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Cowboy Cricket Farms is International!

"Ironically, one of the successful cricket farms in the United States is in the cowboy mantle of Montana, where tradition requires you to have a ranch and a herd of cows."
Today we are extremely excited to announce the first article about us from a major international publication.  The Capital is on of Bulgaria's largest business news outlets with huge viewership and social media followings!  We have translated the article for you below, but if you would like to read the original article then click HERE.
Save a cow, eat a cricket!

One of the successful insect farms in the United States is located in the cowboy mantle of Montana

By Gergana Mihaylova
December 25, 2017

For the orthodox European, the bugs do not have a place on the menu, so if anything gets thrown in their plate, they lose appetite. But they move the continent and head for Asia, necessarily looking for the challenges of local cuisine, and trying to taste exotic dishes with fried grasshoppers, not just for Instagram.

The idea of ​​a cricket farm comes to Kathy, a dietetics student at the Montana State University

Photographer: Cowboy Crickets

The funny thing here is that insects have always been on the table of humanity, and not just one of the first links in the food chain. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is perfectly acceptable to have up to 30 fruit flies in 100 grams of ketchup. That is why quality and safety standards have defined quantities of insects (whole or in parts), as well as eggs and larvae that are perfectly acceptable to be present in the food simply because they have always been there.

The latest trends in dietetics and conscious nutrition make it an important site of insects as a source of quality animal protein, harvested in the most humane and nature-friendly way. That's why grooming is becoming a meaningful business everywhere in the world.

There is not yet one insect farm in Bulgaria, but there are at least two enthusiasts in the startup that are seriously prepared to try. One works on a Thai grasshopper farm, where he gains experience and field knowledge, and the other goes around university college and collects knowledge. So it's a matter of time and here to take the first such farm.

The experience of others

Ironically, one of the successful cricket farms in the United States is in the cowboy mantle of Montana, where tradition requires you to have a ranch and a herd of cows. It was created about two years ago by Kathy and James Rolin.
"It took us about six months to read and calculate the risks before we decide," says James. "Because there is not much competition, there was no way we could learn how to do it." We all looked for information on YouTube and Montana State University, "he says, adding," It was not easy to find a landlord is ok with what we will do in his estate. "

Initially, they were looking for funding at the platform, but without success to raise the full amount from there. So far, they have invested about $100,000 in own resources on the farm and continue to develop it to keep pace with demand. They use a special breed of locusts that grows at a constant temperature of 29.4 degrees Celsius and at 40% humidity.The farm covers an area of ​​170 square meters and can currently harbor 20 million crickets. All this gives jobs to 5 workers.

For nearly six months, James calculates the pros and cons before jumping into business

Photographer: Cowboy Crickets

"The protein produced is equivalent to the 25 cows produced in 2 years on a much larger area and much more resources," explains James, who insists that crickets are one of the "greenest" industries. According to his calculations, the farm uses 2 thousand times less water and 14 times less fodder than conventional livestock. 80 times less methane emissions (contributing to the thinning of the ozone layer) are produced and all this takes much less land than the livestock.

Making crickets into food is also one of the most humane and ethical, because killing is done without pain or suffering. The natural process of hibernation is inherited during autumn when their vital functions stop. This is achieved by placing the grasshopper boxes in the refrigerator and smoothly reducing the temperature until they freeze.

Because of these benefits, vegetarians and food conscious people turn out to be one of Cowboy Cricket's most loyal customers, entrepreneurs say.

Not fashion but business

The main product of their farm is the flour of dried and milled locusts, with 500 g of it sold for 42.99 dollars. It is rich in protein, calcium and iron and is used for troubles and shakes. It is also made of cookies, the price of which is 3.50 dollars per piece. At Kathy's farm, James sells even the waste product from grasshopper growing - a 1kg tube (fertilizer) is worth $ 25 and is highly sought after as insects feed on certified organic grass.

So far they only work for the US market. "We do not have a clear strategy yet, how much to grow and where we want to go, maybe we will sell the business at some point, maybe we can become a public company, we may go bankrupt, who knows?" Says James.

"We are constantly trying to educate people and help them overcome their fears about insects," said Kathy and James, who own Cowboy Crickets.

Photographer: Cowboy Crickets

When asked, what are the biggest difficulties for an entrepreneur who is tempted by crickets? "The first is the social stigma that we do not eat insects, overwhelming fears, and interestingly, when we talk to a group of several people and offer them from our cookies, try one, then hit others. "

The second biggest difficulty is the lack of information. Still, knowledge of how grasshoppers grow industrially is very scarce, so information rather than capital is the real barrier to those who want to enter this business. Still, the industry is growing up on more and more locations on the map of the world and grows to the point of being spotted by large food giants.

So, no wonder that Bulgaria will soon find an enthusiast, to whom Kathy and James' story would be helpful.

* The meeting with Kathy and James was part of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) held in the US with the participation of 50 people from all over the world, including Bulgaria

Besides dried and ground flour, crickets become chips, cookies and even candy

Author: Cowboy Crickets

Original Bulgarian text:
Затова и в стандарти за качество и безопасност са определени количества насекоми (цели или на части), както и яйца и ларви, които е напълно допустимо да присъстват в яденето, просто защото тях винаги ги е имало там.
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1 comment

  • pls I want to start cricket farming, but I don’t know where to obtain the crickets or their eggs.pls guide me


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