2018 1124 Around The Farm Happenings

November 24, 2018

Poultry Update - We patiently await the Commissioner's decision on regulation change for pastured poultry. For the past several years we have worked with Senator's Hudson & Hill to change the regulation to be in line with the Federal Exemption vs. 1000 per year. Following our last time to testify before the Senate Ag Committee, Commissioner Gipson communicated he thought the state agriculture department needed to change department regulations vs. a new state law. He asked for time to study the situation. (see Commissioner Gipson's visit to NGF June 2018 above)

Since then, I invited Adam Choate, Director Bureau of Regulatory to my farm to see first hand what we are doing. During his visit I suggested he visit North Carolina and speak with Dr. Beth Yongue, State Director of Meat & Poultry Division. North Carolina has a very good model that supports small farms and consumers choice for meat proteins. Thus, their agriculture economy is about 12-times Mississippi's ag economy per square mile.

Adam was able to visit with Beth early November and took Dr. Bennett who is over the MS Meat & Poultry Division with him. This week, Senator Hill let me know that the Commissioner will meet with Senator Hudson & Hill on November 28th. We are optimistic about the outcome!

Farm Improvements - Handling and storing feed for the hens, pigs, and broilers is a big deal. After discussing this with Resaca Sun that supplies our Non-GMO feeds we decided to buy some used 9-ton feed bins and refill our totes from there. This will eliminate all the packaging and greatly simplify the handling and storage. However, there is another equally important benefit. We want to help other farmers by making the feed available to them. Being able to purchase NON-GMO feeds at a reasonable price (freight is a major cost) removes one of the barriers that otherwise would keep folks from being able to afford the feed cost. We have the bins and poured the concrete last Wednesday. We hope to have Resaca's team come next week to erect the bins and have feed delivered before we need another delivery.

North Carolina proves that small farms must collaborate to grow our market vs. an attitude of competition against each other for a "smaller" piece of the market. The right way is to grow the number of small farms that can make product available to a larger part of the population - which grows the market share for ALL small farms.

Another Farm Improvement - In anticipation of a positive outcome on the poultry exemption, we are going to build another chick brooder on a used 16' trailer we have. It will give us more room for brooding, allow us to pull it to the chicken tractors in the field vs. handling twice, and design it so we can spread the litter across the field as we return. We also plan to build new chicken tractors and have all poultry in the same paddock as the laying hens.

Customer Feedback-
"Just a note to let you know your beef is the best we ever experienced!”
- Larry & Geni

Quote Worth Re-Quoting – “As gardeners, farmers, and ranchers, we are producing nutrition, the very nutrition that defines human health. We have to take responsibility for our actions. We cannot "turn a blind eye." What effect do our actions have on our families? Our communities? Our ecosystems? Our relationship with God?" ~Gabe Brown

Thank you for supporting our regenerative, local farm.
Ben & Beth

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Ben Simmons

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