Bindel Farms

  (Spencer, Ohio)
Life on our farm
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Spring planting and more!

We are keeping very busy on the farm this time of the year.  I have to say that the weather has finally greatly improved and we are getting beautiful day now.

Last week, I managed to finally move our extra boar to the new farm for breeding.  I did not need him since I bought a younger boar and he was just so huge in size. 

Since then, I have managed to move all my pigs off of the pasture that they were this past winter so I can plant my sweet corn and the rest of the vegetables that did not get planted in the cool weather section of the garden.

Last night when I was tilling our field for planting, I had a situation that any farmer would say would be a nightmare t5his time of the year, my tractor just stopped working in the field!  This kind of puzzled me as it has never gave me any problems before.  Yes it is a 1971 Ford, though not new by any means, it is still a good working tractor.  I am happy to mention that after waiting about 15 minutes trying to start it, I finally did manage to start again and I was able to continue preparing my field.  It must be gremlins I joked in my tractor because I have been jumping the solenoid for the past 2 years to start it ever since the replacement solenoid went on it and suprisingly last night the solenoid started working again when I could not get the tractor started.

In other news, our meat chicks finally arrive last week and we will be expecting two litters of piglets in about two weeks.  Ourt pigs that were born last November will be going in for processing in June.  Our CSA will also start in June too.

I also met with a OSU graduate student in an entomology and she has selected us as one of 16 farms that she will be collect bugs at this year so she can write her thesis on insect in the vegetable garden, in particular squashes and corn section.

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A 600 pound boar on the loose!

 


 

We never have dull moments on our farm.  This weekend was the weekend that the boar loaned to us should have headed off to another farm for breeding over there. 

If you noticed the words should have, because in reality it never did happen. 

We had this weekend planned out for several weeks now.  The farmer that I got him from two years is about four hours from us and when he told me that there was a farm about 1/2 hour away that needed him, we jumped at that opportunity since 1/2 hour drive to the next county is more reasonable than the 4 hour drive across the state. 

We used him for two years for breeding but he has gotten so big now that I think that he weighs about 600 or more pounds and I believe that he is at least four years old now . Plus we currently own a much younger boar and there is no need for two boars on the same farm especially with feed prices so high.   

My plan was to load him onto our trailer and drive him to the other farm.  But unfortunately our trailer was no match for him.  It was not a problem loading him, only took about 15 minutes or so but as soon as we got out of the pasture, he proceeded to take my trailer apart in two swipes of his head and jumped out of the trailer.

Now we have a 600+ pound pig,with tusks, on the loose and of course he was not even anywhere close on my property either!

For an inexperience farmer, they would probably completely freak out with this situation but this of course is not the first time for us that a pig has escaped.We have had whole herds of seven  or eight on the loose before in the past.

I actually went and parked the tractor and trailer before attending to the escaped pig as first, I knew that he was not going anywhere and secondly, I needed to think about how I was going to handle it.

Needless to say that with my past experience, I did managed to get the boar back into the same pasture that he came from fairly quickly by myself but it was clearly for sure that I would not be able to haul him myself in my trailer.

After this whole ordeal which lasted about a half hour in the morning, I decided to contact the farm I was suppose to be taking him to and told him the whole situation and that he needed to find a trailer strong enough, preferable metal, that he could haul him back to his farm inside.

Our poor trailer after the boar took it apart while in the process of escaping.

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It must be spring in Ohio!

Spring has finally arrived in Ohio!  The grass is starting to green up and grow!  The flower have started to bloom and we are now planting our gardens!

This past weekend I planted about 150 onion plants, a mix of walla wallas, and copras.  I decided to try the onion plants this year to see if I have better luck with them.  In the past, I have always planted the onion set but never had much luck with them bulbing.  They always gave great green onion though. I also decided to add 100 Honeyeo strawberry plants this year to our new strawberry patch.  This is something I have always wanted to do but never had the time to do it until this year.  I can wait until we get strawberries though I am told that should wait until next year to fruit as the plants need to build a better root system to survive our winters.

As I have mentioned in past blog posts, I have finally bought our fruit trees and already have planted them. We purchased them locally from several stores and there was a huge selection to chose from.  We ended up buying 13 fruit trees in all, more than I thought I would buy.  We purchased 2 Honey crisp apple, 2 Keiffer pears, 2 Anjou pears, 1 golden delicious apple, 1 red delicious apple , 2 cortland apple, 1 reliance peach, 1 red haven peach, and 1 mongomery sour cherry tree. We also end up purchasing a pin oak for out back and a beautiful weeping willow for out front.

