At ZaccariaUSA, the best part of our job is walking the journey with a farmer who has decided to start milling their own rice crop.  Every conversation, from that initial one through the one after the first order, follows a similar timeline.  Here are a few milestones that are common among them all:

  1.  Excitement – We call this stage the “Ah-ha” stage.  There were multiple conversations that took place before this one, but this conversation is different.  Up to this point, there has been a large information gathering effort on the part of our client as they are trying to figure out WHY they should mill their own rice.  They research and ask questions about rice milling equipment and lab equipment and pre-cleaners, but then “They see the light.”  The possibilities are limitless at this stage as they have dreams of seeing their farm name on beautifully packaged rice in every customers’ basket at the supermarket.  Ain’t no rain gonna stop this parade!
  2. Planning – This is known as the “Devil In The Details” stage.  At this stage, the core equipment, such as the ZX-6 or the ZX-25, has been ordered and we are working on all of the engineering aspects of the project including the electrical and water layout, dust control, byproduct handling logistics, etc.  We work with the client to make sure that the equipment layout is specifically tailored to meet their milling objectives.  This stage can be a bit tedious, but it is necessary to ensure that the plan is cohesive prior to receiving and installing the equipment.  The wind is still in the sail, but it is a light gently blowing breeze instead of the strong emotional gusts that have been powering the boat forward.
  3. Delivery- This stage is known as “Christmas Morning” to us.  The equipment arrives and it’s beautifully packaged.  It’s everything that the client has been wanting and dreaming about for the last few months.  It’s magical.  It’s breathtaking.  The client tears into all of the boxes and packages as they have to see first hand for themselves how great their new toys look.  Oh, how they can’t wait to put it all together and play with them.
  4. Installation – This is the “Some Assembly Required” stage.  There are parts and pieces everywhere.  Multiple instruction manuals are lying around and there’s always the question of “Why do we have a screw leftover?”  This is one of the more difficult stages, as everyone on the farm has their ideas of how the milling equipment should be put put together.  By staying calm and collected, we can go back to the plan, and walk them through everything.  Some clients opt to bring a technician from Brazil to install the equipment, while others choose to have their own farm hands or general contractors put the system together.  They key here is to stick to the plan…or in other words, read and follow the instruction manual.
  5. Start Up – This is known as our “Happy Dance.”  All of the events and emotions leading up to starting the mill have culminated into that one moment of flipping the on switch.  If I could capture the moment when farmers see their own milled rice come out of their own rice mill, it would be the best coffee table book around.  The paddy rice that was grown and cared for in the fields is fed into the mill and out of the other side comes the most beautiful looking rice kernels that they have ever seen.  As the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “They have a smile so big, they could eat a banana sideways.”

While there are many other numerous stages throughout a mill’s life from conception to final packaging, these last five truly tell the story of the journey that we get to be a part of.  It’s a great pleasure for us and we can’t wait to see our next Happy Dance.  For more information about rice milling equipment or equipment for processing beans, corn, quinoa, or other crops, please contact us at [email protected] or Visit Our Facebook Page.

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