Eating animals, is there a difference?

I read a book recently that I found to be rather repulsive, disgusting, and quite eye opening.

Eating Animals was the title, written by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Jonathan reminded me of the importance of choosing to eat ethically raised animals verses animals that have been consistently abused.  He described in gory detail the issues surrounding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the slaughtering plants that ultimately process animals for our consumption.

Perhaps a question that should be answered is how do I define animal abuse?

In my mind, I appreciate animals as God's creation, and as such, they play a very special role on this planet.  Does a pig perform his God given duty while residing on concrete slats hanging over a manure pit where air quality is horrible at best?  Do chickens get to obey their instincts in a barn that never allows sunlight, and they wallow in their own manure coated wood chips?

Animals denied fulfillment of their own specific nature are all you can find in Wal-mart, and there are only a few good options at Cobourns.  

In the name of "cheap" meat, we have, as a society, allowed CAFOs to exist and they're expanding even today.

Unfortunately, though this meat may be cheap on the store shelf, there are many hidden costs in the production of these animal products.

The environment suffers, employees suffer, and ultimately consumers suffer too.  CAFO meat is unhealthy on every level of production and consumption, this is becoming very well documented.

So please, take the time to find out how your meat reached your plate.  Every bite you take is influencing the world we live in, and that can be a good thing.

Next time, I'll share what I learned about slaughter plants from this book, Eating Animals. I'll tell you this: it's disturbing.

Already a year of changed plans

Back in December, Allison and I were certain that we'd be moving from Cavour to Carpenter as the next step up the ladder.  And, we thought we'd be there by the end of February.

Reality hit us as time passed faster than we got things accomplished, and we figured out that we'd be lucky to move by April.

Then suddenly, my father in-law Vaughn came up with a pile of work here on the family farm and needs help.  So for now it looks like we're staying at least one more year, perhaps longer depending on how things go.

So much for our grand scheme that we were so sure of just two months ago.  I've heard that life is full of changed plans, so I guess I'd better get used to it.


Continuing Education

Meanwhile, I received about 22 hours of Dr. Elaine Ingham recordings and have been listening to them as fast as I can.  I've nearly made it all the way through.

Elaine is a Soil Micro-Biologist and has discovered a multitude of really helpful information for farmers.  She says that putting biology (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes) back in the soil (because it was mostly lost in the 1930's dust bowl) typically increases crop yields by 50-300%.

Not only is there higher production, but the nutritional quality is better too.

Since I'm a young man who needs a competitive edge in the agricultural world, learning her methods would be a major influence in putting my farm together.

I've determined that I need to take her courses and maybe even become a certified Soil Food Web consultant.  I've got to learn how to balance soils and make them healthy again by using nature's tools.

If I can get signed up by the 28th of February, I can save $2488 in tuition.  Their price for the four classes right now is $2500, and I need to find some financing.

If you would like to pitch in and help me out, give me a call and I'll gladly answer any questions you come up with.  (605) 350-5659

This is the website with the courses if you want to take a look for yourself:

Thank you very much!

Have you noticed this too?

Lately, I've been struck by the numerous billboards, and TV/radio commercials featuring promotional soda pop schemes.

They're absolutely everywhere and I can't help but think of the expense of their campaign for publicity.  I did a quick web search and discovered that in 2014, Coca-Cola spent $3.499 billion on advertising.


Here's the part that's disgusting to me.  I discovered that kids are often the most targeted group for this ginormous marketing plan.  Kids.

I'm beginning to understand my role as an educator to my children regarding the realities of things they might find attractive.

My theory regarding the multitude of soft drink ads, was that these companies are losing business and are trying to insure their future.

I found an encouraging article in the NY Times that said between '03 and '14, children drinking a pop on any given day dropped by 20%, and fell 11% in adults.

Another site said that bottled water sales surpassed soft drink sales for the first time in 2016.  They also mentioned that we simultaneously hit a 31 year low in soft drink consumption.

How's that for some uplifting news?  It seems to me that we're moving in the right direction as a society in this area anyhow.

Awesome Turkey Soup Recipe, and it's Super Easy!

I've come to the conclusion that very few people want a whole turkey at any time other than Thanksgiving.

Now that that's established, my question for you is: how do you want your turkey?

I can de-bone the breasts, make fillets, dice it, or just leave it whole.

I can offer turkey legs and thighs separate if you prefer dark meat.

I can package backs, necks, and other bones together for a dynamite turkey stock combination too!

Quick, tell me how you like your turkey so I can get started!