The fruit trees are planted in 3 row near where I planted a mac apple tree about six year ago.  This arragement will allow me to expand the orchard in the future.

Some of my seeds have also been started such as the broccoli, cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes and it look as though we will be planting more than 50 varieties of vegetables this year.

The new egg layer got picked up this past Tuesday from the local hatchery and they settling in and doing wonderful. We chose the Australorp this year since we have never raised them before and they are suppose to be one of the best egg layers. We are also hatching eggs at the farm too.  I currently have 16 Bourbon red eggs in the incubator.  I normally steal eggs out of the nest and hatch my own but still let the turkey hens hatch their so we get twice as many turkey poults than if we let the do all the work.

Yesterday I also got a call from the hatchery that I never thought I would ever get. The out of state hatchery we use for our freedom ranger meat chickens called us and told us that we would not be receiving our April order like we were expecting to because they were stuck in traffic for 1-1/2 hours on their way to the post office and needless to say,in the hot temperatures half our chick order died in the process. They told me that the earliest date will be a month away. This left me with a somewhat predicament and thinking about how I will handle this since my CSA members will be picking up their meat  orders starting in June and I will not have chickens until July now.  The way I think of it is better now that this happen than in the middle of the CSA season.  Thinking positive!

As you can see, there is so much that has happen this spring and so much that needs to still be done. 

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The dairy industry is at it again!

Several years ago everyone was upset and very concerned about the growth hormones in the milk and the rumors of deformities in the cows that received them. Now I just read last week it was announced that the dairy industry was asking the FDA for permission to not have to label milk which will contain Aspartame or more commonly know as Nutra-sweet.

Are you really serious?

Our food industry is really screwed up but this I think takes the cake!

First of all, why are they putting artificial sugar in milk in the first place?

Second, if they are not going to label it, you will have no way of knowing if it is really in there. There will be no way to avoid it.

Thirdly, some people are actually allergic to Aspartame, do they just have to stop drinking milk altogether since they don’t know if it is in the milk?

I think that the FDA better think very hard before allowing the dairy industry full reign over what they can add to natural products and not have to label them.

Remember, it is your right to know what you are consuming and what is actually in your food.

One thing I know for sure is that if this does come to reality, my family will be forced to buy a dairy cow so that we will have real milk without articial ingredients added.

What are your thoughts on this?

        

 

 

 

 
 

Excessive hormones in our environment!

Last year five of my customers brought this to my attention and it got me thinking about the growth hormones, which is normally artificially manufactured estrogen, used in factory farming to fatten livestock up, and the effects it has on the human body once consumed.  This conversation actually answered one of my long unanswered question of why girls look so different now than when I was in school.  They seem so developed for their age and it turns out that it is not my imagination after all. 

A grade teacher who is also a customer told me last night that she was stunned at the advance development of the girls in her class due to hormones in meats and over the past 30 years of teaching she said it is only getting worse.

Research I found said girls back in the 19th century normally did not go into puberty until they were at least 15 years old but it is not uncommon now to hear about a girl as young as seven years old going into puberty.

It turns out that the growth hormones they are giving factory farm animals to produce more milk or meat in a shorter period of time are actually affecting hormones in the human body. It turns out that it is not only growth hormones that are affecting the human body but a whole class of industrially made hormones called Xenoestrogen which is found in almost all common household products such as dryer sheets, air deodorizers, body deodorants, nail polish, nonstick coatings on cookware, laundry detergent, soaps, pesticide, herbicides, insecticides, solvents, and plastics; most of which has come about just in the last 70 some years.

It is not just girls and women that have to worry about this because research is proving that it can affect the fertility and development problems in men also do to the fact the men are taking in more estrogen than their bodies are normally use to.  This extra hormone exposure not only affect men and women's development but it also can increase the risk of cancers later in life.

What can you do to limit your exposure?

One of the best ways is to buy your food from a local farmer/farmers markets who does not use chemicals to grow their vegetables and hormones in their animal production. Fifteen years ago I would have said that you would not have been possible to find a farmer but with the advent of local food taking a strong hold in every community across the country, nearly every town has small scale farmers growing food in a natural manner. Matter of fact, fifteen years ago we would not be talking about this.

If you are into it, homesteading and growing your own vegetable and meat is also another great option.  Many cities that once banned poultry are now allowing poultry to be raise in backyards so this is opening up a lot of opportunities for city dwellers to raise their own poultry meat and eggs.

