Tag Archives: support local farms

Animal Husbandry- Doing What it Takes

As a farmer with livestock I feel it is my responsibility to do whatever it takes to try to keep my animals in the best of health.  Part of raising livestock is dealing with reproduction and the difficulties that may arise. Nature is not perfect, even with the best preparation, things we do not like, happen. Injuries, abnormalities, and even death can occur during the reproduction process. Having good animal husbandry means we need to deal with it the best we can and error in favor of the animal.

At Burnin R Farms we raise Pigs, Cows, Chickens, and Horses. Having babies is how we increase our herd and have stock to sell. Sometimes Mothers do not accept their babies and we need to bottle feed them until they take to solid food. There are times that we need to take in a baby that was injured and bottle feed it until it is healthy. The babies are our livelihood, their survival is very important to our business, but it is more than that. Our love for the animals makes us do whatever it takes to help an animal in need that is under our care.  When a farm gets too big to feel that need, then I believe that business stops being a farm.

New Babies Just Born
New Babies Just Born

We had 2 litters of pigs born within minutes of each other.  Due to weather coming in we decided to pen and shelter them together.  Unfortunately,  due to the mothers size and the number of babies, a couple were injured. Several babies were stepped on, one had skin torn away from its hip, another received a swollen and sore leg. It was our duty as the animal’s caretaker to do what we could to heal both babies. We are bottle feeding both, we stitched the one up and continue to rest the other. Both seem to be doing well and will eventually return to their litter at weaning.

This attitude towards the treatment of animals is the glue that has held many small farms together. Saving one animal can mean earning a profit on that litter or breeding. Even though almost all of our livestock will eventually enter the food market, while they are in our care they will be taken care of to the best of our ability. These  values  are lost within most big ag corporate farms, so I am proud to be on a small farm. If you support these values, it gives you one more reason to support your local farm.








A Brand or Logo- Why Is It Important

Do you have your own brand or unique product? If you don’t, how will anyone pick you or your product over others? How do you set your farm or your product apart from everyone else?

Creating an identity  that people notice is what all businesses strive to do. Your identity is almost as important as your product. Having an identity or brand will go a long way in the eye of the consumer, just like street credibility. The more often a consumer is in contact with your identity, the better your product seems.

Humans are funny creatures, what we see  or hear creates our reality. Our brains collect and store data, some we use immediately, some we use to support later thoughts.  If we shop for a product, a product that we have stored thoughts on,  is immediately in better standing than one that we have nothing to recall. Stored thoughts can be from seeing the product first hand, or from a friend that has told us about it. Branding creates stored thoughts that can be used to validate and support decisions of consumers.

Humans are also herd animals, we strive to belong. A brand can give you opportunities to give someone a sense of being a part of your business or product. If you put on a baseball cap, what is on it?  It will usually have a brand or logo of something that you have an interest in, a sports team, a hunting brand, or a saying of some kind. This is how companies can get placed into your stored data and how they can influence your buying decisions.

Branding is used by companies to represent them. Companies use names, symbols, jingles, styles of writing, and even animals to create their brand. Ranches use a symbol burned into the hide of cattle to represent them and show ownership, these symbols are called brands. Can you see a Clydesdale horse and not think of beer?

As small business owners we should tap into this marketing tool. We should be finding ways to get stored in consumers minds. Product or brand placement is everywhere, stickers on vehicles, t-shirts, coats, hats, signs, billboards, radio spots, commercials, and even tattoos. even with a shoe-string budget, a business should be able to find a way to place their brand in the view or ear of a consumer.

If you are a farmer at a farmer’s market, make sure your tent has your brand or name on it. if you have your meat processed to sell, have the processor put our name on the label. If you drive a vehicle,  have your brand or name on a magnetic sign that you can stick  to it. Get t-shirts made to wear when you  are out shopping, and give them to friends to wear.

There are a thousand ways to get noticed. Even the cheapest ideas can give your business a boost. Get creative and get seen or heard by your future customer.







Fattening up the hogs!

Fat Hogs
Ossabaw Island and Duroc cross fat hogs

We are fattening up some more hogs. We have some very nice looking Ossabaw Island Hogs. If you have never tried Ossabaw Island Pork, I suggest you do if you ever get the chance.

