FM: Yeah they help. They do a lot of lobbying and one thing or another.
MC: Have they? Well (laughter) I don’t know where that question was going to go. Well have you ever considered changing your poultry operation to something else?
FM: Everyday (laughter). Yeah I have. I mean you are always looking for something better. I have thought about different things. I mean there’s all kinds of things being done in confinement. There’s farmers raising shrimp, there’s farmers raising catfish. There’s just all kind of stuff. But once you’re in the poultry business, it’s kind of hard to covert.
FM: Well I mean it’s going to cost you a lot of money. When you built poultry houses, you basically built those houses for poultry. And to convert them to something else, it’s, it’s just I haven’t seen anything that I would think would really be feasible.
MC: I see. Well as far as the poultry houses, I know you talked about this earlier, I don’t know if I am clear on it though. How did you, there were some here? I mean what is the progression of that you have built extra houses, like a little time line?
FM: Back probably in, let’s see, I would say that I’m going to guess it was probably in the 40’s my grandfather built a layer house for eggs. And that’s when you gathered the eggs by hand, you put them in cartons by hand and he used to go to town I think twice a week and take his eggs and there was a place you could sell them. You were basically independent. There was nobody that had these birds on contract like they do today.
MC: Where would he have, sorry to interrupt, so where would he have gotten his brids from, would he have kept some?
FM: No I doubt, no I don’t think he would have done that. I’m sure there was a place that you could have bought birds. You can still buy birds today. if you look in the back of some of these magazines, these little articles, poultry for sale. And you can buy poultry. A lot of the old order Mennonites raise their own chickens, just enough for their own eggs. They’ll have a place or a little chicken house and they’ll have ten or fifteen chickens just for their eggs and you can buy those birds.
MC: This is just out of curiosity, it struck me when you said that. Do they have, when someone such as an old order Mennonite has you know ten chickens or whatever for their own purposes, do they have to deal with any of the federal regulations or anything since Avian Flu and –
FM: That’s a gray area.
MC: - technically could –