Thursday, October 25, 2012
It's a sad day when your big fat lumbering 400 pound plus dirt snorting worm eating pigs are more desirable than you are.
Sad and exciting. The ball got rolling with an email from an animal talent agent in Chicago looking for several piglets that could be trained to halter and leash in order to star in a commercial. Several emails back and forth resulted. At first she wanted "white pigs" but when I sent pics of our adorable fat bottomed Red Wattle piglets she thought they'd work even better. Then she asked my "fee" Hmmmm. How does one figure the cost of training piglets to heel? Let alone "roll over". How about "Beg?" Seriously she just wanted to be able to walk them in the same direction in their little halters and leashes.
I figured in gas and time, leash costs and more time, feed costs while gone and more time. I sent her this final number.
I haven't heard a word since.
I thought it was too high then gave the whole scenario to my two youngest 20 something sons who came up with a figure TWICE that of what I was offering. So now I'm kinda hoping she won't respond as I stand to lose money after looking closely at the costs my boys thought of that I didn't. But then again what if the ad is for something really pig...I mean big. Like John Mellencamp doing a "Save the Family Farm" gig or something similar. I could ask for royalties right?
Then last week I was contacted by a large out of state University doing a study on Heritage Hogs. They wanted a Red Wattle sow (no mixing up the red with the white here. She knew she wanted a Red Wattle). And she wanted that sow to be pregnant and ready to farrow in April. I like a woman with a plan.
The sow would be transported to their university farm and her babies would be studied on things like
nursing behavior, social skills (Like does she know which is the grub fork and which is the mud spoon ?!?!) etc...No, she and her piglets would not be used for testing nuclear arms and although the farm is not a pasture type set up it sounds very roomy and they welcomed us to deliver the sow ourselves and meet and greet the vets in the project.
So that event seems like a Go.
To add more activity to an already chaotic life, I was interviewed by a reporter with Farm World newspaper about the cost of organic pork production. Seems the state of Iowa did a study , "study" consisting of two farms I might add, that indicated that pork production costs were estimated to increase by $11-$15 per head in 2012. This reporter wondered if we would see such a drastic increase in our own business. He was a little gobsmacked when I told him we were projecting an increase of $60 (!) per head from 2011-2012.
He then asked what sacrifices we might be making in order to stay in business so I ran down the list Keith and I had come up with just the other night. I trust that if I share this top secret information with you all, you won't go blabbing it all over the universe will you? So here are our planned sacrifices for 2013
1. Fire the maid (I caught her dipping into my supply of Guinness again anyway. It was time)
2. Cease the purchase of all designer duds and instead just share Keith's chore clothes. So what if my arse hangs out the back of his jeans, I'll just let Keith do all the outside work while I do the inside work. We fired the maid remember?
3. Stop the wasteful practice of purchasing out of season fruit. A good case of scurvy will help with my weight control which will further help my back end fit into thin man's jeans.
4. Quit with all the travel expenses back and forth to get the GK's. The youngest is now a very mature five. About the same age I was when I started hitchhiking We totally coddle these kids too much as it is.