We have three generations that live and work on this farm. We strive to provide the best product that we can on a small scale to the public. We are diversified in our offerings and with just two of us working full time on the farm, we put in long days and love it. We stand behind everything we sell and keep it affordable so our neighbors can support our business as we support our neighbors. We are always willing to barter and feel that keeping our money in our own state benefits all of us.
Obviously this is not the case by the folks with investment capital and "important status" in our fair state. In the Sunday paper, a large company had a three page layout dedicated to their newest venture. They have decided that they would like to sell woolen long underwear. Nothing wrong with that right? They are not sheep farmers or farmers at all so they had to hire someone to find them a farm. Not one but two farms purchased in one of the most expensive towns in the state. Next they needed sheep. So they hired someone to manage their new sheep farm and find them the right breed of sheep. None of the needed breed raised here so they had to be imported. Many of them - a herd of close to 500 before they are through. The sheep manager will care for them. That herd will not provide enough wool for this venture so they hired a buyer to find them wool which will be purchased out of state for a total of somewhere around 200,000 lbs! This wool will be processed in South Carolina. It will be made into fabric in Massachusetts. The long underwear tops and pants will run your average, everyday working man between $45 and $90 per piece. Affordable right? WRONG!!! At least not on my meager budget.
I cannot be the only one who finds something terribly wrong with this scenario. There are hundreds of small sheep farms in this state struggling to make a living, cutting corners and costs everywhere they can just to stay afloat. This company could have made woolen underwear from wool grown in this state, processed in this state and sold at a "reasonable" price so people in this state could afford to purchase it! I know why this didn't happen, they simply wouldn't make as much money and it would have cost them more. It's always about the money isn't it?
Hooray for folks with a million dollars to invest in a "I'm not ready to retire" project. It just seems like with the state of our economy they could have done something more to help support the state and the folks that live here and supported their first fledgling business all these years.
I'm going out to shovel what I read in the paper.....