Here in Caswell County is a group of successful businessmen that have retired from their ‘real jobs’ and are now involved in farming...but not your typical row crop type of farming. These individuals had connections with farms in Caswell and have returned here to farm the land and to build an organization to help out others that may be just getting their start with living off the land.
Having established the organization as a 501c (3), the group was able to commission a feasibility study that was released in 2018. From the findings PPFG is moving forward with building their coop with concrete recommendations for a phased development. Beginning with their already successful egg production, the process is being fine-tuned prior to moving into aggregation of other local foods. Currently PPFG provides weekly egg quality testing and washing service to area egg producers that deliver their eggs to their farm location.
These eggs are then packaged, labeled with the PPFG logo and bar codes and then sold to designated markets outside of Caswell County. Participating in the group requires farmer members and suppliers to follow PPFG advocated practices in order to build a consistent and quality brand. These practices guarantee a higher quality end product and command a higher price in the marketplace thus the participating farmers are earning more.
The future of PPFG is looking bright as other developments are moving forward in the county. With the promise of the Piedmont Community College CEAD (Center of Education and Agricultural Development) project, PPFG hopes to secure space to further build the egg aggregation and expand into other produce and local food aggregation services for area farmers.
Because the Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group has a social and educational mission to improve the economic conditions of disadvantages farmers in the region, they seek partnerships with others in the area with similar goals to avoid duplication and use resources efficiently. Earlier this month the organization hosted their annual Farm Day at their location on Turner Road where a variety of organizations from across the state convened to share farming best practices. For more details, visit their website at ppfgco-op.com.
As published in The Caswell Messenger - Ag Chat October 21, 2019
Written by AC Hodges