Almost all of our Ossabaw Island pork has sold itself. We get orders by customers that were given a sample from a friend, or had been given testimony of their great meat. Although still very rare, they can be found throughout the U.S. It is harder to get started raising Ossabaw Island Hogs for profit because they take longer to grow and have smaller litters. But, if you can stick it out, it is well worth the effort in the long run.





Congress Let US Consumers Down Again!

Congress officially repealed the country of origin law for labeling of meat. This means that they can push meat from countries with less strict laws on raising and processing animals.

Here is one link to an article.



Look for an update for our spring schedule. We will be attending some Farmers Markets and we will list them on our schedule. We will have Ossabaw Island Pork, Pastured Chicken and Eggs. At least you know our meat comes from right here in Southwest Missouri.



More great news I found about Chinese food Imports

China’s dangerous culture of chemical adulteration and
counterfeit food products came into focus for American consumers in 2007, when China exported pet food ingredients
tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.
A byproduct of coal processing that is used frequently in
plastics, melamine has attracted the interest of unscrupulous
Chinese food processors and animal producers because of
its high nitrogen content and low price. The high nitrogen
of melamine-contaminated food, like milk, artificially raises
measurements of protein content in common laboratory
tests, leading to higher prices in the market.
But the use of melamine has meant that consumers — and their pets — get nutritionally inferior food laced with a deadly chemical.
In 2007, the FDA received reports of 17,000 pet illnesses,
including 4,000 dog and cat deaths, believed to be the result
of melamine contamination in the imported Chinese gluten
ingredients used to make pet food.
Sixty million packages of pet food were recalled in the United States, the largest in history. Some of the melamine-contaminated pet food
was redirected to hog farms; thousands of hogs that ate the
contaminated food were put to death in an effort to keep
melamine-contaminated meat from entering the food supply.
But the FDA and USDA still allowed 56,000 hogs that
ate melamine-tainted pet food to be processed into pork,
which was then sold at supermarkets.
What do you think the Chinese feed their livestock?
How did the FDA and USDA figure that this pork was safe?
More Greed based decisions by our government!
Just think, Congress has been making steps to hide the origin of imported foods. They are voting to end the country of origin labeling on meat and poultry sold in the US.  Read more here.
The more I read the more I am disgusted with our government and why they let this crap into our country. Our government needs to do more to protect us.
But until they do, start protecting yourself. Do your research and locate some local farms and start buying locally. Farm to Table is the best way.


Congress votes to end country of origin labeling

Wow!!   Bad news for the consumer!!

It is getting increasingly more important to find a source of farm raised meat. Congress has voted to end the labeling of “country of origin” on almost all meat and poultry. This can’t be a good thing for those that are wanting meat raised in a healthy way.

Also, with the government wanting to pass another trade deal to be able to make it easier to trade with Asian countries, that means Chinese meat will now be pushed into our markets without being labeled. Forget all of the warnings about meat and fish raised in China, it will no longer matter because you will not know where it is from.

Once again-

-Profits over Health-

-Big business over the individual-

Congress once again shows who it really represents. This country is going down the crapper!!

Bypass the attempt to push foreign sub-prime meat onto your plate, buy your meat locally. You know where it was raised, how it was treated, and who processed it. Plus it hasn’t traveled across the earth to get to your table.


Burnin R CSA

There is a way to get great farm raised meat without having to buy the whole hog at once. Our CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) program offers a share of 15 lbs. of meat each month. Plus, Discounts off of our retail prices are given for pre-payments of 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months shares.

We put our CSA customers first. Their orders are filled first. Plus we try include bonus products that we produce here on the farm when we can.

We will be implementing new CSA pricing options in the  fall. The new options will include a Premium share of Ossabaw Island pork, or a Standard share of pork from one of our other fine breeds. Our current Members will continue to enjoy Ossabaw Island and Ossabaw Island cross pork for the duration of their share purchase. So if you buy in before our new options are implemented, you will be grandfathered into our Premium share.

Our Egg CSA is will be starting up soon. The hens are ramping up to supply us with great farm-fresh brown eggs. Get signed up now! Orders will be limited starting out this Spring.

For more information on our CSA please visit: http://burninr.com/BurninrCSA.html


What are we eating? Is fast food what you think it is?

I just read an article about McDonald’s Artisan Chicken Sandwich. McDonald’s is simplifying the ingredients because they realize that their customers want to be able to recognize and pronounce the ingredients in the food they eat. It was the push for higher profits that made their chicken sandwich a target for change in the first place.

