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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Learning from experience

Well we sure made our share of mistakes this year, couple of things we will change for next year:
Turkey order form, needs a disclaimer on it, weather and nature play a HUGE role in how big they get, we just can't be sure a customer will get as an example a 15 pound turkey, it depends on nature, weather, when the order was taken and what their place in line is, plus we don't know the weight until processing day.
We will change the weight structure to read 6 to 9, 9 to 12, 12 to 15.
I will also plan to take the entire Thanksgiving week off if I am lucky enough to get it approved.
Our new processing setup worked great, now we hope to make this temporary facility in to something even better and faster.
A air chill system is a MUST for 2007, I think I can make one for a small farm like ours and maybe pass on the information for others, if I had more time and smarts I would apply for a SARE grant to help out. I don't like the water that ends up in the cryovac bags. We will also order some of the large bags, this year we used small and medium bags but needed a few large ones.
We need an "in" basket for our desk for orders, plus seperate books for each kind of product.
We need to send postcards to people to acknowledge their orders and then again to let them know when their order will be filled, again we don't push our animals so sometimes implied dates get slipped. Pigs especially...

Andrew has been discharged from the Navy and we sorely miss him, both as a dear friend and as a helper...also miss our nightly chats and glass of wine.

We REALLY need a DR brush mower, 17 hp to get more land cleared.

Now that our birds are about done I must get the siding project on the house done, the bilco basement door finished and the sliding glass door trimed.

A special thanks to Sheryl for her patience and understanding, and especially for putting up with my moods when the work load seems overwhelming...

We do have more special news to pass on but we are waiting to hear the results from a very special visit to a very special place.

A special thanks to all the family that helped us process turkeys, we did them by hand and took special care that everyone's birds were the best we could do. Thank you: Sheryl, Kevin, Jeff, Dad, Shawn, Amie, Elizabeth, Curt, Donna, Avery, Wyatt, Cody, Nora, Mel, Hunter and Morgan. We had a great breakfast and an even better lunch, plus being together as a family working on a project for others was a wonderful experience.

Thanks to John Carlton and Ch 61 Fox news for their wonderful presentation of our story, we will be burning some cd's for others to see and we are seeking permission to add this to our web site.

Thanks to Faith, Fern and Sally and all the folks at Ct public radio for a wonderful experience on the "Food Smooze", it generated lots of orders, wonderful e-mails and thousands of hits on our web site. I listened to the broadcast today for the first time and Faith sure did a great job of getting me to present our views, she is a gem both as a person and as a professional.



Monday, November 20, 2006

Important notice for all to read


Many Many thanks to Faith Middleton and the crew at Connecticut Public Radio's "The Food Smooze", it was a great experience for us.

With even more publisity coming, (CH 61 fox news at 10:00PM on Wednesday) and a special notice that I will publish after Thanksgiving we fully expect to be overwhelmed with orders.

Thanks to Faith we already have had a LOAD of calls, e-mails and orders.

However we want to make it very clear that our local customers, our original customers are THE most important to us, therefore while we will accept orders from others we will not add them to our list until Jan 1st in order to allow all of our past customers time to get their order for 2007 in to us.

We have all of our order forms from the past 2 years so if you have purchased something from us either here at the farm or at the farm market do go to our web site, down load an order form and get it in to us before jan 1st. this includes, pork, chicken, turkeys and ducks.

We will be adjusting some things on the forms that are on our site to make things clearer for people and we will send out confirmation post cards right after Jan 1st.

So in closing...get your order in NOW, past customers have priority on a first come first served, then after Jan 1st, new customers first come first served.

We are still growing and are not yet at full production but we are getting close, we hope to be at full capacity by mid 2008. For 2007 we intend to do 800 chickens, 75 turkeys, 50 ducks, 50 beef yet.

Thanks again and look for our big news right after Thanksgiving.



Saturday, November 11, 2006


We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud, we got the Certified Humane Certification for our Turkeys, Layer chickens and our broilers, we will get it for our pigs as soon as our processing facility is inspected and passes.

We will be on Connecticut Public Radio's Food Smooze on Wednesday the 15th of November at 3:00 PM

Here is the press release we are sending out:

Press Release: November 10, 2006

On top of Quoketaug Hill
Stonington, Ct

Of the 4,200 farms in the State of Connecticut, Footsteps Farm is the FIRST and ONLY farm to receive the prestigious “Certified Humane” Certification for their Turkeys, Layer Chickens and Broiler Chickens.

Of the 2,100,900 farms in the United States, Footsteps Farm is one of 55 farms so honored with the Certification.

The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Label is a consumer certification and labeling program.When you see the Certified Humane Raised & Handled label it means that an egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. Food products that carry the label are certified to have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.

A team of veterinarians and animal scientists developed the Animal Care Standards to ensure that producers and processors keep animals in conditions that have met high standards of animal care:

• Allow animals to engage in their natural behaviors
• Raising animals with sufficient space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress
• Making sure they have ample fresh water and a healthy diet without added antibiotics or hormones

Under the system, growth hormones are prohibited, and animals are raised on a regular diet of quality feed free of antibiotics. Producers also must comply with local, state and federal environmental standards. Processors must comply with the American Meat Institute Standards, a higher standard for slaughtering farm animals than the Federal Humane Slaughter Act.

Humane Farm Animal Care is the independent non-profit organization that conducts regular inspections and administers the “Certified Humane Raised & Handled” program. Participating businesses must pass an initial inspection as well as annual re-inspection to remain part of the Certified Humane Raised & Handled program.

Inspectors have training and education in Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, or other relevant backgrounds. To further assure fairness, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Services verifies the inspection process.

The quality of the meat, poultry, egg and dairy products depends, at least in part, on the quality of care farm animals receive. The Certified Humane Raised & Handled program lets consumers choose products from businesses that are providing humane conditions for the animals in their care.

We welcome the public to see what goes in to a Certified Humane farm by visiting our web site at

We are deeply honored to receive this prestigious certification and we look forward to meeting and serving the public with the finest humanely raised and handled pastured heirloom products.

Craig & Sheryl Floyd

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our Inspection results

Well today, November 2nd was a HUGE day for us, Brenda Coe, an inspector for the Certified Humane Organization drove all the way from State College Pa to inspect our farm.

She arrived around eight AM and left around three PM, her inspection included many questions and a long detailed inspection of our facilities and animals/birds. I was VERY impressed by her professionalisum and her throughness.

The closing brief found three areas were we need improvement all three which accrding to Brenda are not a big deal.

1: We need to keep better records of when we put basic H in to our water, we use this as a dewormer, she said all we need to do is put it on our calendar.
2. We need to keep better records of when we have to cull of loose a animal or bird, again this just needs to be put on the calendar.
3. Since we don't stun our birds it was written up but most likely will be a non issue as it pertains more to large operations.

All in all she was very impressed with our farm, how well our animals looked, how happy they all semmed to be and how I interacted with them.

It's been a long and very rewarding day, we should hear in a couple of weeks or so the resluts of the inspection and if we can start using the certified humane label, I honestly feel very very confident that we have passed with flying colors and will infact be able to add this Very Prestidious label to the next batch of pork we do.

They do have to check in to our processing facility that we use (Hilltown Pork) but Brenda thought the name was familiar and they may have already been inspected.

Thanks ever so much to the Certified Humane Organization and especially to Brenda Coe for taking the time to inspect us and consider us for this label, this IS a huge huge deal for us as we will be, I believe the first farm in Connecticut to have is attached to our products.