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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thanks for the nice words

Mr. Floyd - We spoke on the telephone a few weeks ago about Adele Douglass and Certified Humane for an article I was writing for The Erickson Tribune. Our conversation stuck with me so I wrote about it. Thanks for the inspiration! Take Care, Michele HarrisWriter/ReporterThe Erickson Tribunewww.EricksonTribune.com301-213-1432

The Human Side of Farming
July 10th, 2008 dcfilm Posted in by Michele Harris No Comments »
What did you have for dinner last night? There’s a pretty good chance your answer is chicken. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans eat chicken an average of 4.5 times every two weeks.
If you did answer chicken, do you know what that chicken was fed? Most Americans probably don’t know the answer and it’s not a subject most people want to start delving into – especially since the answer is most likely less than appetizing. Beyond what that chicken ate, how was it raised . . . or even how was it slaughtered?
The answers are hard to come by (and usually pretty grizzly) unless you have gone out of your way to purchase chicken that’s Certified Humane. That seal is the best assurance that an egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. It also assures consumers that the food they’re buying was raised under conditions that animals are supposed to be raised in.
While working on a profile of Adele Douglass, the woman who created the Certified Humane seal (, I had an opportunity to speak with Craig Floyd of Footsteps Farm in Stonington, CN. Floyd, who retired from the US Postal Service to pursue farming, is full of enthusiasm for what he does. He and his wife Sheryl are passionate about resurrecting the farm that’s been in the Floyd family since 1712.
The way the Floyds farm is different from most working farms. They follow many of the same techniques his ancestors used before chemicals and industrialization turned farming from a way of life into a big business. He told me how he proudly wears his Certified Humane apron when he goes to farmers markets, joking that a lot of people mis-read the apron and ask him what it means to be “Certified Human.”
The thing is, Floyd is actually a fitting example of the word human. Used as a noun, human means a person – which of course, he is – but so is everybody else. However, when used as an adjective human describes the “characteristic of people’s better qualities, such as kindness or sensitivity.” Craig Floyd represents the human side of being a farmer – yes, even to the point that I would say he should be “Certified Human.”
“We do things a little bit differently here on our farm,” he says. “We treat all of our animals with respect.” Floyd says his animals are like family and he even names all his livestock (and some of the chickens).
“Our personal belief is that the Lord put animals on this earth for our consumption but it must be done with respect. We gather our chickens on Friday night in a trailer and we try to keep them calm. Anytime you stress an animal you change the flavor and the tenderness of the meat. Saturday morning is when it’s time for them to go. We give thanks to the Lord for giving us these chickens and we give thanks to each and every chicken for giving their lives for us.”
In addition to chickens, Footsteps Farm raises pigs and cows. They have a wonderful website ( that includes both a journal of their farming experiences and a blog. It’s a great place to visit, especially if you’re interested in the human side of farming.
-Michele Harris

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Now is the time for you to order your 2009 turkey, with new production techinques learned at Ployface we will increase our flock to allow more customers to enjoy the best Thanksgiving they have ever had.

Shortly our web site will be updated to reflect a new order form, so get your order in now as we will limit our turkeys to around 100.

We are also looking for a couple of people who want to learn the art of turkey processing to help out in 09.

Believe me, if you don't order early we will be sold out fast.



Thank you Polyface farm

Just a public Thank You to Joel Salatin and his entire family and crew for a most wonderful day at his farm.

We met a lot of nice folks and wish we had more time to sit and talk with them all, especially the couple from Indiana who we sat next to in the barn. They had been to our site and I wanted to talk with them about the experience but was more interested in seeing all that had to be seen.

For those who do not know the significance of being at Polyface let me just say that their farm is THE leader in faming as we do, being stewards of the land, providing great clean and healthy food, fighting the stupid Gov officials and treating animals with respect.

As time allows I will write my perceptions of what we saw and provide you with some pictures. In the meantime as we traveled home we came up with a "short" list of must do things so I must start to cross items off today!!

The highlight of my day was getting to shake the man's hand and tell him thank you for doing what he is doing.

This visit will certainly benifit our animals, our customers and our land, thanks again Joel.




After returning from a most rewarding visit to Joel Salatin's farm in Va, we have a whole list of things to do to bring us more in tune with the land, nature, our business, our animals and our customers.

One of the first things is to suspend all farm tours here at Footsteps. This means we will not do monthly tours and we especially will not do tours for those who appear here unannounced and expect a tour.

What we will do is start annual tours and make them a big deal, food, fun and education. Please keep a eye out for a date for our tour in 2009.