Hannah Esch is one determined young FarmHer. Hannah brought a love of cattle, entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to dig in, with her to college at the University of Nebraska. There she landed in the Engler Entrepreneurship program and dove headfirst into starting her own company as a college student. Her classwork there and a supportive community around her led her to start Oak Barn Beef where she direct markets the family beef to customers around the country.
From Campus Classes to Company Creation
I met Hannah on campus on the verge of a downpour. We dashed into the Engler building, soaking wet. Once inside we headed upstairs so Hannah could show me around and also stop into her office. Yes, Hannah is probably the only college student I know with her own office! The program provided just the right mix of inspiration, education, and a push that helped Hannah create a great base for her company.
A Family Affair on the Farm
We headed off-campus and out of town for our next stop….the farm. With Oak Barn Beef, Hannah buys cattle from her father and has them custom processed then stored in a freezer on the farm. After a short drive through rolling hills and green pastures, we made it to the farm. We weren’t there for long though. Hannah, the dog, and I loaded up into the UTV and headed down the gravel road and out to where the family cattle were at pasture for a quick check.
Beef Subscription Boxes
The cattle were doing well out at pasture, with ample green grass to graze on in the warm summer months. Back at the farm, we headed inside to see where the business of Oak Barn Beef happens. Hannah got right to work, packing orders of the thick-cut, richly marbled steaks, and other cuts of meat. She sells her meat online in subscription boxes and through direct sales. It has been a steep learning curve on how to price, market, plan, store, and ship meat to customers around the country, but one Hannah has taken on with full force.
Hannah is an inspiration. She’s a breath of fresh air. She’s a reminder to run after what you want with passion and drive. She started her business at a young age and dove in with both feet. While it hasn’t always been easy, she is determined to not only make it work but make it a success. Stay tuned for Hannah’s epsiosde on Season 5 of FarmHer on RFD-TV in April.
Hannah’s Updates: She Has Moooved Many Things in Her Life
Growing, growing and more growing, that’s exactly what Hannah’s business and family have been doing. Since her episode, Hannah got married, moved (Oak Barn Beef and her home), incorporated her new family into the business and gave birth to a little FarmHer of her own.
With the move brought new business opportunities. The business completely moved to West Point, Nebraska and now operates from there. In 2020, she added their first on-farm ‘beef room’. Now, with the help of her husband, Hannah renovated a building in the city of West Point, Nebraska and now has a store front added to her business. In addition to her store front comes a bigger freezer and more room for the growing number of orders she has. This is now Oak Barn Beef’s new headquarters.
Fun fact: Hannah has now shipped beef to all 50 states every year she’s been in business.
From a growing business to a growing home, Hannah deserves a huge congratulations. In fact, her daughter has already been shipping beef! Catch up with her life and business on her Instagram page.