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Newsletter 2016 1107

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

December 4, 2016

Upcoming Order Deadlines
Order by Sunday, November 13, 2016
Pickup Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hattiesburg & Hattiesburg Hwy 98 West
Order by Monday, November 14, 2016
Pickup Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Biloxi & Gulfport
Order by Monday November 14, 2016
Pickup Thursday, November 17, 2016

We believe in transparency, as there’s no better education about what it is we do, how we do it and why, than an honest and straightforward conversation about any aspect of our farm!

Veterans Day Sale: We wish to show appreciation to our military veterans and the men & women who continue to serve our Nation by offering a $25 savings on our Beef Variety Share regularly priced at $205, now $180. Order now for pickup per the above schedule.
The Importance of WORDS
Folks who signup as customers to buy from my website know the importance of "Knowing Your Farmer" and how your food is raised. We try to provide you a detailed look at our practices by using our website & newsletters with written descriptions, pictures, and videos. We also encourage you to visit our farm and see first hand. Many have done so and now trust us to provide healthy, nutritious, and great tasting beef, pork, and chicken for their families.

Equally important is service. We value your business and have the best interest of your families health in mind. We try to be as flexible with pickup's and etc. as possible and when there are issues we strive to fix them (and there will be issues from time to time). We have no intent to grow our farm beyond the point where we loose contact with our customers - and we want you to know us on a first name basis.

Can you say the same about products you buy from your grocer?
Back to WORDS! Some of my beef customers tell me they buy their chicken from Sam's - stating it is "organic" and about half the cost of my chicken. Well, the math does not work! First, you cannot feed a chicken for 8-weeks with organic feed and sell it for $1.75 per pound - the feed cost will be that or more. That does not include the price of the chick, the daily labor, death loss, and processing cost. After the farmer sells (assuming at a profit) you have the distributors cost & profit and then the retailers cost & profit - typically 30-50% of cost) So, what are you really buying?

To answer that question, let me encourage you to read a recent Mother Earth News article written by Joel Salatin titled "Language and the Sustainable Revolution". He begins by stating that farmers and consumers need to go beyond grass-fed, free-range, humane and USDA Organic labels to do right by this planet.
Joel states. "But look what has happened to the word “organic” since J. I. Rodale first popularized the designation in 1942. The term is now owned by industry and the government, and all sorts of questionable nuances are done in organic’s name. In poultry, for example, organic certification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires access to pasture or other outdoor environments, but with a huge caveat: If either inclement weather or the bird’s health is an issue, then outdoor access is no longer mandatory. The Cornucopia Institute’s aerial pictures of industrial-scale organic poultry farms show the blatant disregard of standards by the large certified players. The USDA couldn’t care less about this noncompliance. How many Americans buy scofflaw eggs at Walmart and think they’re really changing the foodscape?"

I also think BIG organic farms loose their purpose and identity and ultimately look more like industrial ag operations whose product is shipped all over the USA. What is needed are thousands of small farms who service the needs of consumers in their area.

To read the full article click this link. If you are buying organic chicken, eggs, and etc. from a national retailer you should clink the link inside the article on The Cornucopia Institute and view aerial pictures of industrial scale poultry farms.

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