Member Spotlight: T.A. Farms Pivots for Thanksgiving

Date: November 18, 2020

NFIB member shifts to drive up and delivery service during the pandemic

The Palmer family, who has owned T.A. Farms in Wyoming, Delaware for 70 years, is making sure to get its fresh turkeys to customers as safely as possible this season. This NFIB member is offering drive-up service and delivery to homes all over the state in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Danny and Sandy Palmer, third-generation owners, now jointly own and run the business with their three grown children. Their son Justin oversees land operations where feed corn and a variety of grains grow. Their son Brian handles cattle breeding and beef operations, and their daughter Elizabeth does HR, marketing, sales, and the books. Each of them grew up in 4-H winning prize money and auctioning off their livestock to pay for college.

Elizabeth Carter, the Palmers’ daughter who manages a majority of the daily operations on the farm, says of their plans, “In an abundance of caution and to protect our customers, we recently opted to close our farm-based retail store because the holidays are a very busy time for sales of fresh turkey. In place of the retail store, customers call in their orders, schedule pick-ups, and drop by the farm to pick up their drive-up orders.”

The primary business of T.A. Farms is the sale of butchered meats including turkey, chicken, beef, poultry, and lamb. The farm’s store also sells jellies, jams, and more. The family also has a cattle insemination operation to produce livestock for its primary business, and on the side, they breed a strand of show cattle.

The Palmers breed, raise, and butcher their own livestock, they own all the needed farm equipment on-site, and they grow their own feed. At the beginning of the pandemic, following stay-at-home orders, T.A. Farms received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to help bridge the gap. The business recently completed the application for full loan forgiveness.

“Through the pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to avoid any supply chain issues because our business model is so self-reliant,” Elizabeth Carter said. “We’ve also seen some customers who want to avoid crowded grocery stores, come instead to us for their farm-to-table meats.”

Elizabeth added, “As the pandemic continues, we hope the government will approve legislation that limits COVID-19 liability for small businesses like ours who follow in good faith the required safety protocols to protect our customers and employees. We want our children to be able to carry on our family business’ tradition and we need lawmakers to support policies that allow small businesses to grow and succeed.”

As businesses like T.A. Farms navigate the ongoing health crisis and shifting consumer spending, NFIB is fighting for policies like COVID-19 liability protections, restoring the deductibility of PPP loan forgiven expenses, and a second, targeted round of PPP. Your members of Congress need to hear from you on these issues. Action alerts make it easy to send your legislators an email, with a draft message for you to send-as-is or personalize with your specific circumstances.

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