Picture: Rumor – My brother is really tall
Ever wonder how rumors get started? Ever wonder how much damage a rumor can do?
Rumors damage relationships, businesses and families. Have you ever had a rumor started about you? Did it hurt or anger you? If you have, you know how hurtful and damaging they can be.
There is a rumor (several actually) going around about Polyface.
One of these rumors is this: Polyface owns T&E Meats and all meat from T&E is Polyface.
We have a share in T&E Meats and a hands off stockholder partnership only. We get our meats butchered there. But are a small percentage of their business. They cut meat. All kinds – natural, organic, cafo, corn-fed, pastured and yes, Salad Bar Beef & Pigaerator Pork from Polyface.
Rumor: That Polyface now has other farms that also raise cattle- so just b/c we order from you all does not mean that we are getting meat raised by you on your land.
Fact: All meats that are sold through Polyface are raised by Polyface and/or our current or past apprentices/interns on farms that Polyface rents or owns.
Another rumor: Since Polyface gives their cows small paddocks of grass and not the whole field, the only thing that their cows have to eat is their own “poop”. (um, another word was used, but I changed it to keep this site family friendly).
Again, not true. The cows are moved every single day to fresh grass. They are given the amount of grass that they will eat in the 24 hour period and then moved on. It’s called management intensive grazing.
Another rumor: The Salatin family is an occult. They go up on the mountain with their flashlight at night to read their Bible. (This was actually overheard at a restaurant by one of our staff members)
Again, not true. We are Christians, meaning that we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We are not an occult and we do not force others to our beliefs.
Lately I have heard several things that were spoken against us and our family. Of course none of these are ever spoken to our face. We only hear them through other people. It’s sad and frustrating.
Another rumor: Joel doesn’t use conventional wormers for his cows or hogs so they are full of parasites. People will die when they eat their meats
It’s true that we don’t use conventional wormers. But it is not true that our cows and hogs are full of parasites. We use chickens to sanitize the pastures, use the pastures for multiple species which disrupts parasite growth and we use Basic H as a cattle wormer. Works wonders. 🙂
Rumor: Polyface doesn’t like other small farmers and thinks they are better than everyone else.
If this were true, would we have the open door policy that we have? Would we host the Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminars? Would we continue to have no copyright laws allowing video cameras and pictures? If we were trying to discourage other people from farming we would keep our cards close to our chest. We would not be sharing our successes and failures.
It’s a big world and we’re not the only fish in the pond. Nothing thrills us more than to see families starting their only farms. – even right here in Swoope. Just don’t throw us under the bus because we are a few years ahead in the game. Our business was hard to start at first too. Nobody said farming was easy. But it is rewarding.
Oh, and just for the record. The books, movies and magazine articles that have been published about us are not our doing. We did NOT seek out any of them. We simply farmed to the very best of our ability and fight battles every day to keep our freedom to farm the way we know is right. Omnivore’s Dilemma had us in it simply because we refused to ship “THE” Michael Pollan a steak. He was very angry with us. Until he came and visited. Then he saw the big picture and understood why we don’t ship food.
Another one: The Salatins hate women which is why they don’t take female apprentices.
Teresa and I can attest to the fact that the men on our farm do not hate the womenfolk. Ask any of the young/old ladies that have worked or interned here. They will tell you its not true. The only reason that we were not taking females for a long while was because we didn’t have the housing space for them and the guys we took would not be here if they had to bunk with girls. Our morals stand against co-habitation. We aren’t going to criticize others who do this, but here on the farm, with our families, it is not something that we allow. Daniel and I have now finished off our basement and are actually allowing some of the girls to live with us. Are we snobby for this? Would you want something that you feel is wrong staring you in the face every day in your home?
Should we be criticized for taking a stand on something that we believe is right? Should you?
There are many, many other rumors going around that aren’t true. We certainly don’t expect everyone to love us and what we do, but at least give us the respect to not state falsehoods as fact. If you are going to bash someone, first make sure that the information you are spreading about that someone is true.
It’s a big world. There is room for us all. Freedom means having a choice.