Saturday, April 7, 2012
Some Pig Farmers You Should Know
Three years ago I found Walter Jeffries. No, he wasn't lost but we sure were. We wanted to raise hogs outside (oh, the horrors) and we wanted to do it year round. We were, however, surrounded by confinement hog farms which were of little help to us.
So we took our search to the Internet and found Walter and his blog, Sugar Mountain Farm. We read his blog voraciously. We started asking questions and he graciously, through response to comments we left on his blog as well as past and future blog posts, taught us pretty much all we needed to know.
He did all of this...for free.
A couple of years ago he and his family, faced with the loss of one of the butcher shops they relied on heavily to process their pasture raised hogs, took on a feat of unbelievable proportions. They decided to build their own USDA approved butcher shop, and they did 90% of the work THEMSELVES.
The "themselves"part is the most amazing. With three young children ( two now nearly grown teen boys) and one young daughter they took things in their own hands, things like saws, hammers, drills, and began building from the ground up . To really grasp what it is they are doing you must go to Walter's Blog to wrap your arms around the entire picture.
And now my request. Being small farmers ourselves we understand how frustrating it can be to identify projects necessary to our farms survival, yet not having the capital to do so. Two years ago we had a similar dilemma on a smaller scale. In order for us to sell enough of our meat products to pay our bills we needed to build a small farm store. Taking on more debt was not an option. One of our milk customers came to us, ASKING if they could invest in our farm, We said yes and all have benefited ever since. All because someone took a chance on a small farmer.
Perhaps you might see it in your abilities to do the same for Walter Jeffries and his family. Through his involvement with the Kickstarter Project the Jeffries now have just $14,452 left to raise of their $25,000 goal set just a few days ago. This $25,000 is the amount they need to finish a project they have already funded through their own savings, pre-sales and hard work.
In today's world of individuals believeing the government owes them food and shelter and clothing, where folks think work is a task to be avoided, where children insist it is their parents job to support them well into their 20's, 30's and 40's, I think what the Jeffries family is doing...is nothing short of amazing.
If you can't help financially (you get some really cool products if you can) then perhaps you could link to their project through your blog, your Facebook, your whatever.
I know Walter, Holly, Will, Ben, Hope in Northern Vermont would appreciate it very much.
And so would I.