If you are really feeling adventurous, you could go back to the basics and make all your household cleaners, soaps, and deodorants organic from scratch using basic house hold and kitchen ingredients.  Most of the recipes can be found on the internet and some actually make use of essential oils as an active ingredient.

So what are your thoughts on this?

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Could you live without it?

Today is Ash Wednesday, an important day in the church calendar.  It is the start of lent, a six week period for Christians to prepare for Easter, the most important Church holiday.  Since I am not here to debate religion, I will now get back to my point of this article.

For lent it is customary in the Catholic church to give up something during those six weeks and that has got me thinking about how good we really have it today in the world. 

A little over one hundred years ago, there was no electricity, phones, cell phones, automobiles, airlines, computers, internet, video games, microwave, dishwashers, modern washing machines, radios and television. Yes, some cities had electricity and phones or gas lamps but it was still dark at the farm house out in the countryside.  It would not be until the late-1930's -early 1940's that the farms actually started getting electricity.  This was accomplished by the area farmers working together in Cooperatives to wire the countryside that the private and public utility companies refused to bring electricity to, hence the rural electric cooperative was born. 

Yes automobiles were also around back then, but you had to be rich to be able to afford one!

My wife asked me last Sunday in the car what I would be giving up for lent this year and I joked to her that I will be giving up watching TV.  To be honest, I don't watch that much television but she thought that I was completely nuts. Especially when I told her that I was packing away the TV for 6 weeks. I am not really going to give up TV this year for lent, not that I don't think I could do it. It is just not practical.

Seven years ago when I moved to the farm, I came with very little personal belongings, basically a bedroom set, a recycled dining room table, and a used couch some one gave me.  I lived here by myself for over a month without a TV set, phone service, and internet service and I managed to survive without those items.  By the way, it was also mid-January which in the mid west means winter and snow. This would be inconceivable for most people including my wife who would be bored out of her mind without TV and phone service. By the way the reason I did not have a phone for over a month is because the phone company was  over logged with repair call that it took them that long to get my phone turned on and internet service back then came only over the phone lines.

But this got me thinking about what we have today and these following questions ran through my head.

What would happen if you woke up and today's technology had completely disappeared?  Would you be able to survive without those items?

Would you be able to grow the food needed to feed your family through the winter?

Without automobiles, we would be back to the horse and buggy! Would you been willing to trade your cars for buggies?

Without tractors, the horse would be used to plow the fields at an acre or two of land a day! It would mean no more industrial corporate farmer planting 20,000 acres with a tractor.

Without phone and internet service, we would have to write letters and send them through the post office or visit them in person.

Without electricity, you would be back to candles, gas and oil lamps.

The Amish down the street from us live this way to this day so I ask, would you be able to survive without today's technology?

 

 
 

A bird of a different color.

If you come out to our farm for a tour, the first thing that you will notice is that there is not one Cornish cross chicken anywhere on our farm.  This is the typical meat breed of chickens that you find in the grocery store and raised by most small time farmers. 

In the past, we also raised these chickens because there was nothing else desirable to raise for meat.  Yes there was the heritage roosters such as the Rhode Island Reds and the Delawares to name a few but these birds took at least 17 weeks and they were still not like what most customers are accustomed too.They were in my opinion boney and they did not have a nice size breast that most people want in a chicken. I have to admit that they were flavorful.

The Cornish cross is a hybrid engineered chicken that is developed through breeding certain traits in chickens until you get a bird that will produce a large amount of meat in a short period of time, usually 6-7 weeks at a 2:1 feed to meat ratio.

Since the Cornish cross grows so fast, the heart, the legs, and the wings do not develop like they are suppose too.  These birds are known to have heart attacks when they are stressed such as summertime temperatures. The legs and wings of these birds are weak and a lot of times the legs are so deformed that the chickens are not even able to move around.  I have noticed that if you are not careful, the weak ligaments in the wings will allow the wings to dislocated during the killing process and restraining cones are a must with these birds.

So I know that you  are now wondering what types of meat chickens we raise on our farm if we do not raise the Cornish Cross or the Layer roosters.

We raise the Freedom Rangers also known as Rainbow Rangers, Redbros or Tri Colors.  These chickens were developed back in the 1960's over in France through their Label Rouge program.  They made their way over to the States back in 2010 and we have been raising them on our farm since 2011.

