Farmer Melanie Fact One
Prior to starting this farm in 2004 (with 4 goats in my back yard), I had absolutely no farming experience whatsoever. I didn’t even have a pet when I was a child. I graduated in 2002 from the University of Alabama with a degree in American Studies, attended two years of law school (before deciding I didn’t want to live my life in .10ths of an hour), then spent the majority of my adult life as a paralegal. Everything I know about farming I learned from a family friend who has a dairy farm/cattle operation in Indiana, YouTube videos, a few courses I have taken, but mostly by screwing stuff up. I consider not having any prior experience an asset. It has taught me to seek teaching from every source possible, and has given me an insatiable need for knowledge.
Farmer Melanie Fact Two
I am Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified. You can learn more about the BQA certification program here. Basically, it is a course offered to cattle farmers that teaches the best cattle handling practices. Attending this course shows a farmer’s commitment to their animals and to their potential clients who will purchase the beef they sell. “Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry”, states the BQA website. “A large part of the beef industry’s job involves making sure that beef is safe and wholesome for consumers.” I couldn’t agree more. Should you choose to purchase beef directly from the farm, do not hesitate to ask the farmer if they are certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program.
I am also certified in Bovine Artificial Insemination, but that grosses most people out, so I won’t elaborate. Since I missed the boat in my 20s and got a history degree in college instead of a veterinarian degree, I’m trying my best to lean every way I can.
Farmer Melanie Fact Three
I am a beekeeper, but I don’t like honey. Crazy, huh? There is something calming about standing in my little bee yard with bees buzzing all around me. Once you figure out that bees are not out to get you, they are just doing their job buzzing about, it takes all of the terror out of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been stung. I take that chance every time I open the hives. But when you figure out what sets them off and what not to do, it makes it a whole lot easier to stand there with them flying all around.
I have four honeybee hives, but I intend to have lots more. My dream is to grow my honeybee operation to about 20 hives. While I don’t like honey, I do like the fact that I am doing my part to help out the honeybee population that has seen a decline for several years. I love seeing my friends and family enjoying the honey I harvest, and I like making crafts with the beeswax.
Farmer Melanie Fact Four
My website might be SHEfarmsBama, but this farm is much more than just me. My husband and I are partners in crime in this venture. Although he is there with me every step of the way, he despises everything related to social media and the internet. Therefore, I go out of my way to make sure he is not in any pictures I post and that I keep from mentioning him in my articles. With the exception of this one. Which I am sure I will hear from him about. That is, if he ever figures out how to enter the web address of this blog. (Haha! Just kidding, honey!)
Farmer Melanie Fact Five
Lastly, I am passionate about my animals. To hear certain animal rights groups talk about bad farmers out there who dope up their animals with growth hormones in an effort to scare you, the consumer, well, it just breaks my heart. There are a lot of debatable issues there that I’m just not willing to get in to, however, I assure you, no small cattle farmer is going to intentionally harm his/her animal. These animals are expensive, and their health and survival is directly related to my family’s survival. I harvest these cows for my own family to eat. Therefore, you can rest assured that the beef you may purchase from me has been treated as if I am going to feed it to my own family.
Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself. If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign up for our email newsletter below. We let our subscribers know first when we have honey and beef inventory available, as well as offer coupon codes and exclusive deals to those who sign up!
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