Farmers Paying it Forward with Pizza

 Editors note: a Facebook event has been created, please join if you are participating

Download a thank you note to give to Domino’s when you order a pizza whether if you are a farmer or an ag supporter.

When my car doesn’t run right, I don’t call the salesman who sold it to me. Instead I call the expert, my mechanic, to guide me in the care and maintenance of my car.  My car salesman may know a lot about my car, but it doesn’t mean he knows how my car was built or why it might be sputtering along like a lost turtle.  On the other hand, I trust my mechanic to fix my car because that is what he does each day; he is the expert in repairing cars.   Each of these individuals is great at their job but it doesn’t mean they can automatically do the other’s job.

Chris and Kevin Chinn caring for newborn pigs

Chris and Kevin Chinn caring for newborn pigs

Our family has been raising livestock for five generations.  It’s a tradition we are proud of, and we hope our children will have the opportunity to follow in our path one day.  Our animals rely on us seven days a week to care for them. We do this no matter what hour of the day it is or what day of the week it may be.  Animal care is a top priority for our family, that’s why we rely on the expert advice of our veterinarian, nutritionist and other animal experts when it comes to the daily care we give our hogs and cattle.  We use gestation stalls on our farm to protect our sows during their pregnancy from bully sows.  The stalls also allow us to monitor feed intake of each individual sow and we can tailor their nutrition needs individually.  If a sow isn’t eating, we know it right away and we can prevent problems from occurring.  We also are able to give each sow individual hands on care daily by using the stalls.   I can tell you for a fact that our animals are well cared for, content and comfortable. Until the animal experts we work with tell us there is a better way, we will continue to protect and care for our sows in this way.

I was so encouraged to hear that the stockholders of Domino’s Pizza share my stand on animal care. The company announced that it  would rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food.  As a farmer, I respect Domino’s for its common sense decision and for trusting the experts in animal care.

I appreciate Domino’s  respect for our veterinarians, nutritionists and animal scientists.  These are the same experts our family relies on for animal care.  Our veterinarian and nutritionist are not just experts on animal care, they are a part of our family farm management team and they are like family to us.  That’s how closely we work with them; they know the nuts and bolts of our farm and family and they help us customize the care we give our livestock.  Every farm is different, just as every person and breed of animal are different.

Domino’s decision speaks volumes to me as a farmer.  It shows they trust the experts I trust.  It shows they trust me. I appreciate that.

Domino’s trust also shows me that the pizza company does not want to force regulations on farmers that may not achieve their desired outcome.  There is already a lot of consolidation in the number of hog farmers in America, and perhaps the sector declining the most is the  number of independent hog farmers. We own our facilities and our animals. We have a big stake in the success of our business and in the happiness of those who buy pork from us.  Mandating unrealistic time lines on family farmers regarding the animal care methods they choose could force more hog farmers out of business.  I know that is not the goal of any company but the unintended consequences of these decisions can have a big impact to family farms like mine.

Members of my family, especially my kids, love pizza just about as much as they love farming.  I think the next time we decide to have pizza, I’m going to show a little love back. I am going to buy a Domino’s pizza. For me, this means driving 45 minutes out of my way but I think it’s worth it to support a company that supports me. And it gives a vote of support to a company that leaves important decisions like animal care up to the experts!

While I’m at it, I think I will write a note to the local manager thanking his company for their decision.  You can show your support for Domino’s too. During the weekend of May 18-20 many farmers and ranchers I know will be voting with their checkbooks by buying Domino’s pizza for their families as a sign of our appreciation.

Thank you Dominoes, for supporting our farm and ranch families.

Chris Chinn and her husband, Kevin are 5th generation farmers. They live on their family hog farm in Missouri with their two children. Their dream is for their children to have the opportunity be the 6th generation of farmers in our family.

Web site: http://chrischinn.wordpress.com Twitter: chrischinn

22 comments

  1. Warren says:

    Excellent piece Chris, you captured not just the message, but the reasons behind it. Thanks to Domino’s as well. I’ll be having Domino’s the weekend of the 19th, also before and after!

  2. Deena says:

    Once again, great job Chris. Well written article. I’ll be having Domino’s pizza now. Thank you for standing up for agriculture.

