Yup, its always something. As the sun goes down on one phase of our farm, it also rises on another. Keith and I have never been satisfied with leaving things the way they are. First we had to be certified organic, then we decided to stop dehorning calves, then we opted to eliminate all grain from all our cattles diet. This included milk cows, new borns, steers, you name it ,we took the corn from it. Nine months ago we thought it would be entertaining to try our hand at raising the critically endangered Red Wattle hog, so we bought some and then bred some. After that we thought "Hey ! Lets sell more raw milk". So we did, but the folks at Foremeost, never big supporters of the entrepeuneur type farmer, decided thaey didn't like that. So they told us to stop. I mean really why should we keep selling it directly to consumers at twice what Foremost was willing to pay us ?
We were oppossed to this directive being as THIS WAS OUR FARM and it was never in writing . No contract given to us to sign and nothing in the bylaws to support their directive. Not to mention, but I must, that we had been selling raw milk for years and Foremost knew it. Thus we chose to do it "our way" by continuing to sell raw milk the way Illinois State Law says we can and Foremost rewarded us by refusing to buy our milk any longer.
Thus on May 15, the milk truck picked up our last load of milk. The last time our excellent high quality milk from our very healthy herd will be mixed in with milk across Illinois, heated and homogonized beyond recognition and good taste and turned into a varity of equally taste-free products now appearing on your local grocer shelf. To Foremost we say whole heartedly...Good Riddance, and of course "Don't let the tank room door hit you in the ass on your way out !" (Just channeling my mother a little)
. The recent news stories,http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourhealth/policy/articles/raw_milk_personal_decision_or_public_danger.html blogs by others, http://thebovine.wordpress.com/page/8/ word of mouth communication regarding this story about our wee farm has helped us tremendously . Our customer base is growing , our name recognition is , well, being recognized, and I have three more restaurants on our waiting list for pork and beef. Our customers are thrilled that there is cold fresh milk in the tank EVERY DAY and no longer do we Aricept minded folks have to remember if this is "milk-truck day" or not.
A neighbor of ours is planning to buy more of our milk to use as a field fertilizer. Recent research supports this and he is ready to give it a try. http://www.greenpasture.org/community/?q=node/228 Our hog herd has tripled in the last 3 months which means more hungry mouths to feed. More pigs drinking more raw milk makes an even better pork product for our restaurants , grocery stores and farm direct customers.
So basically, Don't cry for us Agentina. We're going to be fine, one way or the other.