Money, Money, Money...

Everything revolves around it these days, right?! What to do with it, where does it go, why does it leave so fast!

Well, we hate money, but know we have to have it. But I can tell you, there is never enough! We work so hard to keep this small family farm dream alive, but often that means never actually getting a paycheck. That means if our cows milk production drops or people slow down in buy meat or unexpected repairs surprise us, something has to give. That is why you often see us doing things on the farm all together, vacations or weekend getaways are not really an option for us. So we try to make every day a family day. We love what we do, and know that we chose this life. We love that we can do it together! Many farms nowadays, one parent has to work off the farm just to keep a reliable paycheck coming in! That wasn't gonna work for Derek & I, well because have you met us? We are weird!

So instead we choose to live with a little less & work a little harder to keep things going together! Maybe many of you, because of the recent year events, are just learning what it is like to be with your spouse 24/7...That will be a blog for another day!

But the thought this blog started with was that even with the little bit of money that we do have coming in, we try to keep it all in the community! Often, getting all our parts or tools from the Jaeckel Brother's near Jefferson. We get all our tires from Bert's Tire in Johnson Creek. We get all our building needs from Pal Steel or True Value in Palmyra. All of our seed is purchased through Frank's Organic Mill in Jefferson. And we try to keep all our fuels and oil sourced through a local dealer. Many of our grocery's are even sourced from Wisconsin such as Great River Milling, Berries Brother's Coffee, Jones, and Wollersheim Winery!

Our very rare nights out include a visit to the local pub, Paddy's in Fort Atkinson, or T & D's in Palmyra! We also love the Hen House in Eagle!

So what does all this mean to you? Well, when you hand me a $20 bill, I take that over to Erin at the pub for some Irish Nachos. She can then take it to pay her waitress or chef, they can then take their kids to the local bowling alley or ballet classes, and the cycle continues. Nobody in China, Washington DC or anywhere else has to take that money from us (At least not a lot of it, yet). It is ours, it stays here.

Why is this important? Well, let's look at it the other direction. If you come over here with your $20 bill, I take that $20 off to McDonalds. I get 4 mass produced Big Mac's for 3.99 each which comes to $16.84 with tax. Those patties may come from a processing plant in the US, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, or Canada. Each patty has meat from many different cows from different ranches. The kid working behind the window gets $8/hour roughly. So say it takes 15 minutes to prepare my 4 Big Macs totaling $16.84. He gets about .53 cents for those 15 minutes. We know that .88 goes to the state of Wisconsin for sales tax. So $1.41 of my $16.84 may be staying in the state of Wisconsin. Where does the other $15.43 go? Maybe some goes to a few more employees in the physical store. But even if $5.00 of that goes to actual employees in our community, where does the rest go? A distributer in Oklahoma or maybe one in Germany. Is the farmer getting any of that after the CEO of McDonalds is walking away with over $5,000,000 of annual salary and other compensation? (

What stinks is we have gotten ourselves into a bit of pickle here because, just like us it is hard to justify spending an extra few dollars on a meal that you can trace without a coding degree. Especially, when we just have to fill empty bellies. Everyone has to make choices that are right for them, and their families. But when, if able, you ever have an extra few dollars think about supporting a local spot. If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that anywhere can be a drive-thru! Ask where your burger comes from! Let your restaurants know that you would pay an extra few bucks to know you could drive past where that beef was raised.

And as you pay that bill, picture the little girl with the biggest smile on her face getting dropped off to her ballet class, or think of the little boy finally is getting the new boots he needed to help his dad on the farm.

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