I can tell you that after raising these chickens we will never go back to Cornish cross chickens . They are far superior to the so called Franken birds aka-Cornish Cross. Heck, they even look like a normal chicken!  These chickens do not have the leg problems associated with the Cornish Cross and I have yet to see them having heart attack when the temperature rises above 90*  which is typical in our part of the country in mid summer.  I have also notice that their wings are much stronger than than the Cornish and don't fall apart if they flap too hard or in the plucker.

Yes they do take longer to raise, usually about 9-12 week are normal for a 3-1/2-5 pound chicken but this in my opinion, raising them longer helps to develop a tastier chicken.

The freedom rangers are also much more active bird.  Unlike the Cornish cross chicken which just sits around in one place usually near the feed dish munching on grain all day, the freedom Rangers are very active and just loves to search for their food. They are also excellent foragers and will eat a lot of grass and insects if given the chance to do so. They also look so natural that it is almost impossible to tell them apart from a New Hampshire Red layer.

So I will ask you, what type of bird would you like to see on your dinner table?

 
 

A surprise on the farm!

I just love coming home to surprises on the farm!  Today was no exception. On the farm, we currently have three pastures full of pigs.  One pasture has our 12 week old piglets, the second pasture has our two newly separated breeder sows with a 2-1/2 year old breeder boar which I was hoping to breed back with and the third pastured has a 9 month old breeder boar with a large black gilt who will be going to the butcher next month due to a deformed back leg/hoof. 

So today when I came home, everything seemed normal from a distance, the right amount of pigs in each pastured, but upon closer inspection, I realized that my 9 month old boar is in the same pasture with the older boar and one of my sow.  My other sow was running around in the pasture where my 9 month old boar use to live. The two boars were having boar fights to compete with who would breed with the sow in that field.

Turns out, one of the boars and I am suspecting the younger one, ran through the electric fence gate I had dividing the pastures and made his way to this pasture with the other boar and sows I was hoping to breed back later this week when they return into heat.

I have heard of this happening when a sow is in standing heat but the funny thing is that none of them are in heat right now and I know he did not have a problem two months ago when some of my feeder meat gilts were entering heat in the pasture next to him before heading off to the butcher.

Since I only had a half hour of sunlight left today and it was snowing pretty heavy and I had a gate to repair and my sows will be coming into heat any day now, my solution was just to pair a boar with a sow.  At least I will know which boar bred with my sows.



 
 

Winter in Ohio

What a difference a day makes in Northern Ohio in January!  Yesterday it was 60's and jacket weather and today we are in the mid 20's and I am pulling out the heavy coat, hat, and gloves!  I have to admit that we have been pretty lucky to not be buried in snow this year.

This is also the time of year where I am going through the seed catalogs that have bombarded our mail box last month and deciding what seeds I am going to buy for this year's garden. 

I also have my eye on some fruit trees to add to the ones we have already.  I have decided that I will be buying a Honey crisp apple tree, a pear tree, a peach tree, a plum tree, cherry tree, a quince tree, and a paw paw tree.

Paw Paw is a fruit tree native to Eastern North America.

I would also like to get a raspberry patch started also this year.  I will not need to buy those as I know people who already have some and would not mind giving us some plants.

I might also try grape vines again this year.  In past years, they never seem to do well but I think that it might have something to due with where I bought them.

We are also planning on planting a field in Essex Rape seed for our pigs to graze this late summer. 

I also am thinking about planting conventional non GMO field corn and soybeans this year and when the crop is ready, turning my pigs loose to harvest the grain and the plant.  This will save in the step of harvesting the grain which is a difficult for me as I can never find a farmer nearby who is willing to come down with their combine and harvest our grains.

 
 

Grass fed beef- a cut above the rest!

Earlier this month I picked up our beef that we had processed from the local butcher shop.  If you remember from one of our previous posting, we sent our 18 month old cow into them back in mid December and he weighed out at 750# live weight with a dressed weight of 388#.  We are quite happy with the results since he was grass fed versus grain fed.

It has been three weeks now since getting the meat back and we have try the porterhouse steaks, ground beef, hamburger patties, smokies, tenderized round steak, and the rib steaks. 

This beef is clearly the best beef that I ever eaten even though it is only a USDA Select grade of meat!  So tender are the steaks and they are absolutely delicious!  Even though the ground beef is at least 90%-10% mix or more, it is still moist when cook and not dried out!

I was surprised, the round steak was more tender than I though it would be.  Normally the round is a more tougher cut of meat from the cow. Granted, I had the butcher tenderize it before they packaged the round steaks. I made a stir-fry with it and it turned out quite well!

