Welcome! on March 14th, 2009
Welcome to This Old Farm’s Website! Here we strive to bring you the information needed to make local, sustainably grown food products as accessible as possible. This Old Farm was first started in 2000 to bring good, clean food to area families from Erick and Jessica Smith’s 88 acre farm. We continue to do that today. We are small enough to care about each and every family. In an effort to make good food more accessible, we have now expanded to process locally raised meats and to represent 20 different farms through a farm alliance so that we can bring clean, local food to not only our traditional retail families but to commercial markets as well. Through the alliance, we are large enough to supply your commercial, school, or wholesale needs for good, locally raised foods. Buying local is one of the greenest things you can do and we want it to be easy to source product. It’s our passion. While you are here, sign up for our e-newsletter. We will keep you up to date on what’s new in local foods and healthy living.
Erick and Jessica Smith
Farm Photos on March 13th, 2009
Meet our Compliance Officer……Adam Oswalt on February 27th, 2015
This is our Compliance Officer, Adam Oswalt. Adam is from Colfax, IN born and raised. His parents and grandparents both are from the Meat Industry, his father was a butcher. Adam also works in our processing room.
Hobbies include taxidermy, woodworking, bone collecting and listening to bluegrass. He loves to study about how food affected the human experience throughout history.
Did you Know????? on February 27th, 2015
A pig can run a 7-minute mile.
Gobble, gobble: On average Americans now eat 14 lbs of turkey a piece each year, more than double the rate 20 years ago.
Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision.
California grows about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the US.
Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family and was first cultivated by Egyptians from seed-prized weed into an edible leafy green.
One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
The longest recorded flight of a chicken lasted 13 seconds.
More than 96 billion lbs of edible “surplus” food is thrown away in the US each year. It is estimated that almost 27% of our food supply is wasted.
80% of our food and fiber is produced by only 210,000 full-time US farmers.
Who Are This Generation’s Farmers? on February 27th, 2015
Farming has long been a time-honored tradition in America. It is one of the major staples in this country’s history. At one time, everyone wanted to have a piece of land in order to grow the food, to raise a family, and to sell excess food and make a profit on particularly fruitful years. As the country grew, more people left their farms and started to live in the cities. Even with this change in the population density in certain areas, there was still a large need for food, and the farmers who were left had to fill that need.
Fewer Farmers Growing for an Expanding Population
The importance of each farmer has grown over the years. They provide the food that others need, keep up many of the traditions that this country holds dear, and they work harder than most people you will meet. Farming can be and is a very profitable business for those who have a lot of land and who know how to keep up with all of the work. Government subsidies even help with the purchase of land and equipment, as well as tiding farmers through bad years and ruined crops. Farming has become a big industry, and the farmers of this country have been able to meet growing food demands for not only our population of 300 million, but also the animals we raise and parts of the international community with which we trade.
Who Will Farm for the Next Generations?
Unfortunately, it seems like the time of the farmer might be coming to an end. Those who are in the farming industry have been there for a long time, many years, and have even taken over the farm lands from their fathers and grandfathers and even further back. They grew up working the land and know exactly the right time to start planting the crop, where to plant it, when to rotate crops, when to switch out equipment, and basically how to make the farm run as smoothly as possible. But soon, this generation is going to age and want to take a break. They will want to reap the benefits of all of their hard work and enjoy retirement, or they will become too old and will not be able to take on the responsibilities any longer. Who is going to take their place when this happens?
The younger generation is increasingly urbanized, and they are not used to the kind of work required to run a farm. Many of them have not grown up on farms and wouldn’t know how to handle all of the things that come with the day-to-day operations. Some of them might imagine they can make it big working on a farm, or else they’d at least dream that farm work would be enjoyable, but fantasies about farms are nothing like reality, and these people often fail quickly when they start their work. Even with the right experience that comes from growing up and living on a farm, it is difficult work.
Keeping the Farm in the Family
The best people to take over the family farms are those who grew up on them. These people will be hard working and dedicated, and they can keep the farms producing food to meet growing demand. But not everyone who grew up on a farm will take over, and instead they are often deciding to pursue other careers. If too many of them leave, these family farms will have no one to take care of them, and they will become barren. This will be the fall of the family farm, and in the future we may see farming operations increasingly run by factory farms and manufacturers. We may still get the food from America’s plentiful farmlands, but we will have lost a longstanding tradition.
Laura Holt, for Agrilicious!
FOOD HUBS! This Old Farm, Inc. is a Food Hub!!!! on February 20th, 2015
Jodee Ellett, Local Foods Coordinator
Food hubs respond to community food needs and can assume various roles in your local food system. This is why it is important for producers, distributors, retailers and consumers to work together to develop regional food hubs. Current hub models can:
• Increase access to local food for larger volume buyers
• Enable local farmers to sell more of their products and retain product identity and transparency
• Assist buyers with larger quantities of local food products not available in local farmers markets
• Provide technical assistance for growers and buyers to ensure the marketplace is offering goods and services needed in the area
• Preserve greater market share and revenue for local food farmers
Food hubs are mechanisms that allow many local growers to aggregate their products and collectively market and distribute them to larger buyers (farm-to-institution), individual buyers (farm-to-consumer) or both. Unlike the farmers market model (where customers purchase from the farmer – direct marketing), a food hub uses a buying mechanism such as a website, online store or email to work with larger buyers. Farmers do not generally participate directly in the mechanism.
