Towards the end of each year, we make plans for the future and update our thinking on the next few years. Among the items we address for the coming year is – what do we need to fix, repair or add over the slower winter months to get Young’s ready for another busy year? Young’s has been here for a long time (the red barn was built in 1869!) and there is always a lot of things to fix!
This winter we are busy finishing up a year long project on improving our technology infrastructure. Like many older businesses, we’ve been using really old wiring and patched together switches for our data links between the buildings. We have outgrown the ‘farmer engineered’ patchwork and have installed underground fiber optic cables to handle our data.
Why? – We order more than half our weekly purchases using online platforms with our main suppliers, our entire work schedule is online for our 320-person workforce, plus updates to our website, Facebook, Twitter, most tax filings, many government reports and forms we fill out, and gift card, credit and debit card transactions all depend on secure and fast communication lines. Technology updates aren’t all that exciting, and are mostly invisible – but it was time for us to upgrade so we can better take care of our Guests.
Other improvements this winter – we stripped and natural finished the large table (seats over 30!) table in the Dairy Store dining room. It looks great – the families and groups that enjoy using this table will like the new look. We also installed 10 Nest® wireless thermostats in both restaurants. These help us manage our energy usage and monitor the environment inside our two restaurants. So far – we highly recommend Nest® thermostats! With the wild swings in temperature, this system helps us keep the different parts of the building at comfortable temperatures.
Before we get too busy this spring, look for a replacement floor in the dining room at The Golden Jersey Inn and new carpeting on the original 18-hole golf course (we replaced the other 18-hole course carpeting last year). There are many other smaller projects – repainting here and there, replacing ceiling tiles and more. We plan to have the farm in good shape for the coming warmer weather.