A lot of this I believe has to be due to the fact that we had it dry-aged for 14 days and of-course it was a Jersey steer so that made a difference. 

It also does not contain antibiotics and hormones, definately something I did not want in the beef since that is all that can be found in the grocery store's meat case today.

I can tell you that we were quite busy this past weekend selling our beef to customers who had been waiting for it.  I completely sold out of the ground beef, flank steaks, porterhouse steaks and chuck/english roast that I had available.  Someone also bought up the oxtail, the tongue, and most of the liver.  We have to keep some meat for ourselves too so I am limiting how much of the extras meat we are going to sell.

We are definately going to raise more cows this spring and offer it to our customers in bulk and in a CSA share in 2014!

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Traded in my muck boots for organ shoes!


This weekend was just awesome for me, I was able trade my muck boots for organ shoes and get out of the field and off the farm for the day and onto an organ bench. 

Couple of weeks ago I was invited down to a city church about 50 mile away to play their historic 1956 Beckerath German made organ.  What makes this organ special is that it is completely mechanical and the only thing electric is the blower that provides air to the pipes. This organ is designed in a northern German baroque style.I was told that when this instrument was built, famous organist like E Power Biggs came to visit and play on this instrument.  This instrument also sparked an interested and an organ revival to build mechanical action organs instead of electric action.

Most modern organs rely on relays and magnets to open the valves to the pipes but this organ's keys are connected to wooden stick called trackers which are connected to the valves.

As I found out, there are not too many organs from this builder in the States so this is really a special. organ.  The organ has also just finished a 6 year long restoration to bring the instrument back to the condition it was in when it was first installed.

It has been about 6 years since I got a chance to play an organ so this was quite interesting to say the least.  I am quite please with my performance.

 This instrument can be heard at the following you tube links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPlV_d060L4

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePMxVV4S1m0&feature=youtu.be

Hope you enjoy the videos!

 

 

 


 
 

Tax savings farmers enjoy!

Farmers in Ohio have been enjoying the tax saving benefits that the state provides to them to farm.  The two that come to mind is the CAUV program and the sales tax exemption.  We will look at both of these in closer detail.

CAUV or current agriculture use value is a program started in the mid-1970's and offered to farmers where they can greatly reduce their property tax bill.  Normally in Ohio, property tax is calculated based on 35% of fair market value.  CAUV calculates the property's land using an agricultural value based on soil type instead of fair market value. Agriculture land values are typically much lower than fair market values and can be a great savings to the farmer enrolled in the program. 

An example of this would be that if say the fair market value for the land is $8,000 an acre but the agriculture value which is based on a formula of an average of how much the land can produce may only be $3,000, so the property tax bill will be much lower.

As I have found out, this program is open to all farmer no matter how much land they own.  Typically farmers who own 10 acres and a one acre home site can enroll automatically in the program, provided that they farm the land.  However, if you are a farmer who owns less than 10 acres, you will still qualify provided that you are capable of producing $2,500 in gross sales.

The process is easy to do in Ohio and only requires filling out an application to enroll the farm.  If you own less than 10 acres, you will have to show that the last three year's gross sales were at least $2,500. After the application is filed and a one time $25.00 fee is paid, a county auditor assistant will come out and check out the property for approval.

After being approved, the farmer must fill out a renewal form every year but no fee is required to do so.

The only catch to this program is if the property is discontinued from farming and this program, a penalty of 3 years worth of tax savings must be paid back to the county.

The second savings is the sales tax exemption. Farmers are allowed by law to exempt sales tax from materials which are used in the production of a farm product.  This includes purchases of farm machinery such as tractors and implements, bedding, seed, fertilizers, sprays, building materials and feed to name a few.  A larger detailed list can be found at the county and state Extension office.

For most local farm stores in our state, it is quite easy, all is needed is a completely filled out Unit or Blanket Sales Tax exemption form but more recently stores I found out, especially big box stores such as Tractor Supply and Home Depot, are requiring that you get an EIN or Employer Identification Number which is available from the IRS website to apply for this status at their stores.

Either way, it is something that farmers should be looking into doing since they are normally require to buy large quantities of products to do business and hence the sales tax on that materials are also high especially when your state has a 6-8% sales tax rate.

 

 
 

Yes coffee, but please hold the chemicals!

Ever since owning a farm, I have had my eyes opened to the way thing are done in the real world in terms of food processing.  Sometimes shocking at first but now I have grown accustomed to all the stories so this one is no real shocker to me either.