The USDA working definition of a food hub is, “A Regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand.” Food hubs function under several business models including private, non-profit, cooperative, publicly held and informal. By definition, food hubs address the triple bottom line: economic, social and environmental impacts. Food hubs also can be a key component of community food systems by stabilizing local demand, expanding sales opportunities for growers and increasing consumer awareness and access to local food. Food hubs work to maintain the value chain for farm products by offering food with added value, such as from a local, reputable farm, organic certification, non-GMO, pasture-raised, no growth hormones or antibiotics, etc. By offering product transparency, food hubs can enable growers to set prices relative to their production costs, rather than relative to global food prices.
Food hubs, by their very nature, are rooted in local farming and community needs and must be responsive to product supply and market demand at the local and regional level.
Food hubs in Indiana require growers and buyers to conduct themselves with certain business understanding and attention to regulation. Here are some examples of what could be expected:
Uses Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and is insured for product liability
Ensures growers have GAPs training
Provides high-quality products
Requires growers to maintain product liability insurance
Produces clean products that are graded and packaged according to food hub standards
Checks products on arrival at food hub; rejects unsatisfactory products
Provides products that are uniform in size and quality
Maintains value-chain (farm branding)
Labels and traces products
Markets and distributes products
Maintains regular and consistent product output
Manages sales and marketing
Transports products while following GAPs and Good Handling Practices (GHPs)
Communicates with food hub about product availability, harvest dates and issues
Provides customer and farmer relations
What can a food hub do for your local food system? Your community?
Food hubs can be instrumental for your community efforts to increase jobs and improve your local economy. In 2013, the average sales for a food hub in the United States was more $3.7 million — the longer the hub was operated, the greater its success. Of the total revenue, 61% went directly to farmers and 23% went to employee salaries. More than half of all food hubs have mission statements that indicate strong values for supporting local farmers and local food systems. Food hubs also work to offer services to support those values including: transportation from farm to hub, grower education, and processing, storage and marketing services. Food hubs also participate in their communities — they accept food stamps (SNAP-49%), donate to local food pantries/banks (79%) and provide educational programming for local food systems (56%).
Barham, J., Tropp, K. E., Farbman, J., Fisk, J., & Kiraly, S. (2012). Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service.
Cantrell, P., & Heuer, B. (2014). Food Hubs: Solving Local. The Wallace Center at Winrock International.
Fischer, M. H. (2013). Findings of the 2013 National Food Hub Survey. Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and The Wallace Center for Winrock International.
Padellford, J. (2013, January 17). West Central Wisconsin local food hub. Retrieved from West Central Wisconsin local food hub: http://westwiscofoodhub.blogspot.com/
United States Department of Agriculture. (2014, April 28). USDA ARS Farmers’ Markets and Local Food Marketing: Food Hubs. Retrieved from USDA ARS Farmers’ Markets and Local Food Marketing: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/foodhub
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Purdue University’s Upcoming Events! on February 20th, 2015
Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshops. Funded by Purdue, as part of AgSEED Crossroads funding to support Indiana’s Agriculture and Rural Development, or by USDA/ISDA Specialty Crops Block Grant to Purdue. Programs focused on cantaloupe are also relevant to other fresh fruits and vegetables; all growers are welcome to attend.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Adams County Extension, 313 W. Jefferson St., #213. Decatur, IN. contact: Brad Kohlhagen, 260-724-5322, email@example.com.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Elkhart County, location TBD. contact: Jeff Burbrink, 574-533-0554, Ext 106, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 27, 2015. Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 U.S. 41, Rockville, IN. Contact: Jim Luzar, 812-462-3371, email@example.com.
Monday, March 30, 2015. Hancock County, location TBD. Contact: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113, firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Central Indiana Vegetable Grower Meeting. March 3, 2015. 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wakarusa Produce Auction, Goshen, IN. Contact: Jeff Burbrink. 574-533-0554, Ext 106, email@example.com.
Indiana Small Farm Conference. March 5-7, 2015. Danville, IN. https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/smallfarms/. Many sessions, including ‘Putting Together an On-Farm Food Safety Plan’ on Saturday, March 7, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (This Old Farm Inc. will also be hosting a booth)
Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Grower Meeting. March 6, 2015. French Lick Resort & Casino, 8670 W. State Rd. 56, French Lick, IN. Contact Da Egel, 812-886-0198, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Kentucky 2015 High Tunnel Webinar Series. Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. To attend remotely from your home computer: contact Miranda Hileman Combs, 859-218-4384, email@example.com. To attend in person at the Purdue Extension office in Hancock County, contact Roy Ballard at 317-642-6566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 24 Structure Options, Construction, Ventilation & Temperature Control
March 3 Organic Production and Certification & Economic and Marketing Considerations
March 10 Crop and Equipment Options and Nutrient and Irrigation Management in High Tunnels
March 17 Insect, Weed and Disease Control in High Tunnels
March 24 (webinar) or March 31 (in person at Hancock County) Producer Views & Series Wrap-up