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A Lot to Be Thankful For

As Thanksgiving arrives, our farm has a lot to be thankful for. The farm has experienced significant change and growth the past few years. Our leap of faith toward retail agriculture is paying dividends. It's always humbling to think about how many family meals our farm now plays a part in each day.

Thanksgiving meal is no exception. While I don't raise turkey, which is the undisputed star of Thanksgiving, I did make feed for customers to feed their turkeys all season. I snapped the photo above while dropping off a 10 ton batch of feed to our friends at Groce Family Farm in southern Indiana.

Another feed customer put me in touch with the Groce family several years ago because he thought we may be able to help each other, as specialized feeds can be hard to find in our region.

The collaborative nature of farms in the local retail agriculture segment is refreshing. I often get requests from customers for items that I don't offer and try to refer them to one of the farms I partner with to find the product they're looking for. I have benefited from referrals from other farmers as well.

That first contact with Groce Family Farm led to some feed trials and refinement of feed recipes for them. I found sources for all-natural feed supplements and other feed ingredients to add to the non-GMO corn we produce to make finished feeds that meet their specifications.

Eventually, after some trial and error, I was also able to come up with a reasonably efficient method to transport and unload 10 ton batches at their farm.

What started as a novel way to realize a premium on small amounts of excess corn has turned into a core aspect of the business. I now produce over 200 tons of feed per year for Groce Family Farm alone!

Their customers buy turkeys from them because they like the taste, but there are multiple other good things that happen when they buy that turkey for Thanksgiving. Many likely don't even realize that their purchase is supporting not only the local farmer they bought the bird from, but also another local farm that makes their feed, a local small business that provides additional ingredients for that feed and a small local meat processing business that processes the birds. The impact of local food purchases can reach further than you think!

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to let all of you know how thankful we are for your continued support. Whether you are one of our meat customers, a customer of one of the other farms we provide feed to or even a blog subscriber from outside our area who buys local where you live, we are grateful for your patronage of our farm and like-minded farms. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.


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