This past weekend I was reading an article in a cool book I was given and it was talking about how decaffeinated coffee is made.  Until now I have never really given it any thought, though I do remember when I was a young kid my mother telling me not to drink the decaffeinated coffee my grandmother was making because it was processed with chemicals and their were health risk associated with it. 

Yes, when I was very young, I was given coffee to drink because being diagnose hyperactive which is today just called ADHD, coffee and it's caffeine, which is a stimulant, would work in reverse on me and would calm me down. 

Decaffeinated coffee is made through a process using steam and chemicals such as methylene chloride, dichlormethane, and ethyl acetate to soak the bean in and extract the natural caffeine from the bean.  All of these chemicals is on a FDA list of chemicals generally recognised as safe". It is well known that methylene chloride is also use as a commercial paint stripper and a degreaser, why in the world would I want my coffee beans soaking in this chemical. Some of these chemicals are known to cause cancer when exposed to them long term and in large quantities.  

You would not fry your french fries in motor oil at home then why is the FDA allowing use of  harmful chemicals to process food?

Granted, you have a choice now as they have found other ways to decaffeinate coffee and teas without the chemicals using water which is the Swiss water process or a C02 gas process. But the chemical way is a lot cheaper so you have to read the label to know for sure.  That is of course if it is even lised on the label.

I know some people might not want the caffeine but my opinion, coffee is a natural product which has natural caffeine in it, why is the world would you want to mess with nature! 

And while we are talking about coffee and what goes great with coffee is sugar, did you know that the artificial sugar Nutrasweet is owned by the chemical company Monstanto.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Farm Logo Contest winner!

As most of you know, we had a contest for a farm logo elast year and we had lots of great logo designs sent in to our farm but in the end, we decided on this logo for our farm after some minor modifications by us.  

Congratulations goes to Bill and Sharon Schaible!

 

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Puzzled about Health Insurance and farming.

The start of the new year has brought a clean slate to our farm but it also brought  higher health insurance premiums for us which are as high as 25% more this year.  Ouch!

Even though both my wife and I currently work outside farm jobs, neither of us are lucky enough to get health insurance offered and paid through our current employers which of course completely sucks! (We are lucky to even have jobs!) This means that we are stuck with paying these high out of pocket expenses which can account for at least 20% of our pay that goes to paying these outrageous premiums so that when either one of us does get seriously ill where we will need to be hospitalized, we will not be up you know what creek without a paddle in debt. 

My personal experience with these health insurance companies and their premium has never been a good one and has left me think that unless you have a catastrophic event such as cancer, surgery, or a heart attack, you just get screwed by the insurance company in the end. 

Last month, I needed to go to the doctor's office for a bad internal hand infection that I could not clear up on my own at home without a prescription of antibiotics and needless to say that by the time I got done paying the co-pay and the rest of the cost that was not covered under the 80-20% plan I have, I would have been better off pocketing the premiums for all those years that I pay each month and paying the medical bill out of pocket.  It equaled the same cost as without insurance!  Go figure! 

Keep in mind that I am the type of person that only goes in to a doctor's office or the hospital when something is seriously wrong with me that I can't cure or fix myself.  I have been known to superglue and butterfly cuts with excellent results I might add when in fact  I should have gone to the hospital and had them professionally stitched by a plastic surgeon. 

This got me thinking that if we wanted to live solely on our farm business as a sole income like I have plans to in the future, we will have to work that much harder to come up with these premiums which can run $6,000-$12,000 a year depending on if you have a maternity plan or a family plan. That is a lot of money to come up with each month with our current jobs let alone have to raise it on just a farm income.  This means that I have to sell that much reach this threshold before I even start thinking about paying for other important bills like farm mortgage, utilities, other food costs, and of course gasoline for the tractor and cars which also seems to be going up just as fast.

Granted health insurance costs are tax deductible as write offs if the farm is run as a strict business and not as a hobby farm but still it is a lot of money to be forking over and a lot of product that must be sold to just cover health insurance premiums. 

I got thinking also about what other farmers who farm full time do about this situation.  Do they have health insurance premiums that they pay for out of pocket or are they currently doing without it. Maybe their spouse works and has the benefits the that off the farm job. 

Of course most of them are lucky enough to have land that was past down to them from past generation so they don't have to pay the ridiculous land prices of today to have the land to grow and raise their farm products.

What do you think? Have any opinions about this, please post them and let me know your thoughts.

I know other small farmers out there has to be in the same situation.

 
 
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