Holy Cows & Hog Heaven Discussion: Openness

The Farm Friendly Producer continued

Chapter 3 Discussion:

What is your opinion on farms being aromatically pleasing? Do you think it’s any business of your neighbor what goes on at your farm?

Is it any of your business as to what they do?

Chapter 4 Discussion:

Polyface has a an open door policy. Is this a good thing?

Can you think of any ways that this might be a hindrance rather than a plus?

If you are a farmer, what is your policy on visitors?

If you are a food buyer, what do closed, locked doors mean to you?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Did you like this? Share it:

About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
Holy Cows & Hog HeavenPermalink

5 Responses to Holy Cows & Hog Heaven Discussion: Openness

  1. I live in a city, so we always to deal with folks commenting about the compost smell or the grass that we let grow a bit longer than most to encourage the bees and such to come in and do there work. For you folks–dont change a thing!!! You are one of kind.

  2. Amber Dones says:

    Hello Chicks of the Hen House!!

    I am very excited to have found that y’all are doing a book club. Will I receive an e-mail when you all start another book?

    Thanks ladies…
    Amber D.

  3. Kim Williams says:

    My husband and I farm, raising 600 hens on pasture for eggs & just getting into pork with 2 gilts and a boar.
    We have an open door policy as well. We need total transparency in food production so consumers can make an educated decision about what food the buy. If a producer won’t let me visit, I don’t buy.
    As far as having a say over what your neighbor does, we farm in an area zoned as agricultural rangeland with most of it protected under the California Land Preservation Act (or Williamson Act as it’s more commonly known).
    If a neighbor is complying with the zoning ordinance and Williamson Act, if they’re not tainting the water which we all access, I have no problem. Smell is indicative of bad management practices and is an indicater of possible soil and water taint from mismanaged waste – I would have a problem with that. People in Iowa who live near Smithfield pork factories have health problems from breathing in fecal matter, (and that’s what we’re doing when we ‘smell’ animal waste).
    Right now my neighbors and I are fighting a 5,000 acre, 4 million panels industrial solar project the county has illegally approved in the valley we live in (Panoche Valley, CA).
    We and our neighbors live in harmony with the natural environment we find ourselves in – a suite of threatened and endangered animals are our neighbors. We also live in an arid environment – dry in the summer, green in the winter. The cured summer forage is highly nutritious so while the folks in the county seat, over an hour away, look at this as a wasteland, we see high-quality feed grown in class 1 soil as far as the eye can see.
    The solar project would decimate this valley. They will eliminate the vegetation, expose the top soil and start the desertification process. All neighboring farms will be inundated with dust, not to mention noise from the 24 hour per day, 6 day a week for 5 years construction period. We’ll also have extensive light exposure at night as the entire facility will be lit, (in an area known for it’s lack of light pollution)including the substation and water treatment plant that will be built as well.
    So yes, we have a say in what our neighbors do if if violates county code, zoning ordinance, dark skies ordinance, noise ordinance and all adjacent farms and ranches to the point of putting them out of business.
    As an end note, the developer originally wanted to fill the entire valley with solar panels but met fierce resistance from most. They were able to purchase land from 3 absentee landowners – the only absentee landowners in the valley.
    And because the substation will be owned by PG&E, we will all be subject to our land being taked through eminent domain, (utilities have right of eminent domain in CA).
    In California, we’re losing our ag land to development at an astonishing rate, forcing greater dependence on foreign food imports.
    There are many, though, who are fighting this trend and demanding locally produced food – thank goodness!
    And thank you, for this provocative post and the opportunity to share.
    Peace to you and the Polyface crew, from our farm to yours.

  4. Shrader Thomas says:

    The recent farm day at Polyface was so exciting for many reasons. Seeing all the systems that I had been reading about, in action, was amazing. The battalion of broiler chicken pens, the cow paddocks, the brooder, the pigerator pigs! All working in harmony, just as I had read in Joel’s books and seen on your website. It was truly wondrous. And, yes, one of the most remarkable aspects was the smell. Standing right next to the cows and pigs, following the path of the chicken pens, even walking right near what I later learned was the compost pile (I didn’t even know it was there when I was on the farm), all I could smell was wonderful clean, fresh country air. Everything was open, everything was inviting, and everything was fresh. For the farm day, y’all had about 2000 people. You must have the patience of Job — I can’t imagine having that many folks poking through my home. But it really hit home the importance of transparency and trust. On both sides of the farmer-consumer relationship. I think Joel is right, I wouldn’t want to visit one of the factory farms. It would be too depressing, too heart-wrenching. But being at Polyface was wonderful.

    It’s really difficult to find a flaw is Joel’s point here. I suppose if someone took advantage of your hospitality and became a nuisance, that might be a hindrance — but then, you just wouldn’t invite them back. As a food buy, I appreciate the openness. And as a future farmer, I will follow your lead.

    I buy my raw milk from a farm that’s about a 30 minute drive from my house. I pack a cooler with ice and head out there once a week. I love the drive into the country. And I really love the weekly visit to the farm. I shake hands with the farmer, see the cows, smell the fresh farm air. I know a lot of people have misgivings about raw milk. I might too, if I didn’t know and trust the farm it came from.