We recently had the pleasure of meeting "Tater Man" (an alias he uses so he can work in the food industry and still give his unbiased reviews on restaurants and others in the same line of work) at a local Farm to School event. After discussing our mutual love of rice we invited him to the mill for a tour and were thrilled to learn he was inspired enough to blog about what he saw.
This is a repost of his blog.
We are honored.
The Ralston Family Farms
April 20, 2018
Friends, I come out of a blogging hibernation to bring you a post that I have been excited to write about for some time. I was first introduced to this family during a farm to school conference in Conway, AR. The sisters Jennifer and Ashley were there to represent their family farm and surround themselves with like minded folks looking to bridge the gap from farm to school. I was made aware that Arkansas ranks in the bottom 5 of the United States that is the least participative in the federal Farm to School initiative. After spending some wonderful time speaking to them that day I was astounded to learn that they were living and farming in Atkins, AR (my back yard), this was music to my rice loving ears. I had to know and see so much more.
Several weeks later we ended up being brought together at a round-table discussion looking to focus on ways to improve our Russellville and surrounding communities with more localized sustainable support. I left this meeting grinning ear to ear, just to spend that time with these leaders of our community discussing the very bright future for the Russellville School District, The greater Russellville and surrounding community farmers market as well as our Food 4 Kids efforts, was the best thing to happen this year. We have spent so much time as a nation traveling down the wrong road as designed by our ever growing food and grocery industry that somehow we have gotten ourselves to a point where farmers allover the country are struggling to support their very own homes and families. The agricultural industry cannot continue this way, we must see that the problem is not passed the point of no return but in fact very reversible.
To see a family who has realized that sustainability looks very different these days than it used to, is such a relief. They are a family dedicated to serving those around them and sowing the land around them. You can find this family’s story on their website www.ralstonfamilyfarms.com and view their wonderful rice. From what I understand they will have a few of their rice varieties in stores very soon and varieties available with your Blue Apron orders. I applaud you (Ralston family) and will continue to support you in every way possible for the sustainable future. Keep it up!