This Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2013, I’m proud to know Daniel Hromas. I’ve never met a tough-guy who pampers his chickens so much.
Hromas, a disabled Marine Corps and Army Veteran, talks about his fuzzy, newly hatched laying hens like a proud papa. His egg business, Prairie Pride Poultry Inc (where happy hens lay healthy eggs) is located just outside York, Nebraska. Prairie Pride Poultry grows farm fresh eggs, laid by free-range hens raised on pasture. Hromas will market directly to consumers via internet farmer's markets and on-farm sales in addition to starting a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), providing home delivery of eggs.
Farming is in Hromas' blood. He was born on a diversified family farm near Minot, North Dakota, but grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, before starting his military career. He is a Marine Corps and Army Veteran and currently serves in the Nebraska Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in late 2006 and served one year there.
Hromas called me about a year ago, explaining his farm dream of growing high-quality eggs, laid by happy hens and sold directly to families, restaurants, and grocery stores. I gave him a long list of resources and folks he should talk to. He eventually found land to lease through networking with Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society members Everett and Ruth of Common Goods Farm. He completed a market analysis and wrote a business plan with assistance from the Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation. He was also approved for a Microloan from the Farm Service Agency and awarded a grant from The Abilities Fund.
At the end of August, Daniel received a peeping box full of his first 300 laying hens. He now has 600 hens and plans to start selling eggs this spring. If you live in Nebraska, you should watch for Prairie Pride Poultry eggs at your grocery store or buy directly from Daniel. If you live elsewhere, seek out a veteran who grows high-quality, healthy food. It’s patriotic!
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