I've been asked by folk outside of my normal "crunchy" community, "why would people buy your farm products if you're not certified organic when they can get organic products at Walmart or the supermarket?"
That's a perfectly legitimate question and actually reminds me to put myself in an average consumers shoes. Most of the folks I spend time with are other small farmers or conservation minded people like me (AKA "crunchy") and I forget that not everyone subscribes to Mother Earth News or has slowfoodusa.org bookmarked.
It's true, I'm not certified organic. The fact is, it would cost me nearly $1000 for that certification and I will never, ever sell enough surplus to justify the cost of a buzz-word endorsement from the USDA.
I raise my animals primarily for my own consumption and enjoyment (I love those silly birds!). I was tired of not knowing what, when and where my food was coming from and it doesn't get more local than my own backyard. I only sell a portion of what I raise in an effort to provide my friends and neighbors with wholesome food and hopefully to offset my management cost a little. Raising 20 vs raising 40 roasters is just about the same amount of work. Honestly, I make no profit at all on my little side business, especially since I charge less than the big corporate organics. My sole profit is knowing I'm doing the right thing for me, the animals I raise, and by spreading that out a tiny bit within my own community by selling at a wholesale price. And my local demand still outpaces - by a wide margin - my ability to produce on my small scale (it's a one-woman show, for goodness sake).
Here's why other small, local farms and I have loyal customers: "Organic" in corporate agribusiness is a big.. fat.. lie.