Our second responsibility (in my opinion) is the consumer we serve. This is a multi-tiered responsibility. Whether we grow and raise for our own families (who in turn are connected in some way, shape or form to your families) or we are deliberate about producing a sustainable resource for your families and beyond, you are our responsibility. This requires consistency with the humanitarian efforts of how we raise and feed our livestock; the connection we make with our food before it’s considered food; and the follow through directly to you, the consumer we serve. There is a movement in the last decade or so to local resourcing our food; quite honestly, had we not delved into this adventure, I can completely relate with the hesitation we often meet with our first-time clients. I mean, who buys meat from the farmer? The question today is now why wouldn’t you?
As farmers and ranchers, our jobs are complex. It’s not rocket science, but then I’m learning it’s much, much deeper and more compound than rocket science. From the ground up (technically, from under ground up) we must be deliberate in every single aspect of what we do to produce sustainable yields of the foods we raise. There is simply not enough time and energy available in any one day, and the ever-changing, ever-unpredictable weather makes or breaks a simple task. It’s grueling some days, nearly stress-free others. We never take our eyes off the objective; producing the best quality finished product. In doing so, we are taking both the animals’ health and yours in mind; calculated steps and a whole lotta humanity. This, of course, is not without a cost. Beyond the expenses, it’s often a most difficult chore to sentence a specific animal whose time has come. While for others it’s a triviality, for us, it’s just as much a sacrifice as it is a reward. An investment of one of our ‘family’ into yours.
Indeed there is a whole list of pros to sourcing your foods farm-direct. Not the least of which is HEALTH. Small producers simply cannot afford the risk of health to their livestock or consumers; we are, indeed, families ourselves. Locally-sourcing our food brings us back into balance with how our bodies are designed to work within our living environment. Local sourcing not only supports the families working to provide, it also supports the environment where you are living. It’s genuinely a smaller circle of life and when we all participate in our local communities, all the small local communities link to one another to become a great support network. Stop and think when you’re shopping in a grocery store; who is benefiting from this hard-earned dollar? The farmer? The cashier? The business? We’re not advocating a full-on boycott of the large chain grocer, that would be impractical. We are advocating to be selective about what you buy from them and who you source for the remaining items on your list. Especially the foods you eat, for we are what we eat eats!
Conversely, when you support our ranch with your investment in our beef products (and ultimately your health) we are connected to you. There are very few relations outside of marriage that have so intimate a connection than that with your farmer! We are FEEDING you; you are deliberately taking in a finished product for which we have been responsible. This is the food connection that has been separated for several years, and as we have grown in this industry (and in our little niche) we have seen and understood the powerful impression it has on both an individual and societal level. Not only that, we are people too! We have feelings, families, ethics and opinions and when we connect through that simple transaction, we openly accept these same realities in you. You are more valuable than a $$ to us, and we enjoy the benefits of our connection to you, the meat being only the common denominator. We laugh with you, cry with you, celebrate with you, grieve with you. Our clients are so much more than the sum of sales in any one day; you are the reasons we continue! Without this relationship, hearing your testimonies or even just understanding your position and learning from your experiences, we cannot feed the desire to continue when everything seems to go awry. The farmer to family connection is simply the most crucial relationship in our food sourcing today, and it’s making a comeback as folks are getting wiser about from where their food comes.
Honestly, had we not ventured into this line of work (if you’ve read anything about us, you’ll know it was more like an accident!) I cannot say that I would be much different than I was about my food. I can say that I too might have been skeptical about buying my meat from the back of someone’s truck! I might be skeptical about some of the colorful characters at the farmers’ markets. Now that we are part of that community, it seems so ridiculous to hand our health and well-being to anyone BUT those skeptical folks. Who BETTER than the farmer to source your food, that which permanently becomes a part of your irreplaceable body? You matter, choose and eat like you matter.
Again we are humbled by your continued support. We appreciate you sending your referrals. We are grateful for those who support us with feedback, even those who don’t actually buy our meat! We thank you for the opportunity to serve your and your families. And, as always, we look forward to meating you again soon. ~Kimberly