*RESTOCK UPDATE* Beef Aug 24th. Pork- August 4th. Chicken Aug 12, 19, and 26

Farm Updates & "Field of Dreams"

May 3, 2020

As this newsletter hits your inbox, Beth and I are delivering 69 orders to families in Mobile, Ocean Springs, and Gulfport. When you add in Farm Pickup orders plus orders for Hattiesburg, Picayune, and Jackson Metro the total grows to 150+ for the month.

During April, we processed ten beef and eight pigs. Each time our store was restocked the product sold out in less than two days.

We have three 160 each batches of chickens plus two batches on pasture at the farm now. For May we will process two batches. Beginning in June we process three batches per month through December.

We are doing everything we can to provide your family our premium beef, pork, chicken, and eggs.

"FIELD OF DREAMS" was an 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner as an Iowa corn farmer who heard a voice saying "you build it and they will come". Interpreted to mean for Costner to build a baseball diamond in his corn fields and then the 1919 Chicago White Sox would come play there. Kevin finally gives in to the voice and builds the baseball field and "Shoeless Joe" Johnson leads the team onto the field.

What's my point?

Consumers are leaving the big meat packer brands in droves. Their overly centralized industry is failing consumers and farmers alike - and they are MAD! This same thing happened 100 years ago.

So, how did this happen again? In a word - GREED! The big meat packers used their lobbyist, industry lobbyist, moved key employees into government bureaucratic positions all to influence legislation and regulations to favor their bottom line and stock valuation. The results have been way to much market control in the hands of a very few people AND has been devastating to small business like processors that once were in most counties in Mississippi.

As the meat industry decentralizes, it will create many opportunities for small farmers as well as people who want to own their own business to help farmers get their product to market - like processors.

For example: Sunday afternoon there are two men coming to visit and see our USDA Poultry Processing Plant with the intent to build one in North Mississippi. There are two other folks who have expressed interest as well.

Additionally, I know of two people who are looking into building beef & pork processing plants in Mississippi. One man visited with me Wednesday afternoon to discuss his plans. Nature's Gourmet Farm will do all we can to help and encourage folks who want to build processing plants and or convert to a direct market farm.

Lastly, this week my sister sent me an article and a reader's comments on the article. I will share part of the article so you can get the ideal of the flow and then the comments.

Looming Meat Shortages Highlight Over-Regulation of Small Farmers, Processors BY IVAN PENTCHOUKOV

In an odd twist brought upon by shutdowns triggered by the CCP virus pandemic, farmers and ranchers around the country are killing off livestock, dumping milk, and breaking eggs even as warnings emerge about impending meat shortages.

The problem lies with a handful of giant meat processing companies that take in pigs, cows, and chickens from farms to slaughter, butcher, and package the meat that Americans eventually buy in grocery stores. Outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, have forced some companies to shutter some plants, while others are operating at a reduced capacity as some workers call in sick and others stay home in fear of being infected.

As a result, the national capacity to process pork was down 41 percent on April 28, according to Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns and Associates. Beef capacity was down roughly 25 percent and chicken down by 7 to 8 percent.

The resulting bottleneck is leaving some ranchers with few options for dealing with livestock that processors can’t handle. Some have resorted to culling their herds and flocks to conserve feed and make space for new animals, resulting in food going to waste amid warnings of food shortages.

While the backlog could be relieved on a local scale by smaller meat processors, years of consolidation due to economies of scale in the meat processing industry have resulted in a handful of giant companies handling the vast majority of the business.

And a comment to that article from Homesteader with a view:

Something I wrote on FB last week while researching… So am I the only one connecting the dots for this upcoming meat shortage? I mean… 2+2=4!!! Even in Chinese.
Only the FACTS as I have personally researched so far….

1-Number one pork producer company in US, and the world, is owned by WH Group… formally known as Shuanghui Group, FROM CHINA. Chinese owned!

2- They were set up by the Chinese Government by the local Luohe City Government. Who has since sold it’s shares to the Goldman Sachs in New York and IS a primary dealer in the United States Treasury security market. (Look that one up for who received $10 billion investment from the US Treasury as part of the troubled Asset Relief Program and financial bailout created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. ).

3- Then they purchased Smithfield Foods and 146,000 acres in the US for $4.72 billion dollars in 2013 plus assumed debt for a total of $7.1 Billion, and it was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.
Roughly doubling the number of US jobs tied to direct investment by China. Smithfield ceased to be publicly traded after the deal was made.
The “Smithfield Foods” included… Echrich, Farmland Foods of Kansas City, Murphy Family Farms of North Carolina, Circle Four Farms of Utah, Cook’s, Gwailtney, John Morrell and Premium Standard Farms… plus some other smaller names.

4- in 2016, Smithfield Foods, owned by the WH Group, also acquired Clougherty Packing from Hormel Foods with brands such as Farmer John, Saag’s Specialty Meats. THE largest pork products and sales in southwestern US. Also acquired hog farms in Arizona, California and Wyoming as part of the deal. PLUS numerous facilities in Italy, Poland and Hungry.

5- 4 weeks ago, a friend of mine in Wyoming, (this is a PERSONAL FRIEND of mine), wrote me a message. She works at one of the Wyoming plants mentioned above. She said that Chinese CEOs of the company had come for a surprise visit, flew in on a private jet from China…
2 weeks later her plant and town had it’s FIRST Covid-19 virus case and several more have followed after that crippling the plant. HOW THE HELL are our borders closed to traffic from china and these a-holes were allowed to “visit” is beyond me… but they did.

6- April 26th, Craig said to me we need to stock up for the upcoming meat shortage. I had not heard about that as I took a break from the insanity of news and FB for a day or two and spent it in the garden.

7- SO… I Started my usual research to see if fake news or real. YES, appears to be real. Processing plants drastically slowing down and farmers are being forced to kill off pigs that are getting too big and no where to send them.

8- will be a domino effect and consequently a meat shortage of at least pork. I know people are telling me what the meat counters look like at stores already…. (I don’t leave home FYI).

9- NOW…. all this should make one take notice… so the virus wasn’t enough to put the USA in turmoil economically, but we were holding on and still had our food supply…. but then you, (YOU meaning Chinese Communist Party), had to come and visit here to make sure it effected our food supply too?!

10- Who will have all the $’s to gain from this?
Not the American workers who are now falling sick in these plants.
Not the American workers who will be laid off due to plant closings.
Not the American farmers who now have paid all this money to raise these pigs who now have to be euthanized.
But bet your bottom the company WH Group will when they can double or triple the price of meat for lack of supply.
And wanna bet they ask for a bailout AGAIN?!?!

Martha A. recently left this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Google Review:

"The eggs are AMAZING!!! I've been buying those expensive, fancy eggs in the grocery store, but these gorgeous eggs are so far above those!! The shells are thicker, the yolks have that deep orange color, and the whole egg is a good deal thicker than store eggs, including the expensive, fancy ones. Thank you, Ben!!"

Ben Simmons

Farm Update & Storm Impact

Apr 29th, 2020

Covid-19 Farm Impact

Apr 19th, 2020

Farm Update + Ordering Tips

Apr 7th, 2020