Thundering Hooves Go Silent

By March 18, 2011Industry News, Local News

In December of last year, Terra Organics implemented significant changes to our ordering system by creating a webstore that allows our customers to easily manage their orders and delivery schedules. We are still in the process of adapting our packing and ordering systems, and adjusting our daily operating procedures to accommodate the enormous increase in customized orders that come in each week.

We would be honored and grateful if you would share your opinions regarding your Terra Organics experience, and how our new system is working for you by taking our New Year Evaluation Survey. The survey will take no more than 10 minutes of your time, and will be available for you to complete through March 31, 2011. By taking the survey you will be eligible to win a $100 credit to your Terra Organics account.  We thank you in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

Click here to take the survey!

News of the demise of Thundering Hooves, an organic, grass-fed beef ranch in Walla Walla, was received with equal parts sadness and disbelief.  Joel Huseby was a model spokesman for the organic movement and his family’s cattle-raising/beef-processing/self-distribution model was the real deal.  And when Joel unveiled his abbatoir (a 53 foot semi-truck trailer converted into a meat processing unit) in May of 2007, there was no reason to doubt that he would successfully build lots of them and ship them around the country as he intended to do.  The consolidation in the meat industry had left small to mid-size farmers without a network of USDA certified processing facilities and Joel had a great solution that was being replicated across the country, including right here in Pierce County.

When times were good it seemed that everywhere I turned there was another story about Joel or another restaurant featuring his steaks or burgers.  And why not?  They had great beef, they had a great story, and they were pioneers in all aspects of the good food movement.

I know Joel from our time spent on the Tilth Producers of Washington Board together.  He was an early mentor and, though I haven’t talked to him in a couple of years, he was a good businessman and an eternal optimist.  Only those close to him know the details of the closure of the business, but I have my thoughts about it and, the truth is, it hits too close to home.

It’s been said that a contributing factor to them going out of business was too rapid expansion.  It wasn’t the growth of the business that happened too quickly, in my opinion, but the contraction they experienced over the last three years amidst the recession.  Expensive, organic meat is surely one of the first things a household is going to eliminate when cutting back on spending.

But an organic farmer can’t switch to non-organic grass to feed his cows when the rest of the marketplace adjusts.  Sure, every business has to adapt to a weaker economy.  But it just doesn’t seem fair when you are talking about a small, organic meat business, already up against powerful, entrenched interests, suffering a fatal blow because of a short-term demand problem.

The point is, the good food movement couldn’t afford to lose Thundering Hooves and, as much as we’d like to think that the producers we love are here to stay, it’s a lot more uncertain than that.  This is why it’s extremely gratifying for us to receive your continued support, week in and week out. Because without it, it would be a very uncertain future indeed.

We sincerely thank you.

A few of the great fruits and vegetables for next week:

  • Local Kale Raab from Springhill Farms in Albany, OR
  • Ataulfo Mangoes at $1.50 each
  • Nantes Carrots from T & D Willey, CA
  • CA-grown Asparagus at $3.75 per 1/2 lb
  • 8-oz Strawberries at $3.00 per clamshell

Below is a preview of the standard box contents for next week.

If you have an order scheduled for this upcoming week, you will receive an email Saturday morning at 2am notifying you that the web store has been opened.

If you need to make any changes to your subscription, schedule a vacation or make a payment, please

click here


The Terra Organics Team

Author Terra

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