Articles, Blog

This farm sells all of its food direct, on the honor system

October 11, 2019

This is the King family. Their farm. and Andy, the resident llama. The farm family, and llama all reside in the middle of Kansas. And the farm, well, it’s a lot smaller than your
typical Kansas farm. We currently own about a hundred and
sixty acres and rent about 160 acres it doesn’t take a lot of land to farm, it doesn’t take a lot of resources, it takes creativity. Ken, Robyn, and
Daniel work on the farm full-time, Judy and Kendra part-time, and, well, everyone helps out in various ways. and they have some big news. Daniel: This spring my wife and I are actually taking over the
farm from my parents. Most farms are family farms and often they get passed
down from one generation to the next. But what’s unique here? Ken: We obviously
started out as a the small, conventional farm, and it was
one day when my skid steer was broken down and I was loading manure by hand and I stopped
and took a break and leaned back and discovered that cows have four legs and I only have two and
they’re laying there doing nothing and I’m doing all that work and at that point in time we had this bright
revelation that the cows were going to work for their keep instead of me keeping the cows. Narrator: With conventional
dairying, cows are kept in smaller, indoor spaces requiring farmers to manage food and
waste. Basically Ken was tired of shoveling shit. Ken: and
from conventional during we went to grass-based dairying, seasonal, and then we went without feeding any grain whatsoever, because a dairy cow is a ruminant animal and was designed to digest grass and forage and not grain. And, realizing we were producing a
superior product in and shipping it to the dairy who could
care less. They just wanted pounds of fluid milk. Narrator: This is a problem that most farmers go up against.
The commodity system doesn’t reward farmers for better quality foods or more
progressive practices. So, they opened up a store on their farm and
started selling direct. Daniel: Our store is self-help on the honor
system. Robyn: So we choose to sell all of our products of the farm, so 24
hours a day they’re welcome to come the door is always
open. Daniel: People can come and go whatever works for them and we
don’t have to be around we can spend our time doing what we need to do on the farm The first time a customer comes from the
store and we like to just tell them a bit about our farm and how we
produce and that system works for us I mean, people want to trust in other people and I think they
really respect their farm and they’re more bought into the idea the farm when there’s that mutual respect. Daniel: It provides a
lot market stability, it doesn’t fluctuate as much as
conventional markets do.l Ken: We expect them to trust us in the way
we’re producing product and we expect to trust them that they will
take care of us and support us. It’s an interesting business
because tastes change, customers change. You can
only go off what was in demand this year next year it won’t be the same. So there’s
always enough challenges in there to keep one from getting stale and old. It’s a lot of fun. Narrator: And Andy? Robyn: He is a very important in the spring when
we have 140 little lambs out in the field. Daniel: What makes him good at predator control is that he’s just checking things out If a coyote comes out, he’ll just go check him out, because he’s curious. Subtitles by the community

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