Have you thought about getting involved with helping the family farm? Have you wanted to ensure that you have a choice for healthful food that is not traveling an average of 5000 miles to your table. We have allotted a period of two weeks that we need your help to support local agriculture in central Indiana. April 6th through the 17th is just the time to get involved and lend a hand. We know how precious your time is and will work to make it as rewarding as possible. Working with a group of like minded individuals always makes for a good day.
What are the projects: We have several planned from Spring maintenance on the farm, landscaping, to the large one of painting and maintaining the new processing facility.
Why would you want to help with a processing facility?
Erick and I spent the last few years of our lives researching local foods and the lack of options in America. The current food distribution system has come to rely on very few large processors, in fact 3 processors process 83% of all beef in America. Every year, 3-5% of all small processing facilities like our new to us facility shut down resulting in less and less choice for a local food system. The quest for cheap food in America has resulted in a consolidated system leaving little infrastructure in place to support the family farm. It is this bottleneck (lack of processing options) that makes it difficult for the sustainable family farm to prosper. Thus our entry into the processing industry. We feel led to develop a plan of sustainability in the industry. We want local food choice! In Indiana, not unlike every other state in America, there are 3 plants in the area built after 1980. The cost of a new facility is on average 2 million dollars. If a plan is not developedto rehabilitate the facilities in place, the options for local farmers and thus local consumers will continue to decline. We decided the mission was grand enough to get the engineer in our family, Erick, involved with developing a plan to rehabilitate a model facility. He is working to update all energy systems to publish information that will aid other processing facility owners in making choices that can save their businesses. The United Nations published a grand statement saying “Think globally, act locally”. Change can happen. That change is needed in the processing industry supporting local farms.
Who will your volunteer effort help?
It will certainly help our farm and our operation, but it stretches beyond just us and your option for food choices (assuming you are a customer of ours!) The processing facility currently supports roughly 100 family farms or small producers. Each of these are encouraged in knowing that their option for processing is being preserved. Many have told us that if the facility had closed so too would their farming operation. You will help each of these family farms and their fellow customers. Twenty of these farms have come together in an alliance to make local foods distribution on a larger scale a reality in Indiana. While you may be dedicated to taking the added step in buying direct from local farms, many will wait for the option to purchase local foods in there neighboring restaurant, place of business, or store. When we are able to distribute to these locations we will really make it possible to once again make a living from farming without having to have a second job to support the farm. Then your help will affect many beyond our operation.
The mission you will be helping with……
Our mission is to bring healthful, local foods to Indiana by sustaining, nurturing, and prospering the family farm through cooperative distribution of local, environmentally conscience foods at a cost that both supports the farmer while representing the true value and cost to the customer.
What you can help with……….
We have a project for everyone. Most of the projects are ones that result in immediate beautification and thus are rewarding. Painting, landscaping, light maintenance, light farm duties. These are projects that you can put in a day or a couple hours and see an immediate improvement. We also have other lasting projects if this two week time period will not work for you.
How to express interest in volunteering…….
Simply RSVP to Jessica with your availability and contact information. Thank you for your help in making it possible to farm and grow good food!