RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic is hitting close to home for Ozark Akerz (acres). When the organic Randolph County farm learned that three families living nearby were dealing with job loss due to the pandemic, they knew they had to help.
“In one way or another, we are all one accident or job loss away from needing this type of help and we have the means to be able to do that,” Mike Hansen said.
Mike and his wife Sue run Ozark Akerz. In reality, the animals are the ones in charge. The heritage chickens, turkeys and cattle are free to roam and eat a natural diet. Every week, Ozark Akerz donates and delivers three pounds of beef and about nine dozen eggs to three families. Hansen calls the effort “Feeding Families.”
“One of the problems of getting to a food pantry is you need gas and gas money,” Hansen said. “So the opportunity to have it delivered straight to the door was important to them.”
Hansen supplements the heritage chicken meals with non-soy organic feed. The feed comes with a price. To keep “Feeding Families” going, Hansen turned to another farm for help. Rachel Herrick not only operates Slow Farm in Moore County, but she also has another talent.
“We all have skills we can use to pull together and help each other get through these crazy times,” Herrick said. “My skill happens to be drawing a cow.”
Not just any ordinary cow but Rocky the bull. Rocky is a huge Pineywoods bull that freely roams and grazes in the pastures and woods of Ozark Akerz. Herrick used her marketing background to design a T-shirt that Ozark Akerz is using to raise funds for its “Feeding Families” effort.
“I think what’s really moving these shirts is the vision behind them. I love I got to do the graphics, but what matters is Mike and Sue’s vision and passion of feeding families,” Herrick said.
The goal is to sell enough T-shirts to keep “Feeding Families” going through the rest of the year. For more information about Ozark Akerz and how to help the farm feed families impacted by the pandemic, check out this website.