2022 is a turning point for us. We’re asking ourselves the hard questions. Can we make this work? Can we stick to our values and be financially viable at the same time?
An applicant to Wild Harmony recently told us that in his four years of farming, he had never seen a business run like ours. He was struck by Wild Harmony’s approach because we prioritize BOTH ethics and sustainability AND financial viability.
Don’t get me wrong—Ben and I are not sitting high, our profit margins are small. We lease our land, and our business costs are going up.
We refuse to compromise on our values of healthy land, healthy animals, healthy people.
We work off of an efficiency model, and we are always adapting to whatever the industry throws at us. We streamline labor. We pay our workers a living wage. We insist on partnering with businesses that do the same.
There are just a lot of costs that go into raising livestock the right way. Our two biggest line items, feed and processing costs, are rapidly increasing.
We are facing the obstacles to making this thing work head on.
We just keep saying to ourselves and our friends and family, “there’s gotta be a way to make local regenerative livestock farming work! If there’s not, our planet is screwed!”
Rather than asking why the local regenerative farm charges so much, we need to ask why big ag meat is so cheap! That stuff is subsidized. And yes, this includes the organic chicken and pork and beef you can buy at Whole Foods, not just the conventionally raised stuff.
The reality is, our products are not subsidized in the same way. There is grant funding here and there, which certainly helps. But it’s not reducing the cost in the same way the federal subsidies are for commodity market producers. This makes it even harder to stick to the ethics that we have committed ourselves to when we experience unexpected challenges like sudden increases in essential business costs.
All the while, we still pride ourselves on making the farm as financially and logistically accessible to you as possible. We’re so thankful to you for investing in our business.
All we know for sure is as long as we keep running this business, we’re going to keep doing so intentionally, responding in real time to your needs, always prioritizing the animals, and constantly caring for the land in every choice we make.