Footsteps Farm Today

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hello to all our visitors

We certainly welcome all of you who visit our web site, our counter on the bottm left hand corner of the home page gives us lots of information and we enjoy seeing how you found us, how long you visited and where you live.

Lots of folks from the UK lately and we'd love to hear from all our visitors what you think of our site or just drop an e-mail to and say Hi.

Lots of interest in Tamworth hogs right now, our are all pregnant with Pearl due any moment...

Cheers to all and thanks for visiting,


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Congrats to Kevin

The biggest news this weekend wasn't the work party success, it was Kevin's letter from Ledyard High School.

Kevin had applied to what used to be called Ledyard VoAG, now I guess they call it Agri-science. After waiting for a couple of months he finally got his acceptance letter on Friday.

Congratulations to Kevin on something he worked hard for. We are all very proud of him and his accomplishments. He will be great for FFA as he is the kind of kid who will come and ask if there is anything I need help with, he is great with the animals, comfortable in front of a camera, works hard and enjoys life to the fullest.

Kevin plans to join the Fencing team and he hopes to be very active in other school activities.



Monday, February 19, 2007

Work Party pics

Samantha and Virginia
Tired kids

Work Party pics

Shawn and Georgia
Kids swing on the bittersweet vines
Our webmaster Sarah Melcher

Work Party pics

Work Party pics

Work Party Thanks

Just wanted to say THANK YOU to all who contributed to our fantastic work party, we were overwhelmed by the amount of brush that got cleared.

Thanks to:

Sheryl, Jeff, Kevin, Shawn, Aime, Curt, Donna, Avery, Wyatt, Cody, Nora, Mel, Hunter, Morgan, Georgia, Johnny, Tom, Cherie, Sarah, Mike, Wayne, Bruce, Samantha, Virgina and the two tractors Mable (The yellow one) and Jethro (The orange one)

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I don't think I will like this

I got a call from the Ct Dept of AG last thursday, they wanted to come and blood test our pigs on tuesday.

I called back both numbers that I was given and left messages telling them that I work full time for the PO and needed more time and information as I did not know exactly what the procedure was.

They came on Tuesday while I was at work and left a message in between our front doors.

I called them back Wednesday moring and had quite a chat with the man who will do the testing. First the pigs have to be confined in an area as they don't have time to chase pigs. Very understandable but I don't have anything like that except our cattle pinch chute. That COULD be made to work if I buy and install three steel gates. Actually he was suggesting I build a 20 X 20 area. I told him about us getting the grant and how much work I have to do this spring to comply with the grant plus the normal spring chores.

I fully realize this has to be done, every year he says. I have had these pigs for 3 years and this is the first I have heard of it.... seems strange especially since we are now Certified Humane. Perhaps it is because of the extra attention we have received that brought it to mind...who knows.

The worst part of what he told me was that the pigs (only the breeders) have to be restrained with a snout snare which causes them much distress, a needle is inserted in their neck and blood drawn. I reminded him that we are the ONLY Certified Humane farm in the state and that I did NOT like the sounds of what they have to do. and I asked if there was any other way -- he said no (I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME NO) so now it looks like I will have to be ready to do this in May (he was nice enough to give me plenty of time) and once I have seen this process first-hand I can then decide if I like it, if it is Humane, and if I can get a SARE grant to develop a better way.

My biggest concern is that my pigs trust me and all of my family; the Ag guy says it is not a big deal and they do people's pet pigs this way. Now I know pigs are REALLY smart and they can figure out who not to trust really quick -- I do not want to have them think they can't trust me.

Time will tell, perhaps and I hope I am over reacting, it will be okay, but I have never seen it done, don't know what to expect, and sure don't like the sounds of it.



Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Great News

I have some great news for local farms: I heard from Ron Olsen and there is a new processing plant opening in Seymour, CT. The man's name is Dan Carmel and his number in Mass is 413-212-1334. I talked to him yesterday and he used to work at Hilltown where we currently take our pigs.

Dan said he would do all that Hilltown does for us PLUS he had no problem allowing a Certified Humane Inspector in the building.

I called Holly at Certified Humane and she will call Dan to discuss whatever it is they need to discuss.

Opening is scheduled for about two months from now.

This is especially good since there is not a USDA facility close to us. Salem isn't a USDA facility nor is Marice's, which means if you have your cow, pig, sheep etc. processed there you can't sell individual cuts of meat to the public. This new place will take care of that issue.

I would highly recommend that all local farms who have animals to process give Dan a call.

They will cryovac, label, and string the roasts and make sausage to our receipe (we just provide unopened containers of herbs and spices etc. and the receipe for 25 pounds).

So for us it is great news and many thanks to Dan for taking this on. Let's hope we can bring him lots of business.

Work Party: we have 14 people signed up for our work party in two weeks. It will be great to get the 4 acre lots cleaned up.

Also I hear that Sarah our web master is getting more web design work, congrats to her, she IS the best and we hear it all the time from folks who visit our site.