What can we use that is cheaper, something that we can pass off for real meat? How much can we push the federal guidelines for the allowance of “other stuff” in our meat. How can we convert scraps that we would  normally throw away into something the customer would recognize and purchase?

The people are waking up to what these big corporations are putting in our food. Wood pulp as filler in the beef. Meat glue used to combine meat particles together to mimic what they used to sell. Meat trimmings left over from the cut room floor, pressed into a familiar shapes and seasoned to taste like what it is representing, is all to popular for these corporations. No wonder why sales are dropping, people will only buy into their farce for so long before they expect better.

Have you read the label on packaged frozen chicken breasts in your local supermarket? I did, I found out that what I thought were actual chicken breasts, were actually made from the meat taken from in- between the ribs. This rib meat is then meat glued together into the shape of a chicken breast. It is pretty convincing, I wouldn’t have known until someone told me to look for it.

My Grandpa always said that he would never buy a chicken unless it was a whole chicken.  He was afraid that parts of the chicken that went bad would be cut away and they would sell the rest of the chicken as parts. He had great vision and knew that people would do anything to retain profit even at the expense of others.

A friend of my parents says that he would never buy canned beef. He said it was made from the cow’s bag. Could be true. And they would be right in saying that it is 100% beef. The only thing is, the consumer is expecting actual meat from a muscle group. As long as it can be passed off as something more appealing, the company will have a good chance of making a sale. Selling the cow’s bag would increase the revenue that they can produce from one animal.

Back in the day they may have used the cow’s bag as a leather pouch, but unless I am mistaken, I know of no recipes that call for it handed down through my family. I know that back in the day they used all parts of the pig, and would use the squeal if they could. That is being resourceful, and frugal. But I am sure they didn’t hide what was in their stew and call it something that sounded more appealing. And if something “fell” into the meat as they were processing it, they took it back out. Corporations just figure that 2% of “other” non meat stuff is great because they can sell that too.

It is sad when you can’t trust what you buy to eat.  I think that the only way to truly be able to trust what you are eating is to grow it yourself. The second best way would be to buy from a local farm that raises their animals like you would.

This is why I raise my own meat!!



My “Small Farm Vs. Corporate Farm” Rant

Small farm knowledge is disappearing. The small farm way of life was once standard procedure. In the Midwest the landscape use to be dotted with small farms. Fried Chicken was not from colonel Sanders, it was from Grandma’s backyard pluckin.

There is a huge disconnect from the small family farm. I believe that with the  growing push towards corporate farming, the old school way of life is disappearing. I disagree with corporate farming. Corporations believe that they are the answer to feeding the populous. And their goal is to program that into the next generation and take away their self reliance. Not to mention that corporations are self serving and prefer profits over heath. They feed us antibiotics, growth hormones, and genetically modified products, not because they are healthier for us but because they increase profits.

I talked with a college student in Agriculture studies a few weeks back. At her college they are teaching that GMO’s are the only way that we will be able to feed the growing population. And this comes from a very conservative college. Once again that notion that “we have to feed the population” is mainstream. What happened to the population being able to feed itself.

Well, a United States Department of Agriculture report revealed that in 1935 there were 6.8 million farms and by 2002 only 2.1 million small farms remained. That is  4.7 million small farms lost. Those small farms that were lost could not only feed themselves and others, but they taught self reliance to their next generation.  That individual knowledge of  self reliance is not profitable to  corporations that want you dependent on them.

Luckily, the masses are being slowly  re-educated and are wising up to the corporate propaganda. The push for healthy food is helping create a market once again for the small farm. A market that the big corporations can’t tap into. More and more people are choosing to raise their own meat, even chickens in urban backyards are popping up everywhere.

I believe that small farms can feed our growing population, but the small farms need to do more education and marketing. If you raise healthy meat but nobody knows it, it won’t sell. Make your farm known. Put up signs, join farmers markets, or put ads on Craigslist. The idea of purchasing from a small farm will catch on, and people will realize that meat doesn’t just come from the big box grocery store.

If you don’t have a farm, you can still get involved by supporting your local small farm. Go to the farmer’s market, join a CSA, or put a chicken tractor in your back yard. Find a way to not support the corporations that are counting on you to fill their pockets.

Good Luck !!