Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Staright Talk from a Young Farmer

Ever wonder what a 13 year old female farmer has to say about farming, food and finances?

Shelby Grenbec recently spoke out about her experience raising chickens, selling eggs, and gardening in an article in the Denver Post.


I loved the article! It is an honest assessment of where the sustainable farming movement is right now as well as the realities of marketing direct to the consumer.

She says things like:

"If you want sustainable, wholesome, pasture-raised organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free food, you have to support it. You can not get these things by talking about it and not paying for it."

If you read between the lines you see a girl who is wise beyond her years about people and money. I applaud her parents for teaching her these fundamental truths about life.

Shelby is getting a great head start in life by farming and earning money from the free market system we have here in the United States.

It reminds me of my boys. They have a good understanding that money doesn't just show up in the bank. It takes work. It means offering something of value to the market place and working to get the word out so folks will want to buy what you have.

I was disappointed to see she says she will not continue farming when she gets older. As Joel Salatin so eloquently pointed out one time, we have to have new, young farmers coming into the industry or the old ready to retire farmers can't leave. And when they do the big Ag model gets to fill in the gap if there isn't enough young farmers.

Perhaps Shelby will change her mind in the future but even if she doesn't, I wish her all the best and admire her honesty and hard work!

Read the entire article here: The Denver Post It's a great article.

Until next time...

Spring Hill Farms



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How to Buy Meat at Your Local Farmers Market

Picture Farmers markets are exploding on the scene across the United States. That means more vendors looking for ways to leverage the "eat local" movement even if their meats aren't local or even from a small farm.

A quick look at a listing of farmers markets in my state shows several meat processing plants listed as vendors. I'm not trying to infer that they shouldn't be allowed to participate in farmers markets. I am saying, as with any vendor you purchase from, you should engage in a conversation about where the animals are raised and how they are raised.

For instance the statement of "all our meats are locally raised" could simply mean somewhere in the state.

Some good questions to ask any meat vendor:

Do you raise the livestock yourself?

If not, do you know the farmer who did?

Do you purchase animals from sale barns to slaughter?

How confident are you that your meats are hormone and antibiotic free?

For beef - Is this 100% grass fed and finished or has it been fed grain?


These are the type of questions any farmer who raises livestock will be happy to answer. In fact most welcome these types of questions because it shows that you are looking for a certain style of animal husbandry and methods of production.

My point in all this is not to build a case about dishonest vendors.

My point is don't assume that because you are standing at farmers market every product there is locally raised by a small farmer. Ask questions.

The demand for locally farm raised beef, pork, and chicken as well as other meats such as lamb, goat, rabbits etc is on the rise. That means meat vendors of every stripe are looking for ways to gain access to farmers markets.

Some markets will allow them to sell their products and some won't.

Make sure you know what you're getting.


Until next time...
Spring Hill Farms
 
 

Farm Kids Stand Up and Take Notice

Picture I recently read the story of the youngest farmer to receive the Animal Welfare Approved certification.

Meet 12 year old Shelby Grebenc of Broomfield Co.

According to the article in the Animal Welfare Approved newsletter, she has 130 laying hens. She has named her farm Shelby's Happy Chapped Butt Chicken Farm because she says since folks can see her farm from the road people sometimes drop off chickens. She found a an empty box one day with chickens running around. They had no tail feathers and looked pretty sore so it seemed fitting.

Shelby started her farm when she was 10 years old by approaching her grandmother for a $1,000 loan to start a pasture raised egg business.

This stemmed from the situation at hand, her mother Nancy who has multiple Sclerosis was in a nursing home and Shelby wanted to expand the family's income. 

Shelby, my hat is off to you and I wish you well in everything you endeavor to do at your farm.

To read the Animal Welfare article go here.


 

 
 

Love Your Farmer? Make a Call Today

PictureLet's make sure we level the playing field for farmers in America. For too  long the big players have danced around the laws to keep the smaller producers at a disadvantage. Here's our chance to stop it.

I just received this email from the Center for Rural Affairs.


Do you appreciate the hard work that our family farmers and ranchers do?

If so, please take a few moments of your day this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to call the White House and tell President Obama that you support the proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule [PDF] that helps independent farmers and ranchers get a fair price for their hard work. (It's also called the "GIPSA rule".)

On February 14, 15 and 16 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, hundreds will participate in “Love the American Farmer and Rancher” call in day because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule would greatly benefit livestock producers across the country. However, the meatpackers and processors have pushed back against the rule, spreading false information to protect their own greedy bottom line.

You can help!

  • Call 202-456-1111 to reach the White House Comment Line (you may need to call back if the line is busy)
  • Share the message below (or something similar)
  • "My name is _______ from _________ (city and/or state) calling in support of USDA’s proposed livestock rule. This rule would level the playing field for livestock producers. Livestock producers need this rule finalized to protect them from retaliation and level the playing field. I encourage USDA to finish and implement the GIPSA proposed rule as quickly as possible. Thank you."

For more information on issues related to fair competition in livestock, go to www.cfra.org/competition. Thank you for supporting independent livestock farmers and ranchers!

You can also go to the Food and Water Watch website and use their automated form.

 


 

 

 
 
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