I read something the other day that said, “Dear 2020, let me out. I will walk.” Haha! I know, right?! Lawd, what a year this has been.
We have all felt the struggles and full-on-come-aparts this year, but hopefully we’ve all experienced the occasional moment of gratitude or joy. While the challenges have been many in 2020, we are about to enter a season of gratitude. And I know that I have much to be thankful for, no matter how bat-poo crazy the world seems! Can I get an “Amen” for the fact that the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West?
In all seriousness, one of the many things I am thankful for is YOU! Even in the hardest times of navigating a fragile food system in chaos during a pandemic, you stood by the family farm and gave Moink the honor of participating in your family meals. For that, I thank you. Both for supporting our business and making a very real and immensely profound impact on so many lives.
Look, as the American family farm has declined, so has rural America. In the days of my youth, our small town had a grocery store, a hardware store, a tire shop and a liquor store. Now they are all gone. Even the liquor store couldn’t withstand the tides of change!
So as stores and services decrease in rural America, poverty increases and darkness creeps in when life is unaffordable. Things like drug use, mental health issues and crime are on the rise as employment opportunities dwindle and the fabric of rural America frays.
Many fled rural America, but Moink stayed. We set up our operations in the middle of nowhere for a reason…to be the change we wish to see in this world. We want to revive rural America by supporting family farms and creating jobs. The Moink warehouse is in a town of 97 people and when you look out the back door, you see fields for miles. If you were to spend a day there, you would probably think we’re weird. Because, well, we are! Moink misfits? Absolutely. Broken? Maybe, but isn’t everybody in some way?
Spend the day with us and you will see respect, kindness and the constant celebration of small wins and a dedication to a job well done. Moink began as a small, family-run business. As we grow and add employees, they become family. For this reason, we host a “family meeting” each morning and the first thing I ask for is good news.
Not good “business” news. I want to hear down-home, personal good news from everyone in the Moink family, every single day. To most people, these individual and private stories may seem insignificant. But to our merry gang of misfits, we celebrate these positive tidbits with gusto! Because at Moink, we believe a job is not just a paycheck. It is a source of light in the darkness that provides dignity and self-esteem. And that is way more important than how many boxes of meat we sell or how fast we pack them.
At the Moink warehouse, every employee is valued, appreciated and dare I say, loved. No matter what and regardless of their backstory. We always look forward and take time to recognize the encouraging parts of our collective lives, such as these:
- “I’m seven years clean.”
- “My baby cut two teeth!”
- “I no longer live in a camper without running water because I have an apartment!”
- “I’m three months clean and sober and resolved my court issues.”
- “My toddler is now potty trained. Woohoo!”
- “My bank account is no longer overdrawn.”
- “I’m six months sober and get to see my children more often now.”
Know that as Moink customers, you stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we fight for the family farm. And as part of the extended Moink family, you also help create jobs and provide opportunities for people in tiny towns near our warehouse. For that, I am grateful because your purchases pay their wages and in turn, generate the good news that creates such a strong sense of belonging for our folks.
Fighting for the family farm and standing for rural America is very personal to me because I am the girl that beat the odds. Statistically, there is no way that I should be where I am today. I was raised in poverty right here in rural America, lost a parent at a young age and dropped out of high school. If you look at society’s statistics, my life trajectory should have gone in the opposite direction.
Why didn’t it? Because along my broken road, many people offered me dignity, respect and opportunity. It is said that “to much that is given, much is expected” and that is a founding principle at Moink. We treat our farmers, co-workers, family and customers with the utmost respect. We create change in rural America because we live, love and labor here. We fight for the family farm and strive to feed America with quality meat. But none of this would be possible without your steadfast support. So, on behalf of the Moink misfits, family farmers everywhere and straight from my heart, THANK YOU for being a Moink-er and making a positive impact on family farms and rural America.
Long live the family farm and rural America,