Restock Dates: Please see our Farm Blog where we post our weekly newsletter for the latest updates

Farm Visitors

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

December 2, 2023

Good Morning from your farmer,

*****Ring, Ring, Ring***** if you have not visited our website recently, then I want to let you know we are mostly FULLY STOCKED - at least much better than anytime this year.

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year.

Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families. A good example was a man this week who is from the local area, but works as a heavy equipment operator in ID during the non-winter months. In ID he was accustomed to pasture-raised beef, raw dairy milk & butter, pastured chicken and eggs. This season when he returned he first bought from a local butcher shop - No Good! Then he tried Winn Dixie - No Good! That is when he remembered someone had mentioned our farm to him so he drove out for a visit (we have had folks visit to confirm we are really a farm).

Anyway, he left with a big smile on his face and a nice large box of beef, chicken, and eggs.

A good number of visitors want to be homesteaders. Which is great! We firmly believe folks should strive to be in more control of their family's most basic need - that being food.

Over the years we have probably had 20+ folks visit who want to farm similar to what we do. Double Great!!! I have taken up hours talking with folks, encouraging them, discussing our farm operations, etc. We also believe our State & Nation needs thousands more small regenerative farms that serve their local communities. I firmly believe there is plenty of business and that the limiting factor to enlarging the market is people who want to farm.

To learn what we know has taken years of study, visits to other farms (most all of them charge a fee -- we paid Seven Sons $500 for half day to learn about their laying hen operation), and active participation in associations like Grass Fed Exchange and American Pastured Poultry Producers Assn.,, etc. It takes time and effort to learn your craft vs. sitting in front of the "tube" watching someone else accomplish their goals.

Recently a local family who plans to start a regenerative farm told me that Joel Salatin charges $7000 per day consulting fee. WOW!

We have never asked for any fees to visit and learn about our operation or to help others (consult) for their farm. I have sold plans for our USDA plant, but I also bought them myself.

This past Monday I had a very warm visit from a family that lives in Norway. I have never been to Norway nor met anyone from there to my knowledge. The husband's (Dayton) family now lives in New Orleans and they were in the States to visit for Thanksgiving and wanted to visit our farm. Camilla contacted me about a month ago and asked if they could visit and provided several days that would fit their schedule.

She confirmed their visit over the weekend and arrived Monday morning right on time. Very warm greeting and they brought me cheese & crackers from Norway as a token of their appreciation.

I spent about 2.5-3 hours showing them around, discussing our farm operations. We spent a lot of time where we make our compost. Dayton and his friend are actively making compost via the Johnson-Su Bioreactor method to share with families to use in their gardens. It was very cool to see his enthusiasm and watch him pick up a handful to smell the rich earthly aroma.

Camilla works on a non-profit (once a working dairy) farm in Norway. She had attended a Soil Health Academy workshop in Sweden this summer which spurred her interest in visiting our farm. Here is a picture of Dayton, Matilda Faye, and Camilla.

Camilla-Visit.jpg


"Thank you so much again for the farm tour, Ben! You really gave us such an authentic farm experience and we are so grateful for your time and everything you told us." Camilla

Visiting with these folks really made my day!

** Product Availability Update **

NOTE: Restocks are made about 6 PM on the dates indicated below!

Chicken - Fully Stocked. Next restock will be December 5th. Yes, we will be raising chickens throughout the winter months

Turkey - Whole turkeys are sold out. Expect to have Ground turkey and pieces about mid January 2024

Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. Received 950 new pullet hens Thursday, Nov 9th.

Beef - Fully Stocked. Next restock will be December 22nd

Pork -Fully Stocked

Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Scheduled to process lamb in November, but this has been delayed. Probably Jan 2024

More from the blog

Are Foreign Imports "Local"?

It may surprise you that I do receive AND read several weekly newsletters from other farms that I know and trust. Last week, Paul Brown who owns Nourished By Nature in Bismark, ND (son of Gabe Brown) wrote a really good article on import beef and he agreed to let me share with my customers. So, here goes! If you recall, the last newsletter we sent out referred to the statistic that today, only 2% of the population in the US produces food for the entire country (plus imports) as compared to 17% in 1940. This is unprecedented and it makes me wonder, what happened over the last 80 years? And where will we be in another 80? No wait, how about 10 years??? Will all US food production be outsourced?

Product Updates & More

First, a quick followup from last week's email where I shared my letter to Sec. Watson. This generated a lot of interest and response from our customers - ALL very positive and thankful for us taking the stand we do. Several customers also shared that they were personal friends with Sec. Watson and would contact him regarding our farm. So far, I have not heard from him. Cindy shared the following: Thank you for speaking out about issues that many of us are very upset about and feel like we have no voice. Hopefully, Secretary Watson will actually do something. In my opinion, Farm Bureau is against most Mississippians. They were against the illegal land sales to the Chinese and other foreign countries who want to harm us. I was at the meeting at the Capitol a few months ago and saw it firsthand. They are against any legislation to protect pets, such as dogs and cats, from animal abusers, in addition to the chicken and dairy issues you mentioned above. I am no fan at all of Farm Bureau. They are a detriment to our state. But they have a powerful lobby and lots of friends in influential places . And lots of farmers, big farmers, are fans. I have always been a fan of ag commissioner Gipson and I expect he will run for governor one day. I’m not sure if it’s a political play, but it seems that he is quiet on most of these issues. One exception is the Land deals, because he did chair those groups and hold the hearings.

Letter To Sec. Watson MS Secretary of State

This week I received an email from Sec. Watson regarding his offices' plan and successes in eliminating administrative and MS Code bottlenecks that hold back business growth. He also asked for input on areas that affect our business. Have you ever heard the saying, "Be Careful What You Ask For?" Well, here is my response to Sec. Watson. I'm still waiting to hear back from him - which I truly hope will happen. Sec. Watson, first let me thank you for aggressively tackling these tough issues. Too many politicians today are mere pawns of