We aim to cut down, give back, and make our little piece of the world better for the next generation.
How are we working toward sustainability on the farm?
Our venture into renewable energy predates the farm's inception. With 2 wind turbines, 3 free-standing solar panels, and 32 panels on the roofs of our outbuildings, we're proud that the farm has been able to generate all of its energy needs since since fall 2016.
Admittedly, we are only at the beginning of regenerating our land and still have a lot to learn–but this is the pillar of sustainability to us. Proper land use and well-managed rotational animal grazing are powerful ways to build soil health, plant and insect diversity, protect the water table, and sequester carbon–arguably a few of the most pressing environmental issues we face. Proper land management is a top criterion for choosing partner farms to work with.
Livestock factory farms are now recognized as a leading cause of antibiotic resistance. While we will never withhold treatment for our animals in the face of serious illness, we seek to avoid that as often as possible through complete mineral programs which give our animals the necessary building blocks for a healthy immune system. As needed, our chicks receive a blend of garlic, oregano, and other immune powerhouses as a first-line-of-defense in place of sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
Whenever possible we use the Michigan-first rule. You can find our grain sources, animal processors, credit union, stores, and shipping materials producer all within the state, and we hope to keep it that way. We gladly support small and/or family-owned business in other Midwestern states when they're the best option (like our chick hatchery in Ohio...check out our partner page!). Over 99% of our outgoing money each year is to people or businesses in mid-Michigan–most within 30 miles of us. This is not only to avoid unnecessary carbon emissions, but because it is our greatest tool to strengthen our local and statewide economies (not to mention operating locally is more convenient!).
After a couple years of research, we finally launched in-state FedEx Ground shipping after settling on packaging materials we felt good about. Our recyclable cardboard boxes are manufactured in Michigan, along with our insulating inserts, made out of non-GMO Michigan-grown corn. This makes them compostable, burnable, and dissolvable in water (after you remove the recyclable plastic film on the outside)! We use dry ice which sublimates into CO2, rather than gel packs which end up in the landfill.