|# Posted: 29 Jan 2011 01:15
Here is the full text of the email:
Important Message to all Ghann's GREAT Breeders
Since the introduction of our GREAT program for reptile breeders in 2008, many of you have told us that the GREAT program indeed helped you lower production costs and increase profits on animals you produce. A number of you even said that had we not started the program when we did, you would not have been able to stay afloat - that the GREAT program literally saved your business. We're glad that our program was able to help so many of you.
Now, the tables have turned, and WE here at Ghann's Cricket Farm need YOUR help.
I suspect nearly everyone has heard about the dreaded cricket virus that is affecting cricket producers all across North America - in fact, all across the world. Yes it's real, and yes it's serious, but don't worry - and you should already know this - IT WILL NOT HARM YOUR ANIMALS!
Officially known as AdDNV (Acheta domesticus Densovirus) it affects ONLY crickets, and ONLY Acheta domesticus crickets. Believe me - if it would harm animals, the reptile industry would have already been wiped out. Numerous growers throughout the country have AdDNV, and it is continuing to spread. I honestly believe that about HALF of the crickets that were fed to reptiles in 2010 were likely infected with AdDNV, and the animals are still here. IT WILL NOT HARM ANIMALS!
As this epidemic has spread across North America over the last 18 mos or so, I honestly thought that WE would avoid it. I was wrong. We too were hit with AdDNV a few months ago. We continued production for a while as we battled it, but finally decided the best plan was to completely shut down, remove EVERY INSECT from our facility, undergo a massive cleanup & disinfection operation, and try to start back fresh in the spring. So that's what we're doing. As I write this Ghann's Cricket Farm is totally empty, not a cricket on the property. First time since 1952 this place has been completely void of the soothing chirps that have graced these walls for nearly 60 years. Strange feeling. Very strange indeed.
To be blunt, we're fighting a tough battle. It won't be easy, and will take some time, but we think we can win. Meanwhile, we know our customers - especially our GREAT customers - depend on us. You need reasonable prices on crickets to continue producing animals, and the industry needs your animals to survive. We're committed to helping both you and the industry. So much so that we've been BUYING crickets from other sources to meet the needs of our GREAT customers. This means our margins are paper thin on "regular" sales, and at GREAT program prices we've really been taking a beating. If we are to survive this crisis, we cannot continue to do that - we have to adjust our GREAT prices.
So here's where the needing your help thing comes in. We need you to stick with us through this difficult time, and to continue to buy these outsourced crickets from us at prices that will help us survive and continue to fight. If we can beat this thing... no - WHEN we beat this thing, we will hopefully be able to re-adjust GREAT prices back down at some point. We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it, but we WON'T get to it unless we get some help now.
So there it is, the cold, hard truth. Ghann's Cricket Farm - here since 1952 - is in trouble, and we need your help. We hope you'll stick with us.
New GREAT program prices effective immediately (1/18/11), per thousand crickets:
· Pinheads - $5.00/k · 1/16" - $5.50/k · 1/8" - $6.00/k · ¼" - $6.50/k
· 3/8" - $7.00/k · ½" - $7.50/k · 5/8" - $8.00/k · 3/4" - $8.50/k
· Adults - $9.00/k
Thank you for your continued support, and please keep us - and ALL the USA cricket producers- in your prayers as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters.
Clay A. Ghann
Ghann's Cricket Farm, Inc.
And a recent update:
Ghann's Cricket Farm has VIRUS FREE CRICKETS!
A few weeks ago I notified all our GREAT breeders that we had completely shut down to clean our facility in an attempt to overcome the cricket virus and were outsourcing crickets to meet your needs. I told you that we needed to raise GREAT prices slightly to help us stay afloat, and asked for your support in the form of your continued patronage during this difficult time.
We received many supportive emails from breeders who recognize our commitment to help the industry with our GREAT program, and who are anxious to now help us by continuing to buy outsourced crickets from us. We really appreciate the show of support - thank you.
Some of you expressed concerne about getting crickets - from us or anywhere else - that may have the virus. As I said in the last notice, there is NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT as far as your animals are concerned. The cricket virus will NOT affect reptiles/amphibians in any way.
Still, we thought it prudent to offer some additional reassurance if possible, so we had our supplier send several samples to the lab for testing for the virus.
I am happy to report that our current supplier tested NEGATIVE for the cricket virus - the crickets Ghann's is currently shipping are VIRUS FREE!
In about 3 weeks we will attempt to restock our facility with clean outsourced Acheta domesticus crickets and begin our own production again. We are also working to get approval from the USDA to produce & ship an alternative species of cricket. We believe we are going to BEAT this virus and will be able to produce Achetas again, but this has shown us that our industry also needs a viable backup plan.
We have heard that some people are already selling other species of crickets without proper USDA approval. We believe this is a very irresponsible thing to do that could bring irreparable harm to our entire industry. Ghann's will NOT engage in such enethical and unlawful activities - we'll offer another cricket if and when we have the proper permits and permissions, and not before.
Please continue to keep us here at Ghann's - as well as the many other farms throughout the country that are battling this virus - in your prayers.
Clay A. Ghann
Ghann's Cricket Farm, Inc.