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Washington DC Update

March 19, 2017

Product Update –

If you have been putting off ordering your pig – Monday will be the last date to do so. Place your order today. “Ben, your bacon is second to none”! Frank K.

Custom-Processed Half Beef – we are taking deposits to reserve your beef now!

Our first batch of broilers were put on pasture today. Have you reserved your fresh chickens yet? Simply email me at with how many you want per batch. We have about 60 left from this batch.

Washington DC visit – as I’ve communicated, NGF was vetted by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to go to DC and speak to Senator Cochran and Representative Palazzo about our farm and the importance of sustainable agriculture programs supported by the Farm Bill. NGF was one of six farms across the nation that were asked to come and speak for sustainable ag.

Specifically I spoke how our farm has benefited from EQIP back in 2009 when we were first getting started as well as several other folks who were able to improve fencing & water projects to help their farms. I took the opportunity to also share how some folks abuse the program and offered solutions to close those gaps – example: why should a millionaire get money to lime his pastures?

I also offered support for the 2501 Veterans Program. Big Ag policies have greatly reduced the number of folks growing our food. The 2501 Program offers incentives to veterans to become farmers after leaving the military. In the past several years I have had 3-4 military folks approach me about their interest in farming after military retirement. At the March pickup in Gulfport a Navy SeeBee expressed interest in opening a meat market – something that is very much needed.

Since I had more time than expected, I came prepared to address several of my “hot” topics to include:

1)   The lack of private label processing in Mississippi and how that limits markets for our products. I made the point that John Tyson could not have operated or grown his business to what it is today if he had to deal with current regulations

2)   That for the past 57 years the farmer has received less and less percent of the retail food dollar – issues described in the book “The Meat Racket”

3)   How current Ag Policies have destroyed rural America and rural Mississippi in particular. In 2016, all Ag commodities produced in MS had a reported value of $7.35 Billion. Yet, we import $8.5 billion in food. There is something wrong with that. In my opinion, MS Depart. of Ag does not support small farms!

So, what were the results? First, I knew when I went to not expect any decisions. Second, the weather was horrible. Major winter storm late Monday into early Tuesday. The House cancelled work for Wednesday thus Palazzo changed his travel plans back to DC which means I missed seeing him. I did have a very informative meeting with his Ag Staffer, Laura Lee from Clinton. Very good dialogue and questions were asked. I have also requested a visit with Congressman Palazzo when he is back in the district as well.

Meet with Senator Cochran and his Ag Staffer Bennett Mize from Tupelo. Senator Cochran has supported both of the Farm Bill topics in the past. As I reviewed my points both he & Bennett offered comments and questions. Again, good dialogue.

Now that I have direct contact via the Ag Staffer’s I will offer to be a resource to them on Ag Policy issues.

Some 1st for me: my Boarding Pass was on my phone, I had my first Uber ride, and obviously meeting with our elected officials to express concerns.

Lastly, it was an honor to represent small farms in MS that are working hard to make a difference by stewarding the land in their care and providing a food product that supports the physical and mental health of MS families.

Farm Business Model –

For about a year now we have operated our online store and since August offered deliveries to five locations. Our objective is to be convenient, simple, and flexible to the needs of our customers while offering locally raised, GMO Free premium quality beef, pork, and chicken.

While our model is new for South Mississippi, it has worked very well in other parts of the country. How about you? Are you supporting your local family farm?

Overheard –

“While people laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at them because they’re all the same.”

Ben Simmons

2017 0311

Mar 12th, 2017

2017 0304

Mar 2nd, 2017

Legislative Update

Feb 25th, 2017