  3. Caryl Velisek says:

    Excellent article. I live near Baltimore and Washington, D.C. where my husband managed a 3,000 head beef feedlot and we had a small Angus herd for many years. Maryland is a big farming state but it is also home to millions of people who have a complete disconnect from the people who raise their food and how they need to do it. PETA also has their office nearby. We have raised cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens. The Eastern Shore of my state is big chicken country and they are prey to the so-called animal rights people as well as the Save The Bay groups, most of whom have false information about agriculture’s affect on our environment. Farmers are so efficient and so good at what they do, there are too few to have much of a voice anymore. I applaud you and also Dominos but there is so much more that needs to be done before we lose all the wonderful, hard working, energetic people who raise our food because of regulation, adverse publicity and mis-information. As an ag reporter, I preach mainly to the choir. Thank you for all you and others like you do to keep ag viable in this great country of ours.

  4. Jonathan Gilbert says:

    Blah blah blah. The consumer demands the eend of abusive farm prafctices such as gestation crates, veal crates, battery cages etc. Sooner, rather than later,Dominos will go the same way.

  5. [...] In a recent post  on Just Farmers a Missouri hog farmer, Chris Chinn, put forth the idea that we in agriculture reward companies like Dominoes for doing the right thing. [...]

  6. [...] Missouri hog farmer and agvocate  Chris Chinn put forth the idea last week in a blog post she wrote for Just Farmers. [...]

  7. [...] a post published by the “Just Farmers” blog, Chinn reiterated that her family uses the crates to protect sows from other hogs and to [...]

  8. Great post. I’ve shared it.

  9. Sharon Barnes says:

    Chris – Great article!!! Will ONLY order Domino’s pizza from this day forward. It is encouraging to know that not everyone is “fooled” into believing the falsehoods that are told about farmers and the way they raise their animals. Keep up the good work!!

  10. [...] Missouri hog farmer and agvocate  Chris Chinnput forth the idea last week in a blog post she wrote for Just Farmers. [...]

  11. [...] not succumbed to the pressure of HSUS and their targeted mission against modern animal agriculture. One of my favorite bloggers has this to say about Domino’s: I was so encouraged to hear that the stockholders of [...]

  12. [...] has pleased pork farmers like Chris Chinn published a blog piece expressing her approval. Emphasizing farmers’ use of crates for protection, she hailed [...]

  13. T Fuqua says:

    remember Dominos this weekend !

  14. T Fuqua says:

    remeber our representitives can be voted in our out.

  15. [...] of Domino’s Pizza share her stand on animal care that she launched a grassroots movement on the Just Farmers blog. “As a farmer, I respect Domino’s for its common sense decision and for trusting the [...]

  16. [...] in fact, I read it on a blog. Here’s an excerpt but you may want to go straight to Farmers Paying It Forward With Pizza: I was so encouraged to hear that the stockholders of Domino’s Pizza share my stand on animal [...]

  17. Regina says:

    Chris – Excellent artical (encouraged to hear that the stockholders of Domino’s Pizza share my stand on animal care. The company announced that it would rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food. As a farmer, I respect Domino’s for its common sense decision and for trusting the experts in animal care.)

    Go Domino’s! Love the Common Sense approach! What a great Idea!
    I am not a hog farmer….I am an HR Mgr and “even” I know how Pigs act on a farm with out being managed. I guess some folks (I won’t mention any other Fast Food Chains) prefer the pigs fight for dominance, get what food they can fight for and eat their piglets.

    Interesting!!!! Again – my hat is off to Domino’s!

  18. [...] hog farmer and agvocate Chris Chinn put forth the idea last week in a blog post she wrote for Just [...]

  19. [...] Recently, when presented with a proposal from HSUS (Humane Society of the United States, not the same as your local animal shelter) to ban gestation crates in pig barns, the board members of Domino’s said no. Instead they said that they would reach out to the folks that produce their ingredients the farmers and ranchers across the country and ask them what the best management practices are. Why would they do that when so many other companies have gone along with the demands of a very vocal group? Because they count the folks that work with the animals everyday as experts. So tonight we had Dominos. A little pepperoni, mushroom and pineapple action on hub’s Domino pizza. I am a sucker for veggie pizza so I tried the Pacific Veggie Pizza, with extra mushrooms. It came with feta, provolone, roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, black olives and of course mushrooms and the crust has a nice dusting of parmesan cheese. [...]

  20. [...] written about my thoughts on Chipotle, McDonalds, Dominos, and other restaurants who choose to take a stance on animal issues at the begging of HSUS. (Issues [...]

  21. You going an awesome work for pigs for such a long period of time…5 years. good Going.

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