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Local egg producers meeting demand for homegrown eggs during price spike

With egg prices up significantly, WDAY News reporter Kevin Wallevand headed out to the farms to see how those raising chickens are responding to the demand for their fresh, less expensive product.

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Ross Lockhart gathers eggs from his chickens near Gardner Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Ross and his wife, Amber, operate Heart and Soil Farm and sell many of their eggs to customers who order online from Moorhead's Red River Harvest Co-operative.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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GARDNER, N.D. — Ross Lockhart was up with the chickens Wednesday, Jan. 18, giving them a little morning snack.

"Here you go, you guys want some of this stuff?" Ross Lockhart asked his chickens as they arrived for a treat.

"So, it's nice to have these little recyclers out here because they'll eat all our veggie scraps and stuff like that. They turn into eggs, which I guess these days, are good as gold," Lockhart said.

The colorful birds had a pretty productive morning. With prices up and supply down, it's good thing.

"We like having them around, and having fresh eggs for ourselves, but with this surge in egg prices — usually where we price our eggs is where we can cover our costs and make a little bit, but now the grocery store eggs are just way more expensive than the eggs we're selling," Lockhart said.

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Egg lovers are turning to places like Lockhart's Heart and Soil Farm for homegrown eggs.

"That's really what we want to do is have something to sell to our local community," Lockhart said. "That's why we started this farm. That's really why we're in it."

Lockhart brought WDAY in the coop and sure enough, these 70 hens are turning out eggs

"We usually get about three to four dozen a day," Lockhart said.

To fill orders rolling in, the price is currently $6 per dozen.

"This batch, they have been laying eggs like crazy, and in spring they will reach their full potential," Lockhart said.

More from WDAY's Kevin Wallevand
Native American activist Leonard Peltier was convicted for his part in the deaths of two FBI agents in 1977 and is serving two consecutive life sentences.

The eggs from Lockhart's chickens end up in Moorhead at Red River Harvest Co-operative in Moorhead, and lately the eggs are going from the farm to the frying pan quickly.

"(Y)ou have the pricing issue with demand being so high and with the avian flu going around, people are looking for alternative ways and places to find their produce and eggs and so we're happy they are finding us," said Bjorn Solberg, the director of whole sale operations for Red River Harvest Cooperative.

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It will take the industry a while to catch up after so many chicken flocks were lost to disease . In the meantime, these hens are happy to supply the demand.

Anyone can order produce and eggs online year round from the Red River Harvest Cooperative in Moorhead at www.redriverharvest.com

Related Topics: KEVIN WALLEVAND
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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