There are days when I talk with my wife and have a momentary lapse of internal reckoning. Today was one of them. Debating about why we do what we do, she gave me a blunt reminder. Ok, let me back up...
The conversation started with how expensive chicken/turkey/duck feed has gotten over the past 6 months. Why are we spending so much money on feed? Shipping, drought, whatever... It cost a boat load. How many other farms slide by with cheap feed? How many really care about what the heck a chicken eats? An egg is an egg, a chicken is a chicken, right? Does it really matter what feed they eat, if they eat grass and are on pasture? Answer: Yes it does.
So I'm getting frustrated at the cost of raising chickens for eggs and Nicole reminds me of the why's. Ah, the joys of marriage. You need that kick in the pants sometimes, but it still drives you crazy. However, not taking short cuts defines who we are. The people and the families we serve, trust us to do right, no matter what.
So my question really is an internal one, more than anything. The constant battle of right and wrong, profit and loss, all depend on what you are willing and more importantly, not willing to do. Do you really know what is in the food you eat? What it was fed or sprayed? WE do and ALL farmers do. The bottom line is, we've seen what happens when you don't know. We aren't willing to go down that road again, and we aren't willing to allow anyone within our means to go down it either.
So the expense of Certified Organic feed is worth it to us. The parents and children that come to our farm (many who are sick) depend on us for healthy, clean food, which make it worth the expense. There's no second option, only regret for a bad decision.
As far as our feed goes, I know who produces it, and I know their integrity. They work very close with us on special feed blends. Their feed is good. So good that it sprouts when it's accidentally dropped on the ground from feeding animals in the pasture. What these animals eat is alive - not a lab creation, not programed to die after harvest, and not an "almost" food, aka GMO. No, our feed is the real deal, as God intended.
Anyway, sorry for unloading, but maybe this will inspire you to ask your farmer, "What do you feed your animals?"