Good Morning from your farmer,
Last week our newsletter was a look back at 2023 here on the farm. It's hard to believe we have been at this since 2010 when we sold our first grass fed beef (notice I did not use the word "finished" because we did not know what that really meant then. All we knew was that Alan Nation said when the steer reached 1000 pounds it was ready for slaughter. haha
Those first several years I can truly say were not our best beef for sure. Yet, many folks stuck with us! Supporting and encouraging us.
Our first booth Sept 2010 at the Mississippi Pecan Festival, Richton, MS.
Then, beginning in 2016 - 7 years ago this month - we set up our website through GrazeCart, switched our focus from only selling halves to selling by the piece. Included with that was making our first deliveries starting September 2016.
Back then I had no idea what doors The Lord would open for us - nor would I have imagined we would be serving so many families last year with about 74,000 pounds of beef, pork, chicken, and eggs.
Two groups of folks I would like to express my deepest gratitude for: First, our committed customers! True, many people come and go. However, we still have a few of our original customers from 2010 and many from when we started our website & making local deliveries. Second, are the folks who help us here on the farm. Some help only with slaughter and or processing beef, pork, and chicken. Others focus on eggs. While others primarly help with soil health, grazing, feeding, maintenance, etc. that make this all come together. Beth and I are very grateful and truly blessed.
Friday, I was forwarded an email that Remington-Lott Farms was going out of business. This saddens me because Mississippi desperately needs many more farms raising food to feed its citizens. No, I do not know the reason for their decision. But, I do know they made a positive difference in the communities they served.
Over the holidays there was a big discussion on the Pastured Poultry email listing about an Arkansas farm named Cook's Venture. One of the members is from NW Arkansas and sent an email that CV abruptly shut down all operations and told their "contract" farmers to kill all the chickens and bury them - reports say up to a million chickens.
CV is a venture capitalist farm - you know, money guys that use their money to hire others to do the work. Other members provided details that CV sold product as "pastured" chicken and that they hired field managers from the big poultry integrators who swung production back to conventional CAFO-ish stuff in order to improve profits. However, the contract growers were existing farmers who once grew for the likes of Tyson (their barns were no longer up to Tyson specs) and reverted back to rainsing them the Tyson way vs. pastured.
They did sell through their website, but with a million chickens they most likely sold wholesale to grocery stores, restaurants, etc. as well.
Get this! They are needing government bail outs to chean up their mess!!! That's taxpayer dollars.....to bail out CV bad decision(s).
Sadly, this whole thing is a pointless tragedy. In Decatur, AR, where CV is based, nearly everyone is involved in poultry some way... then companies like CV comes in with big money and promises of an easy path to a promised land that stirs everything up and disrupts communities. In the end people are worse off than they started and there's a lot of heartache. Needless to say it was a difficult holiday season for many.
What our country needs are thousands of small family farms serving their communities with healthy food raised naturally and sold locally.
** Product Availability Update **
NOTE: Restocks are made about 6 PM on the dates indicated below!
Chicken - Next restock will be January 24, 2024. Yes, we will be raising chickens throughout the winter months. NOTE we pushed out the Jan 10th restock as the chickens are growing slower with the weather changes
Turkey - Whole turkeys are sold out. We will use our jan 9th USDA slaughter date to harvest some turkeys. Be on the lookout for pieces and ground turkey next week
Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. Received 950 new pullet hens Thursday, Nov 9th. Starting to get small to medium eggs
Beef - Fully Stocked. Next restock will be January 19, 2024
Pork -Fully Stocked - except for bacon
Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Scheduled to process lamb in November, but this has been delayed. Probably Mar 2024