Turkey Stock Recipe:

  1. Place bones in a pot
  2. Cover with water
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce to a simmer
  5. Cook for 24 hours or until the bones easily smash between your fingers
  6. Strain out the bones and use the stock for soup!
  7. Freeze any extra stock for later use

Top Notch Turkey Soup Recipe:

  1. De-bone breast and dice into 3/4 inch squares (or order this service from me)
  2. Lightly cook in skillet, just so it turns white on the outside
  3. Place meat in Turkey Stock with your choice of veggies
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Simmer until veggies are tender!

Now you have the exact way Allison and I love making turkey soup.  No nasty junk from who knows where, just awesome food! Enjoy!

Soil health, the basis of all health and well being.

In my experience reading health tips and tricks, only in the "radical/alternative" health world have I found consistent emphasis on the importance of meat and vegetables raised in/on healthy soil.

I believe soil condition is one of the most overlooked factors in determining where healthy food comes from.

First, before anything else, we need to know what healthy soil is.

A balanced and complete soil has more individual life forms in a teaspoon's worth, than the human population on earth.  

Unfortunately, soil that is tilled often, chemically bombarded, and compacted by heavy machinery is continually set back in developing the complexity needed for health and wellness.

Alternatively, healthy soil should only be lightly ruffled, periodically massaged by animal feet, fertilized with fresh manure, and left to rest until plant growth has fully recovered.

If you are concerned with the quality of your food, you should be aware of how your farmer treats his/her soil.  Herein is the importance of shopping local, food literacy is the first step towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Major health tip: Just because it's labeled organic doesn't mean it's healthy and nutritious.  Often times, organic methods are just as, or more, destructive than non-organic.

Stay healthy my friends :)

Goodbye '17, you've been good to us!

To me, nothing feels better than looking back and seeing positive advancements in my own life.  Simultaneously, regret is one of the least favorite things I view my past with.

Whatever last year looks like, the most important thing is that it's over.  We've got a new year ahead, and we need to plan it out if we want to improve on last year.

"Failure to plan is planning to fail" -Unknown

Hence, New Year's resolutions.

From what I see, many people make empty promises to themselves and never come close to fulfilling their "plan." 

So, we must make our new plans with the fullest of intentions, and purpose to carry them out, if we truly desire positive change.

This is particularly hard for me because I struggle with self motivation.  One way around this issue is to make myself accountable to someone else, my wife for example.

I extremely dislike disappointing others, so this is a great way for me to stay on track.


Now, My New Year's Resolutions!

  1. Grow my little Poultry Guy business to provide chicken and turkey for 100 families
  2. Provide consistent and helpful info all year long to my email list
  3. Find a way to be self employed while getting The Poultry Guy up and running (anyone have a leaky roof, or trees/brush to remove?)
  4. Build healthy soil, improve the water cycle, raise healthy happy animals, so all my patrons may improve their own health and wellness through the ultimate nutrition

That's all for now, stay warm my friends!

Phew, finally slowing down a bit!

Everything leading up to Thanksgiving weekend was crammed full of work, marketing, farm chores, travel preparations, etc...

I'm glad to be moving at a more relaxed pace now that we're getting somewhat settled in for winter.  That'll all change once we start packing and prepping for our move!

We're planning to relocate to Carpenter this winter, it looks like an advantageous location for my farm endeavors.

Ideally, next year I could stay home, work at building my little direct marketing farm, and live the family life.  Realistically, I have many more customers to find/serve before I can do that.

Which brings me to my winter's work:  Reaching out to help people like you find the healthy tasty meats they need.  

I think writing a simple little cook book featuring my little methods for getting great food on the table every evening, will be part of that work.

I may also publish my unique experience+reasons why I feel called to serve my friends and neighbors wholesome pastured meats.

So, stay tuned! If you're on my email list, I'll be in your inbox all winter with some things I really hope you find enjoyable/helpful.


P.S. Share this with your best friend ;-)

My Thanks For Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving.  For me, this particular weekend has always been overflowing with family, fellowship, food, and fun.

If I could keep my mind focused on being thankful for the multitude of wonderful blessings given to me on a regular basis, I could never have a bad day.  

Here's a short list of things that I am appreciative of:

  1. The freedom and opportunity to worship God as He directed us to, through the life of Christ.
  2. My own little family that I get to come home to every day
  3. All of my extended family+friends
  4. My wonderful customers who just love my chickens and turkeys
  5. Natural provisions: food, clothing, shelter, all of which are of great quality
  6. My farm animals and their ability to sooth my mind body and soul
  7. Living in South Dakota, I love this region

Really, when I take a close look at what all I do have, I realize that life is pretty grand.  It's only when I lose my thankfulness that I run into impatience, discontent, and aggravation.

I need to remember that.

What are you thankful for this year?