Last week Erick and I got to spend the weekend with Diana Endicott of Good Natured Family Farms in Kansas City. When you have 5 children and a business, a weekend away is a true gift from God. It was a quick trip but one packed full of new connections made, great ideas to further Indiana’s local food movement, and a bit of fun.
We started the trip with a Farm to Head Start learning session. This is a project that we have in the planning phases here in Indiana. We enjoyed being involved while a packed full room on Head Start teachers learned about nutrition and cooking. They even prepared a local meal as a culmination of what was learned. Treat America, a large Food Service Company has embraced the idea of feeding children well by partnering with Bistro Kids, Good Natured Family Farms, and Sysco Foods to make it possible to feed the children in 10 Head Start centers a local, healthful menu plan. A year ago, we at This Old Farm began making partnerships that would allow us to bring good food to Indiana disadvantaged children. While some of the important connections have been made, we are continuing to look for the best partners to bring this project to fruition.
Part of our trip was spent in inner city Kansas where a Pastor and his wife have been serving their community by opening a grocery store in the basement of their church. By partnering with Good Natured Family Farms they are able to offer locally produced produce, meats, and other healthy food options in a food dessert or a place where the only other option would be a convenience store and highly processed foods. The future looks bright when you see community come together to bring good food to those that don’t often have options.
But my favorite part of the trip was visiting with a pasture based beef farmer. I often think of the massive Feed Lots in Kansas City but this trip got to see the bright side of beef production in Kansas. This trip I got to enjoy driving through acres and acres of rolling pastures and beef cattle. Some would only find the enjoyment if they were in Africa amongst wild beasts. I found great enjoyment on my Kansas Safari Ride through the cows and there calves. We know that a single company is now responsible for producing 75% of America’s beef supply and most of that supply is coming off of South American Feed Lots. Yet there is still hope for the future of America’s farmers. In a time when input costs are high and beef prices continue to rise, remember that we need to search out America raised beef and support our farmers. While we don’t have too many ranches with acres and acres of grass lands where beef are roaming and grazing the grasses here in Indiana, This Old Farm sees a future. We are here to encourage the come back of livestock production in Indiana. This Fall, don’t forget to fill your freezer with Indiana raised beef. Call us for your order today at (765) 324-2161. May I one day see the fences return to the farms of Indiana and the livestock graze the land once again.
Written by Jessica Smith