Sometimes you meet the greatest people when you least expect it. Someone who can help you, guide you, and/or give you advice on the ventures in your life. Today, I was lucky to meet one such person: Greg Traynor of Traynor Beef Farms in Keene Ontario:
It’s no secret that I have grand ambitions of on-farm markets, with the most sustainably and kindly raised livestock I can manage, catering to educated consumers who are interested in a smarter way of eating. But I’m new! Oh, so new to all of this. The farming and the marketing of farm products. So today, as I did some grocery shopping, I needed to get beef, and I wanted it to be local and fairly raised. I’d never bought from Traynor beef before but I’ve heard their name over the years, and driven past their on-farm store in my travels. I knew that their beef was home-grown, sustainable, and free of hormones and additives. Exactly what I like to buy. When I stopped in to pick up what I needed, I was greeted by Greg, who, as it turns out, is a fantastic wealth of information about on-farm marketing. Greg was so willing to share what he knew (in the short time we spoke, I’m sure there’s no way he covered everything!) when I told him about my plans to open something similar with poultry and pork.
As usual, God provided me a piece of the puzzle just when I needed it most. I’ve been grappling with the idea of how exactly to go about expanding this dream of mine, especially when Farmer B and I don’t always see eye to eye in regards to the viability of this scheme. I needed to hear from someone with experience, someone close to my region, that YES it can work, and yes you can make a living doing it (note: I said make a living, not get rich, but hey! Who needs money when you’re doing what you love?)
Greg shared a glimpse of his history, their farm philosophy, and how the farm store started, and gave me some great encouragement and information about other people in the area who are successfully living the same dream. Greg also told me about two programs available in our area: Home Grown Ontario, and Kawartha Choice, both groups that provide marketing for growers, and access to information about those growers to the consumers.
I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with Greg, and hopefully meeting some other like-minded individuals through this new contact. Every person that we meet in our journey’s has something to lend, something God wants us to hear- we just have to take advantage of those moments and connect with the people around us. It’s astounding what one can learn when we listen!
Also sharing at: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways