. All this means that we depend heavily on our farm crew to remain flexible for the sake of our customers and our birds.
The natural barrier is that the parts of the farm and the office are at separate locations. Because of the distance, we utilize a variety of methods of communication, including email, cell phones, and most importantly, radios. Radios have a number of positives when it comes to their use on the farm: they’re relatively inexpensive, there is no month-to-month cost, and they’re immediate and portable. The downside, of course, is that your conversations are privy to everyone with a radio. If the conversation goes long or will be delicate in nature, we switch over to phone or email.
A farm the size of MacFarlane Pheasants only runs smoothly if the communication is effective, and we’ve evolved with the times. As hunting season approaches and our volume of adult birds delivered to hunt clubs across the United States increases, it’s even more vital that the channels are clear. So when you get your birds this fall and jump at the chance to tell all your friends, remember that there’s a pheasant farm in Wisconsin that’s been excitedly talking about them for months.