Imagine if I could shake your hand, have a chat, and wish you a Merry Christmas in person. A few months ago, I set out to find some savings on the farm and decided to explore some options for our supplies. I wasn't feeling overly connected to our local feed store, and at the time, I didn't think much of it—why not look for the best price? After all, that's what matters, right?
When we first started in the sheep business, a friend named Carl helped us get going with necessary supplies and managing the sheep's nutritional needs. Well, I say friend, but I suppose on the day I met him, he walked onto the farm as a salesman. However, by the time he left, old Carl was my friend. Carl had been the local feed rep for over 35 years, and everyone in the business knew him. But Carl retired a few years ago, and there was no replacing him, not even an attempt. So, I ventured off for other opportunities. The new place has a salesman, but he's not my friend.
Fast forward to a few days ago, in the middle of morning chores, the dogs barked as a truck came up the farm lane. I didn't recognize the vehicle, but there he was—my friend, Carl. He had been pulled out of retirement to deliver Christmas cheer for the local farm store, and I was on the list. Carl gave me a nice Christmas ham, and the conversation began. I got right to the truth of the matter and let Carl know I had moved our business, for the most part, to another company. And why? Well, it wasn't specifically because Carl retired, but in reality, it was. I didn't consciously leave because he wasn't there to chat, but because he wasn't there, I didn't have that connection to stay. Carl stayed for at least half an hour to chat, and man, it was great. The most sincere, kindest man, I think I know.
At any rate, what's my point here? Well, sometimes I feel like the very essence of a hypocrite selling our lamb online without that face-to-face interaction. But this is just the method of the day, the reality of the times we live in. So yes, it's not lost on me, but that's why I write to you every week and respond to your replies, That's our connection.
So, hey, here I am, driving in your virtual lane, shaking your hand, having a chat, and wishing you a Merry Christmas.
Thanks for being a part of the farm.