Wow, what a wild few weeks. If you have followed our social media for the past 10 days or so you may already know things are kicking up a notch around here. We had some solid plans 3 weeks ago that made the past two weeks seem like they would just glide by smoothly. I could not have assumed something so far outside reality. Our plans were that I would attend the ASAN retreat. Then the next week I would take a load of pigs to our processor in Tennessee, then some races in South Georgia with my dad followed by a road trip to Pennsylvania that would have happened the week after. Instead, scheduling changed with the Pennsylvania trip to pick up the laying hens, we were asked by the grower to pick them up a week earlier than we scheduled. This grower had already helped us out of a tight spot with needing this many bird this time of year, so we felt obligated to do whatever worked best for his farm too. So, the craziness started.
Early on a Saturday morning Jessica and I loaded about 70 poultry transport crates in the gooseneck stock trailer. Then I hooked up the market trailer and had it ready to go. Saturday afternoon I Left for the ASAN board of directors’ retreat at Lake martin in Dadeville, AL. Sunday morning while I was still at lake martin, a friend drove my market rig to Huntsville for Jessica so she could attend the Mid-city Market. I left the retreat at 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon and drove straight to Huntsville to meet Jessica, load up the market stuff and drive home since I took vacation from work for the next few days. When we got home, I had to swap trailers, load hogs, and load another 21 poultry transport crates on the truck.
I finished getting everything loaded just before midnight and was able to get a great nap. I left home at 5:00am Monday morning headed to north west Tennessee to one of our processors. There I unloaded 5 hogs. From there I drove north until 9:30pm, I made it to a cheap hotel in Hagerstown Maryland.
I left the Hotel Tuesday morning at 5:00am and droved the rest of the way to East Earl, Pennsylvania. There Myself and Mr. Weaver Loaded 1000 beautiful red Pullets and I headed straight back home. I finally made it back home around 10:30 pm Tuesday night. 2 days and 30 hours of driving isn’t bad right? Early Wednesday morning Jessica and I unloaded all the birds into the new egg wagon and things settled down for a few days.
Me and my dad had an amazing time down in South Georgia Friday and Saturday watching some world record drag racing. I had a lot of things on my mind. It was good to spend some time with my dad and talk about things. We made it back home late Saturday night. I got a little rest and then it was time for our Sunday afternoon farmers market. Jessica and I loaded up the market rig, double checked freezer inventory and I headed out. She was going to meet me there shortly after I got there. I told myself when I left the drive way, “time for fuel again” and “I’ll make it to Decatur and then fill up”. Remember I said I’ve had a lot on my mind lately? Yeah, well getting fuel didn’t stay on my mind. I made it to Huntsville and remembered I needed fuel when the truck sputtered the first time. I was a few miles away from the closest station. Jessica had already left home (where I already have a yellow diesel fuel can). So now I have two. My sweet wife was able to buy another can, fill it with diesel and bring it to me. I made it to the market and got set up right on time. I should mention strictly for her satisfaction that yes, this is the second time I have ran out of fuel this month, but the first time was her fault.
Typically, I would have to leave this farmers market and go straight to work in south Huntsville, but tonight was different, I had been thinking about this for months. Jessica and I had been talking about this for months. I made my mind up, I decided not to go.
At 10:30 am on Monday, March 25th, 2019, I walked out of a building where I had just resigned from my full time “off farm” job. I am now a full-time farmer. I started a business from scratch and it just took the place of my job that has up until this point been our family’s main source of income.
The farm as grown much faster and much larger than I ever anticipated. Its far too big and complex to not be completely devoted to. This means I can no longer work full time and farm at the same time, so we had to choose. We chose the farm. This is what we want to do. This is how we want to provide for our family. We decided to completely commit. We decided to give it our best shot, we would never know if we didn’t try and that is something we couldn’t just let go. That ‘’what if’’ would have haunted us both. So here we go.
We want you all to know that these conversations would have never came up if we didn’t have the support and the confidence from you, our cherished customers. You truly are the reason this is even a possibility.
We appreciate you all so much, and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.