The beginning of winter offers new challenges on the farm. Weather is unpredictable all over the Midwest. Our first blizzard hit us before Thanksgiving, when we received about 2 feet of snow in one day. The snowflakes were beautiful as they billowed noiselessly to the ground.
For additional warmth and comfort our hog farmers add extra bedding for their livestock. “Bedding the hogs” was one of my favorite chores growing up. I watched the gate with the help of our dog while my father drove a skid loader filled with cornstalks into the barn as the pigs darted around in excitement. Coveralls came in handy to protect me from the cold as I stood guard. Occasionally a wily pig would try and escape so I had to be quick on my toes. Since I participated in my high school basketball team, I used it as an opportunity to sharpen my point guarding skills.
It was wonderful to see how happy the pigs were as they rustled around chewing and burrowing in the freshly placed bedding. The feeling was infectious watching them. It reminded me how happy I was in our own toasty little house out on the prairie. We kept warm with layers of clothing and drinking warm beverages like hot cocoa, cider or coffee.
As Christmas approaches I find myself growing more grateful every day for these simple pleasures. I value more than ever the hard work that goes into the production of the good food we eat. I am proud of the network of farmers we have partnered with to continue the tradition of raising our livestock humanely. Your continued support has meant so much to myself and the 700 family farmers and ranchers in our network. Thank you for purchasing our products at the grocery stores or selecting them while dining out!