RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) — Many of the nation’s largest meat processors — like Tyson, and Smithfield — have stopped processing their products at some of their plants because their workers are sick with the Coronavirus. So local farmers and ranchers are stepping up to fill the gap.
Joshua and Brittany Nelson are the owners of the Nelson Family Farm. Joshua is also an Iraq veteran and a member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
“I was serving in Iraq and Syria and on a particular mission, flying along, and looked down, and watching the Kurdish people farm right in the middle of the war and I just thought that was the most powerful thing, and so when I decided to get home I decided to get serious about farming.” said Josh.
And so in Ripley he got serious. Acres of land used for what Nelson calls “regenerative agriculture” – using nature itself for growing food and other farming practices. He explains to 13 News Reporter Erin Noon, “manure concentrate builds the soil, the goal here is to increase the organic matter in the soil, which helps the grass grow, which sequesters carbon out of the atmosphere, good for the environment, and good for the cows.”
He says that their approach at food needs to happen not just in West Virginia but across the nation. “Our products are taken from here, they go to a processor that’s local and then they go to our store where it’s just right down the road where our consumers can get it.”
Local. Fresh. And ready to go. Knowing exactly where your food is coming from. Nelson adds, “You know who your doctor is, you know who your lawyer is your mechanic or whatever … Being able to shake the person of whoever raises your food’s hand … That means a lot.”
And with food insecurity a big issue right now ‘home grown’ isn’t a bad idea.
And with the increasing popularity of farm to table – this is just another – hoof – step down the road