I interviewed Jon Flyer to get his take on farming. This man has been a farmer for just a short amount of time. Most farmers were raised in the ranching business whereas Jon decided to pick it up when moving to Humboldt County from Los Angeles. They claim that they have too many animals to truly give them proper attention, so it seems that they should not be able to have as many animals as they do. Interviewing this small town farmer will give us a view of what it's like being a new local farmer vs a factory farmer, who hold the stereotypes of being inhumane and not giving proper care to their animals.
How long have you owned your ranch?
We bought this december 28th 2007
Why did you decide to buy your property and become a rancher?
Because I feel that people have lost touch with how to survive without modern conveniences. I felt I had nothing left to teach my children because I’m a trained burac.
What is your favorite part about being a rancher?
Seeing newborn cows, teaching my family, and learning with y family. Fresh eggs, yummm.
Have you ever had an incident that worried you with the health of your animals?
Everyday. Because I don't know enough. If the cows look at me sideways I think something's wrong with them. I think the worst one was when they had to pull the dead calf out in pieces; that was gross.
How would you describe your relationship with your animals?
I think were partners, they grow, I eat… them. We’re partners. But we treat the mama cows very good and care for our bees, I do think the horses are a waste though. But we are partners. I need them and they need me
What animals do you raise and how do you benefit from them?
We raise cows right now, we run cow calf beef combo. It's a beef operation, so we sell steers and bees make our honey. We have our chickens that lay their eggs and we eat them.
Have you had animals that you've gotten rid of? Why?
We have raised sheep, but they were a lot of work and really stupid. A lot of maintenance needed with no buck for the bang. Goats are too smart, they're great escape artist and I was tired of chasing them around. Pigs were also too smart. I just couldn't look them in their eye because they were being raised for meat.
Have you had a unforgettable moment that changed the way you thought, or felt about the animals you care for?
I’ve had a few of those. Seeing a cow from birth to taking it to the slaughter yard is very hard for me. Also, slaughtering our meat birds. I do the killing, and looking them in their eyes when they're choking on their own blood is very hard. Also when the white flies attack my beautiful vegetable garden, it drives me crazy.