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#70020 - 12/27/03 08:20 AM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, they're idiots for not embracing the power of collective barganing.

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#70021 - 12/27/03 11:17 AM Re: Recent high egg prices
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
For want of real leadership, the Farmers Union has never united Farmers for their collective good. Some of the Ag college graduates, who otherwise may become employed by the Ag conglomerates could find a future which would be a service to the American (even world) markets. While food prices WOULD go up, the value added to health, community (now almost lost in even small towns) would be a strength our country has not seen since before WWII. IMHO (until further discussion reveals the loopholes). CJR
And all because of the price of eggs!

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#70022 - 12/27/03 11:19 AM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree if they banned together they would make alot more $ and be able to produce more of what we need.

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#70023 - 12/27/03 06:07 PM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jean, it amazes me that farmers will band together in small groups to form co-ops for feed, soy processing, even confinement layer facilities, but they won't band together in large numbers to save the family farm (to save their way of life).

Developing a strong farmer union would be like trying to drive a herd of cats to market over the old chisolm trail.

Is it a matter of educating the farmers?

I agree - there has never been any evangelical, charismatic, passionate leadership. No one out there organizing with a passion and obvious conviction.

It takes money.

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#70024 - 12/27/03 10:34 PM Re: Recent high egg prices
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
Leee, It's been true for the past 50 years! Afraid it won't change now. IT COULD. Farmers are independent geezers, and just won't even vote as a block, which could help affect prices, etc. The chap who farms shares for me is on the Board of Cenex and lobbies in Washington--but the competition between even the large corporations, not just grain and livestock, but fruit and vegetables, fiber, has made it impossible for them to work together to provide workable production plans, that would make it easier for all farmers. We are at the mercy of fuel, machinery costs, the weather and climate--but still, with the fantastic distribution and storage abilities of our country, we should be able to solve the supply/demand which partially sets prices. Futures, etc. is a weakness of marketing--and skims off much of a farmers profits. The small farmer's quality of life is still (or should be) the envy of half the world-- most of us are HAPPY with less! CJR

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#70025 - 12/28/03 05:48 AM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


" We are at the mercy of fuel" (CJR)

I saw this cool thing on the news that we have discovered a new fule source. It involves the fermentation of corn and soy beans and the product ends up very similar to diesle. It burns better giving better gas milage and it does not damage the environment as much, however currently it cost between $2 and $3 a gallon and only works in diesle cars and only a few gas stations carry it. I think this is going to make the farmer much more powerful, because we will be dependent on him to supply the power of our nation.

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#70026 - 12/28/03 02:38 PM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


Living on a full-time farm, this is sure interesting.

It's hard to get farmers to work together ... although we do tend to vote conservative Republican because there are larger issues facing the country than farm policy.

We considered buying some equipment with a couple of different neighbors but in the end shied away because we weren't convinced they'd care for it the same way we would. You can extrapolate this attitude to farm co-operative efforts.

In our area, Farmer's Union and the Grange are a little too much to the left to suit many farmers. Farm Bureau is about right.

We operate a full-time farm and DH supports our family of 5 and partially supports his parents. Our poultry enterprise is just getting started and I don't know how big it will ever get since I dislike the idea of having a nuisance on my hands. My FIL always stayed diversified and that helped. We had dairy cows until that market fell apart ... we are lucky to have 3 local processors for beef and 2 for poultry. Because we live in an Amish Mennonite area there are lots of small labor intensive farms. One of our niches is "all-natural" beef and the other is small square bales of hay and straw. People can buy one bale or 1,000. Since we are practically in the suburbs this has worked out well.

You have to see what your niches might be. If you live in the middle of beef cattle rangeland ... small square bales of hay probably aren't going to go anywhere. But ... surrounded by backyard horse owners ... they're a go.

We are one of the few non-Amish families our age that do not have one or more of hte adults working in town.

I'm still sort of feeling my way in poulttry. I would like DH to tell folks "if you love our beef, try our chicken" but we'll just have to see.

Because of the nuisance idea ... I only want to raise broilers in the summer on pasture. the idea of having a big confinement barn is :rolleyes: not my idea of a good time! Same with the layers ... they sort of satisfy my dairy farmer urge to fuss over something ... but we'll just have to see how much the poultry contribute!

I like reading you folks' optimism about small family farms. Almost like you all read "Stockman Grass Farmer" like we do! laugh

Happy New Year!
Ann

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#70027 - 12/28/03 07:43 PM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
the idea of having a big confinement barn is not my idea of a good time! Same with the layers ...
This is exactly what we're NOT talking about. I don't want a confinement facility of any kind. Our egg business is a free-range egg farm.

I don't see any reason to replace the mega-producers with little ones that do the same thing and produce food via cruel conditions.

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#70028 - 12/28/03 09:08 PM Re: Recent high egg prices
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
I am interested to know what the all natural farmers use to worm their poultry flocks and other animals for that matter, and what you treat them with if they get a cough or sneeze or whatever. I have both housed and free-range birds. My housed birds are just that to prevent a nuisense to my neighbors. Also it is the only way to properly breed my flocks to not interbreed and to keep my purebreds pure. I do not cage them except as babies to keep ubnder lights etc. I have heard a lot about diatenatious earth. Anybody want to bite on its usefulness, amounts used etc.?
thanks
also as to the egg prices: Here in FL. where I live we sell fresh farm eggs from our local farmers at our feed store for 1.00 a dozen, un-sized and un- processed. Most times this time of the year we never have enough. I know from working at an egg processing plant many years ago that the plants withhold the most desireable size of eggs for that particular time of year and market them when that time comes. I know where I worked years ago they held medium eggs for as much as 4 months in the cooler waiting for Easter!!! EWWWWWWWWWWW......... I haven't eaten many store bought eggs since. They also raise egg prices seasonally as they do gas...if it is a cooking holiday such as Christmas the price goes up, usually.
Sally
_________________________
sallyDIABLO

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#70029 - 12/29/03 06:31 AM Re: Recent high egg prices
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sally ... boy, the things you learn! I thought cold-storage eggs were a thing of the past because of year-round production.

We have our pullets in a house, now, too but the weather's just not fit for them to be out.

Leee, our neighbors have 4 big (to us!) barns standing empty right now. And the big local contractor is looking for more growers on our side of the county. The lady that butchers our broilers has a barn of 6,000 broilers right now on contract with this outfit. (I'm guessing that would be about like having a herd of 6 dairy cows.)

And there were rumors of a contractor seeking "free range" brown egg growers amongst the Amish ... they'd build you a barn if you'd raise the chickens and sell them the eggs and buy their feed. This was a couple of counties away in the Amish community so a lot of it might be hear-say. But supposedly if the barn door's open the eggs would be considered free-range.

DH of course is considering the possibilities but I made a snap decision ... YUCK!

Maybe the factory farms are self-destructing. It almost seems that way, doesn't it!

Happy New Year
Ann

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