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Guardians of the Farm

Tank & TJ (Tank Jr)

Teeter the guard goose

Esther the guard goose

Winifred (Winnie) supposed to be a guard goose

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 11 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Happy sunny Saturday (again already) morning! We have been busy already this morning! We decided to video ourselves doing the morning rounds so we can share on YouTube. That almost doubled the time it normally takes to get it done. It will take us some time to get the files onto the Mac-Book, remember how to work the editing program, actually edit the video, and get it uploaded. So, although we filmed it today, I don't expect to get it uploaded for a few days. I'll be sure to let you know when it's ready so you can check it out! All of the animals were good this morning and were patient with us as we ran back and forth with the camera. Thursday, when we worked with the "puppies," I took a picture of Tank and his son, TJ (Tank Jr), the top pic. We were pretty sure TJ was going to look like Tank, thus the name. Can you guess which one is which? Tank is on the right and TJ on the left. As big as Tank is, TJ is now taller than him, although not quite as muscular...yet. The next pic is Teeter the guard goose that is with our Buff Orpington layer chickens. The middle pic is Esther the guard goose that is with the ducks. The bottom pic is Winifred (Winnie). She was supposed to be the same breed as the others (hard to tell when they arrive in the mail as a day-old gosling), but she is a Toulouse goose. They are great pets, make good eating geese, lay quite a few eggs, but are not particularly suited to guard. So, the Rhode Island Red layer chickens live with a nice goose and rely on their roosters for protection. Yesterday we picked up our new glasses on our way to Springfield to pick up the tractor part. By the time we got home, we didn't start any farm projects nor did we do anything with milk. Yep, that means we have a lot of milk to work with soon! That said, the primary farm project, until complete, is get the tractor fixed. We have to take apart the steering column, remove the existing (broken) cable between the shuttle shifter and the transmission, and get the new one in and adjusted. Hopefully, it is a quick project with no hiccups and we can make some yogurt and cheese afterword.

We are a small-batch forested pork producer. We produce around 20 hogs per year, take them to a local processor, and source their feed from a local non-GMO feed mill. When folks buy our pork products, they are truly supporting the local community. The money circulates right here. I would like to contrast that with Smithfield Meats, the world's largest pig and pork producer. The latest data I can find is from 2006 when they raised 15 million pigs per year and processed 27 million per year, producing over 6 billion pounds of pork. In 2007, it was the top pig slaughtering operation, with 114,300 pigs slaughtered per day. They had a reported revenue in 2015 of $9.9 billion. They have 123 subsidiaries listed with the SEC and have multiple brands, including Armour, Carroll's Foods, Eckrich, Great Lakes Cattle Company, Gwaltney, John Morrell & Co, Lykes Meat Group, Nathan's Famous, Sunnyland Inc, etc. They have real estate companies, transportation companies, feed lots, Inns, distribution companies, credit companies, milling, investments, and of course, food. When the Chinese Shaunghui Group (now WH Group) purchased Smithfield in 2013, the deal also included 146,000 acres of farmland in the US, making it one of the largest overseas landowners of US farmland. Yes, a Chinese company owns Smithfield and if you think that Chinese companies (especially one this big) are autonomous from the Chinese Communist Party, you are kidding yourself. It is interesting to me to witness the national uproar regarding the recent Chinese invasion of our sovereign territory with the balloon, but we Americans accept Chinese ownership of our largest supplier of pork and support China with the purchase of these products daily. Things that make me go hmmm.

Shelley's YouTube Short today is: New log splitter, winter prep. Check it out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Local Farm Report for 10 Feb 2023:


24 Chicken eggs

9 Duck eggs

4 Gallons of milk



Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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