Do We Care About Our Fellow Man or is it Just Money?

6 May

LIFE ON THE FAMILY FARM UNDER AN OPEN HEAVEN

By:  Tom Heck

Do We Care About Our Fellow Man or is it Just Money?

                As many of you readers know, the milk we produce on our dairy farm here, we sell to the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery.  They are a farmer owned and run cooperative that produces high quality cheese curds that are sold to customers all over the country.  They have been in business for over 100 years and have done an excellent job of producing and selling dairy products.

We have counted it a privilege to sell our milk there for many years.  We always seek to take excellent care of our animals and to produce the highest quality milk possible.  We say, “We have the privilege of producing high quality food to feed hungry people.”  As a matter of fact, we have won beautiful plaques over the years from the creamery for our exceptionally high quality milk.

The creamery, because of increased growth, is expanding to handle more milk.  Part of that expansion is a new cheese store to better serve their ever growing number of customers.  I am in full support of the expansion, but I have a problem with one thing.

A couple months ago, I talked to Paul, the CEO of the creamery and asked him, “Once the new store is complete, will we be selling wine from it?”  He answered, “Yes.”  This greatly disturbed my family and me.  So a month ago, we went to the annual meeting and I talked to the president of the board and expressed our concerns about this.  He listened intently and then afterwards asked me if I would come the following week and address the board of directors about this issue.  To which I agreed.

The creamery in its entire history has never sold alcohol.  In recent years, the CEO has always been emphasizing to us farmers the importance of good public image.  We need to take good care of our animals and the land that we farm.  On our farm here, we look at our farm and the animals on it as a gift from God and always seek to take the very best care of it along with the animals.  We have received many compliments over the years because of it.

I addressed the board on the alcohol issue and talked to them for a half hour.  They were strongly in favor of selling it because from research done, it would increase cheese sales and profits.  The point I brought up was caring for our customers and neighbors.  I said, “For over 100 years this creamery has not sold alcohol and has been very profitable.  We have an excellent public image.  What if somebody buys alcohol here and goes out drinking and driving and hurts or kills some innocent people?  How would we feel about that and what would that do to the image of the creamery?”  Their response floored me.  “We have liability insurance, we’re protected.”

From talking to the board president afterwards on the phone, it appears the board voted unanimously to approve the sale of alcohol in its new store.  We as a family had been hoping and praying that they wouldn’t sell it.  We have seen so many accidents where people have been hurt, crippled or killed over the years because of alcohol.  We have seen where a parent would go home drunk and beat and abuse their family.  The very ones they should care for and love the most.  It has led to so many broken homes and marriages.  So many innocent people getting hurt.  No wonder the Bible says in Hab. 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also.”

We as a family would much rather receive a little less money from the creamery and not have them sell alcohol.  I emphasized to the board the terrible things alcohol is responsible for, and yet they voted for it so they could make more money.  Money was what mattered.  Not the people that would be hurt and killed by it.  No wonder the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

We as a family care for our neighbors and customers who buy our dairy products.  We wish our creamery did too, but unfortunately that is not the case.  Now we are left wondering, “Where do we sell our milk in the future?”

 

Tom Heck, his wife Joanne, and their two children, Catherine and Joshua, own and operate a 35 cow, 159 acre dairy farm in northwestern WI.  Contact Tom at: lifeonthefamilyfarm@gmail.com    Copyright © 2013 by Tom Heck.  All rights reserved.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s