I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. -Psalm 81:10
There are times when God fearing folks doubt their faith. That happens on this farm. Chad and Chrissy are believers; they believe the Lord works in all things and through all things for His glory, and for the good of humanity. But they struggle with their faith, as many folks do.
But over the last year, they have seen the Lord work in miraculous ways. This week marks the one year anniversary of the lock downs beginning, businesses being forced closed and people learning to live with a "new normal" due to the worldwide pandemic. There is no doubt that the last year has presented challenges, and we have managed to migrate them just like everyone else - the best way we possibly can.
When this chaos started a year ago, there were two pigs and a cow at the processor that were raised on this farm. Within a couple of weeks of the shut downs, there were reports of farms (large farms that supply the commercial industry with meat) having to slaughter market ready animals, and simply dispose of their carcasses because they couldn't sell the meat to restaurants. Chad communicated with one of these farms and considered purchasing some of their pigs at a very low price (because the pork they got back sold FAST). But, there were two big problems. First, the concern about biosecurity. Meaning you never know what other animals might bring to the farm - what parasites, bacteria or other germs (everyone was hyper-focused on biosecurity for a long while - and continues to be today). Second - processors for producers like this farm were booked out months. What used to be a simple phone call a couple of weeks ahead of when you wanted to take an animal for processing turned into months out, if you could even get in at all. The last thing they wanted was to bring pigs here that they would have to feed and care for and not be able to get them processed. So they decided to forgo purchasing these pigs and just focus on working the plan to provide the highest quality product they could.
When they began hearing about the backups at the processors, Chad called their beef processor to get an appointment before the end of 2020. In March (mid-March), the earliest thing they had was Labor Day. So he took it. But, the steer would only be about 18 months, and there was concern that he wouldn't be quite ready. So he called back two weeks later to get an appointment, and the earliest thing they had was February 8 of 2021. Chad kept both appointments, which proved to be a wise decision considering the dairy cow that didn't calve when expected. Thanks to an unexpected cow in the beef pipeline they were mostly able to meet the demand of pork and beef during the craziest times of 2020, they saw their customer base grow for milk, and purchased a second dairy cow to replace the one they had to process.
Though their feed costs increased significantly in 2020 (due to moving all animals except goats to a locally sourced, non-GMO feed), they maintained their pricing across the board while providing a much higher quality diet for the animals. It was certainly a year of provision - at least for this little farm.
As 2021 steamrolls past, there is excitement to see how things will shape up. They anticipate seeing the Lord continue to work, and they look forward to seeing the results.
Buckle up. 2021 is looking to be a fun ride.