So, if you haven’t read my previous blog, you can here: https://www.afarmwife.com/www.afarmwife.com/2019/10/11/2r3yyv2bdvrgbg8377l5tva958ol66
It would be helpful to understand this blog.
With our farm expansion I have inner turmoil, false guilt and some apprehension.
Every single day farmers are closing the barn door for the last time. It sickens and saddens me. There are multiple reasons why this is happening. One idea that is popular is “big farms are eating up the small farms”. And, those big farms are always the big, bad corporate farms that are uncaring and cruel to their animals and people. They are only in it for the money.
In the scheme of things, we are definitely not a large farm. For us we have grown larger but definitely not what we would consider a large farm. Having said that we also are not a smaller mom and pops farm either. I guess it’s your perception on size.
Our size does make us a CAFO farm which some have attached to Corporate Farming. I have no idea what corporate farming is. We are still a family farm. We have three generations daily working side by side with our employees. We are the first to arrive and the last to go home.
So, while I grieve with other farmers leaving the business I have some guilt that we are making it thus far.
And, that we have added to our numbers is also considered bad by some. The thing is, while we added to our personal farm we did not add to the market. We basically relocated the dairy cows and now the milk is coming from a different location.
Farming is a business as well as a way of life. If you can’t keep the business going, the life will stop. For us, expanding was a calculated move for our business.
Our main goal is to keep this family farm alive as long as there is family who want to farm. Our son is the fourth generation and while it hasn’t been determined, his son – the fifth generation is leaning towards that.
Within myself I have the excitement for the new experience feeling fighting with the knowledge that some will think our decision is hurting other farmers.
I purpose to be respectful and supportive of all farms. I support organic as an alternative. Not better, just different. I know some farmers grow product that competes with dairy. I support their farming choices but will point out the differences in our products. I am not concerned whether you milk 50 or 5,000. We’re all in this together.
Will there be criticism from others, even farmers? Could be. I’m sure the “all knowing, never farmed” people will have no problem speaking up.
In the spirit of transparency which I tout and believe to be the best tool to communicate I felt I needed to share this.
I hope our intentions of keeping a family way of life alive for those coming after us helps everyone to see our heart and reason for our decision.