The last week has been one of highs and lows. Many nights around our dinner table we will share the day’s triumphs and tragedies, a brief glance into the ups and downs of each person’s day. It’s a meaningful time of sharing both the good and the bad, doubling our joy and mitigating our sadness.
For Sunbird Farms, this past week has seen some of our highest highs, and (hopefully) our lowest lows. In the plus column, we have accomplished two goals of great significance to us. First, we have completed our NPIP certification and are expecting our federal number any day. This was a task that was months in the making and one that culminates in a new level of assurance for all our customers that we are indeed doing things in the healthy, quality ways that we have been promising. Second, we have reached a milestone in our website, surpassing 10,000 views from more than 50 countries, from Canada to Macedonia, South Africa to the Russian Federation. We realize that these are not Apple-size accomplishments (they’re counting down to 50 billion apps downloaded), but they are meaningful to us. And we have had smaller, but no less meaningful, accomplishments, completing more successful shipments of birds and chicks to our friend Mark in Montana, and the Tuckers in Vermont. We relish every delivery of happy, healthy poultry to our friends around the country.
These accomplishments have been wonderful and we look forward to many more, but as Jerry Garcia said, “every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.” In about three days we were preparing to arrive at the culmination of over six months of planning and effort with our American Bresse. A week ago today we shipped out our last set of American Bresse chicks. Arriving safely in Montana on Saturday, we had planned a second day of construction on our new Whizbang plucker, anticipating the efficiency and ease of processing chickens that has always been so time consuming due to hand-plucking. Unfortunately, last Saturday’s dawn had been preceded by a virtual storm of activity of which we were totally unaware. Late Friday evening, two members of our pet family were apparently overcome by centuries of instinctual influence and decided to reap a harvest of American Bresse, just one week before we were scheduled to do so ourselves. In a few short hours, maybe minutes, they decimated our entire flock (save a single pair, thankfully). It was a sad day for man, and his best friend.
But as Jerry goes on to say…”we will get by.” And so here we are, a little wiser, a little crestfallen, but no less determined to have a positive net impact on our food heritage. Our defenses will be strengthened, stern words have been exchanged, behavioral reinforcement has been initiated. It has been a week of ups and downs. Relationships between man and beast have been tested, but in the end we will do what we have been doing, and will accomplish what we set out to accomplish, if only a little delayed. We’re going back to the start…