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Strengthening Family Values and Empowering Our Youth Through Shopping Locally

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The sisters crossed nursed and raised their piglets: I couldn't even begin to tell you which piglet came from which mother from the very first 5 seconds of life. They all spent the next couple of months nursing (lots of that), sleeping (lots of that), rolling in mud puddles, and playing in the tall grass. At one point they were with the sheep, cattle, and goats all in the same field and what a beautiful sight to see all species napping together under the shade. 

Strengthening Family Values and Empowering Our Youth Through Shopping Locally

MollyMike Peterson

The brief spurt of sunshine we had yesterday and today had our little town abuzz with activity.  Community members were out supporting each others businesses and tourists stopped by to take home a small sample of the Country. It was a great sight to see.  So much positivity, enthusiasm, and support is gleaned from those willing and able to support local businesses regularly.

With this spirit in our hearts today, it was a great feeling for us to support a local business and the education and development of children.  How do we do this, you ask? We buy pigs.  One of the families that supplies us with 8 week old, weaned piglets lives just North of Charlottesville and they delivered a small litter of pigs to us this morning. I love working with these folks because they produce a spectacular cross of Tamworth and Berkshire, but also because of the philosophies they're teaching their children. 

When I bought two litters from them last summer, I was told that for one of the sows, they have split her ownership 50/50 between their son and daughter.  Their son, who is about 12 years old asked me questions about our practices, which breeds we preferred, how many pigs we could support, how often we'd like piglets, and many more followed. He was given the opportunity to assume responsibility not only for the care of this animal, but also see that our needs were being met and he would have a sales outlet for all of their pigs.  He is quite the businessman and is already looking out for his customers!

As we were walking the farm together today to check on pigs that came from them last year, I overheard he and his father identifying trees, talking about the life cycle of plants, and enjoying each others company.  It was really refreshing to be a part of this.  There weren't talks of tabloid news, any mention of a tweet or a Facebook post. As valuable as social media is for us as small business owners, when we're disconnected, it's important to tune in to our surroundings so life and nature do not pass us by.  There will always be time to get back to the internet, but the education of our youth and their connection to our planet is incredibly important for the future of us all.  We should all be so lucky to provide the opportunity to those around us to partake at a young age in a business venture that teaches values, animal husbandry, economics, sales, and social interaction. We're incredibly happy not only in the product they supply us with, but also in the lessons learned and the family interaction it takes to get that animal to our land.

I hope this comforts you in knowing that by you supporting us, we are also supporting families and small businesses that empower their children to think, act, make decisions, perform the labor, and reap the rewards of their work.  A powerful message to absorb at a young age and one that will certainly stick with them as they mature and provide us with many more healthy pigs!

-Mike