If you’ve been following the farm for a while you may have noticed that we have changed our name from “C/J Natural Meats“ to “Canal Junction Farm“ on things like our logo and this new website. Having been in this sector of the food economy since 1993, we have seen words like “natural,“ and even “organic“ lose some of their meaning over the years as they are adopted by big ag in an effort to retain their near-full market share. This co-option of language has made it difficult for small farmers like us, who were innovators and early adopters in the movement, to keep our messaging and businesses relevant. Additionally, as you probably know, we not only sell grass-fed meats, but also milk, specialty cheeses and bulk- and dry-goods.
Really, the change in name is more about simplifying our “brand,“ getting back to the basics. The “C/J” has always stood for Canal Junction, paying homage to the history and geography of our location. Our eastern property line is the middle of the old “Miami-Erie Canal“ that intersected the “Wabash-Erie“ about a mile North of the farm in the little hamlet of Junction; hence "Canal Junction.” These canals were built as a way to improve interstate commerce shortly before our family originally homesteaded the farm in the 1850’s; parts of them remain as visible landmarks throughout the region. Unlike the canals, which were abandoned after railroads and floods each did their part to damage the viability of a canal system, our farm has stood the test of time as each generation has sought to help it thrive and grow into something more.
Part of that growth that you will be seeing in the coming months is continued re-branding from “C/J Natural Meats“ to “Canal Junction Farm.“ We have new cheese labels that will be showing up on our raw milk cheeses that we make on farm. New signs will be going up on the roads to the farm. We’re prototyping some new products that we hope to release in the near future. And we’ll continue to haggle with Facebook to allow us to change our page name (seriously, if any of you have an inside connection, we really would love to get past their automated block). So, what is in a name? Plenty.