San Jon entrepreneurs find opportunities at farmer’s market

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

For Kelly Boney and Tyra Davis of San Jon, selling ground beef, lamb and goat aside homemade lip balm and soap at Clovis’ farmers’ market is more than an odd combination. It’s a necessity.

The two ranchers from San Jon have teamed up to sell mesquite logs, chips and meat for three years. But last year, the pair realized they needed to do something more.

“We’re just ranchers trying to stay on the land,” Boney said, between questions about the colorful home-made glycerine soap sitting in bags on her table. “There are high-end products here, (so) we needed (the soap and lip balm) for the traffic.”

Boney, a third-generation rancher, said she learned how to make the glycerine soap and lip balm, but hopes to soon be producing goats milk soap as well. But her positive projects for this year’s farmers’ market don’t rely entirely on her beauty products.

“I think it’s going to be a good year,” said Boney. “This is our first year being FDA approved. We were approved by the state in previous years, but people recognize the FDA.”

Boney said she emphasizes the quality of her meat.

“You eat what I eat,” she said. “And I like to know what I eat.”

The Clovis farmers’ market, held on the corner of 4th and Pile streets, brought eight vendors to its first Saturday of the season, according to manager Denny Wymore. She said she’s always looking for variety and the eight vendors present provided some of that variety, offering everything from flower plants to carrots to ice cream made at the market.

“I think this year will be a boom year,” Wymore said. “I’ve had so many calls from vendors.”

Wymore predicts that this year’s average number of vendors will jump to 17 from last year’s 13.

Tucucmari’s Farmer’s Market opens on July 12.