When we started egg & chicken production, we anticipated obtaining organic certification as soon as possible. Recently, we have made the decision not to pursue organic certification.
While nearly all of our production is conducted within the methods defined by the USDA, there are certain rules with which we cannot comply and keep our products affordable. For example: It is extremely difficult to obtain certified organic feed; and there are no certified organic meat processors within 350 miles of the farm.
It has been discussed at length that the 'Certified Organic' symbol is diminishing in importance as Wal-Mart and other retailers add "alleged" organic products to their shelves. Many of these products are already being shipped in from China, Mexico and other foreign lands with simple or no organic certification laws.
It is our strong belief that food, with the exception of certain items such as coffee, bananas and some delicacies, should be produced in a local economy. We also believe that rather than basing food choices on 'Certified Organic' products, consumers should seek out local food produced with sustainable methods, from well treated animals and get to know and trust their local farmer.
Keep in mind that organic certification for eggs is not concerned at all with the treatment of the hens. They can have their beaks cut-off, be stuffed 2-4 to a cage, never see the light of day or be allowed to even stand up, but fill the little feed bowl, in their cage, with organic grain, and BINGO the poor hen's eggs are Certified Organic!! This is Sad! Really Sad!
And please don't confuse our Pastured Eggs with "Free-Range" eggs. A Free Range label on an egg carton almost always means the chickens were raised in a crowded shed or barn with limited outdoor access and almost certainly no fresh grass. It is often not very different from how their conventional barn & cage counterparts are raised, and yet by meeting a few technical specs., these sellers can fetch premium prices, effectively cheating consumers. Don't be fooled; there is no substitute for real pasture in a hen's diet.
Try an egg from our farm, the hens get up each morning by the sun (no artificial light), roam freely about their pasture. Their houses are moved to a new area each day. Their diet is supplemented with locally sourced grain. They snack on oyster shells at night to give their eggs a superb shell. And guess what...our eggs are not certified organic....But, they are the best eggs you ever tasted from the most well treated hens in Southern Illinois!
Give our eggs a try. You'll love 'em. The Mulkeytown Fresh Farm -- Our Hens are on Grass!