I need some help contacting the right people!!! Can you send this
to the people that would be interested in this idea.
More details on The Plan are on my website at www.justbeef.ca - then
go to The Plan page.
My name is Keith Neu and I farm 10 miles south of Hudson bay SK. I
am 48 years young, married to Monica and we have three Children: Colton,
14; Connor, 12; and Tasia, 10 (how's that for family planning!). I
started farming when I was 14, old enough to run the tractor, and have
been farming all my life-except for 3 years in the early 90s when I
lost my portion of the family farm due to financial difficulties (I
went broke conventional farming)! Dad and I concluded there had to
be a better way to farm, so I went out to Alberta to work and he went
organic. Three years later I came back with a pretty, young wife in
tow and took over what was left of the family farm. We added livestock
in '94 and haven't looked back until now.
Frankly, I'm worried.
Organics started out right, with local small farmers growing food
But I'm afraid we organic farmers
are victims of our own success. Instead of setting up local, small-scale
processing and marketing clubs, co-ops or businesses, the multinational
corporations have realized that the trend is toward organics and that
there is money to be made on the word organic. They are scrambling
onto the ship so fast that I think they will sink it. Soon "organic" won't
mean anything!! Their dominance will dilute the organic standards until
they will be unrecognizable and useless (just think "Walmart Organics,
we sell for less ." UGH!!!!).
What that means to me is that I'm getting caught in the same trap
that I was in when I was doing conventional farming: growing a commodity,
not food, and selling it below my cost of production. On the other
side, we are all caught in the consumer trap of lots of cheap food,
prepared by a handful of powerful companies that don't care about any
thing but the bottom line.You would be amazed at how few food processors
there are compared to the variety of labels on the shelves. This is
what we get when we let food-for-profit corporations rule. I have a
way out. I can and do produce most of my food. On my farm we eat all
the garden produce-fresh in the summer, blanched and frozen in the
winter-and root crops the year around; beef, chicken, eggs all year,
and over time we plan to plant an orchard, get honey bees, and add
a few porkers. But this takes work and money. Work, I have lots of.
Money; that's a different story. I run a 1,400 acre farm and I am barely
holding on by growing grain and beef. I'm certified organic but still
haven't any extra money to invest in the farm so as to make it truly
self-sustaining in energy. I would love to have a biodiesel plant and
a boigas digester to make power. I am really close to having food security,
but energy is a problem. What I want is to have the resources to make
this farm truly self-sustaining!
Here's My Plan:
I am willing to start what I call a farm food co-op or a Community
Supported Farm. With your investment this farm can feed about 150 families,
over time. If you divert some of your grocery money every month the
farm can supply you with grains, garden produce, beef, chicken, and
eggs the year around. Over time will come to supply flour, fruit, honey,
pork and just about anything that can be raised in Hudson Bay SK. You
order what you need that month and I'll deliver once a month. We'll
start with 50 families the first year and grow to150 by year three.150
is the limit of growth for this farm and when its up and running it
will employ 6 full-time people. It will be a model for the future if
we really want food security.
More details on The Plan are on my website at www.justbeef.ca then
go to The Plan page. Together, we can do it.