Marview Farms – From Cuba to the American Dream

Farmer and Wife on Farm

Fernando and Margarita Mendez

Fernando Mendez was born in Cuba during the Communist regime of Fidel Castro. Before Castro, Fernando’s father owned a small farm and grocery store. The store was attached to their home. There was an entrance to the store from Fernando’s room.

In the days before Castro, that door served as the interior entrance to the store were the community came to shop, visit, talk about family, and solve the problems of the world. Castro seized the store, the farm and everything in it and made it a place for Communist activity in their home quarters.

In close eye view from the farm, the Cuban government built barracks to house Russian soldiers. Fernando remembered that his father would hide him when the soldiers were outside. “They were lawless and could do whatever they wanted,” Fernando said.

Fernando’s father was devastated with the the theft of the farm, the store that he worked so hard to build, and having Communists operating in his own home. He made the decision that he had to get out of Cuba before something worse happened.

Until 1971, there were freedom flights from Cuba to the United States. If a family in the United States agreed to sponsor a family from Cuba, they were allowed to emigrate to the United States.

Fortunately for Fernando, his father had a brother in the United States. Cuba was willing to let his father leave immediately if he went unaccompanied.

Fernando’s father was not going to leave Cuba without his family. In order for family units to leave Cuba, the Cuban government demanded that the head of the family work for free in a labor camp for a year.

Fernando’s father did his year in the labor camp, keeping his heart focused on gaining freedom in America for his loved ones. In 1968 when his year was done, he got on a plane with his family, and left his home and all belongings in Cuba for an uncharted journey to America guided by the confidence of liberty and the American dream.

Fernando’s father went into the construction business and built a home on 1.25 acres of land. It was in this humble home that Fernando began his agricultural journey as a young boy raising chickens, horses, turkeys, guineas, cows, and dogs.

Fernando married, Margarita, his high school sweetheart and started a roofing and construction business. He was making a living in construction but his dream was to own a farm. They were blessed with three daughters. As their family grew, so did his business.

At the age of 28, Fernando received shocking news. Doctors discovered a cancerous sarcoma in his left thigh. He had surgery and treatments to fight the cancer into remission.

Instead of throwing him into a pit of despair and defeat, the cancer created a drive in him to learn more about how foods are produced. This added a new dimension to his dream of farming.

Fernando wanted to go into farming because he loved animals. Now he also wanted to farm in order to grow food based on the natural way that God designed.

At the age of 47, Fernando turned his construction business over to one of his children to run and poured his life savings into his life-long dream to become a farmer. He and his wife prayed for guidance and he said that God led them to buy a farm in Crisp County, Georgia. The name of the farm is Marview, from his wife’s name, Margarita, and the beautiful view they see every day.

On his 900 acre farm, Fernando raises Devon, grass finished beef, pastured pork, pastured lamb, pastured goat, pastured chickens, and pastured eggs. Over the years he has trained his animals to move from section to section of his farm to graze. Fernando says that his animals do the work.

Woman buying eggs from Marview Farms

He sells his meats from the animals that are organically born and raised on his farm. He is at the International City Farmer’s Market in Warner Robins every Thursday. He also has a route that goes across Southeast Georgia all the way down to Miami, Florida. His customers place their orders on line and meet him at designated times for him to deliver.

At the recent Farmer’s Appreciation Banquet in Crisp County, Marview Farms received the Innovator of the Year Award. Fernando’s goal is that Marview Farms be as self-reliant as possible and maintain his unique approach to farming.

Marview Farms holds several certifications including American Grassfed Association (Certified), and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black’s highly successful Georgia Grown certification.

Fernando’s life was shaped and molded through the challenges that both he and his family faced. He has a deep appreciation for freedom and the American Dream.

Fernando and Margarita work hard and serve their customers with the highest commitment to quality and service. Marview Farms is a glowing example that the American Dream still lives today.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

 






Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

President Trump Played the Hand He Was Dealt

I have seen many posts and commentaries critical of the President for signing the Omnibus spending bill into law. I do not think that there was anything more that he could gain by vetoing the bill.

His top priority was to rebuild our nation’s military after nearly a decade of neglect. This bill took a big step in that direction.

Other initiatives such as building the wall, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reforms in the Veteran’s Administration were passed over by Congress. It is neither reasonable nor realistic to believe that Congress would have improved any of these other initiatives.

Republicans control both the House and Senate. It does not appear that they put up much of a fight in the bill that they gave the President. If they did not have his back at the beginning, he certainly could not expect them to have his back to support a veto.

It took a fork lift to deliver the 2200 page bill to the President. When it arrived at the Whitehouse, he looked down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. All he could see were taxi cabs and Uber cars with members of Congress scrambling to get to the airport.

Congress is supposed to pass a budget and the President sign it before October 1 of each year. When they do not have their act together in time, they merely pass a short term extension.

For this year they extended through December 8, then December 22, then January 19, then February 8, then March 23. I count five times they kicked the can down the road. There is no evidence that anything substantive took place during those temporary extensions.

Here is the real ugly truth. The 2200 pages were churned out by lobbyists and congressional staffers who then packaged it up for a handful of elected members of Congress.

Those few members, from both parties, then push it out to the rest of the members giving little or no time for debate, much less time to read it. This is all under a cloud of imminent disaster if it is not passed by the deadline – which by then is literally hours away.

Georgia Senator David Perdue is on a lonely crusade to change the budget process. Along the way he has built support for his ideas. Congress even established a joint study committee to consider changes in the budget process.

We are now 6 months away from the next budget being due. Maybe I should more correctly say that we are six months away from the next season of kick the can.

Republicans in Congress need to stand up for the agenda on which they have been running and getting elected. Fund the wall, defund Planned Parenthood, and reduce the size of government.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required







Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Two WWII Vets Reminisce

Two WWII Vets talking and eating soup

Robert Cole (l) & Billy Forrest (r)

These two veterans of World War II are enjoying a bowl of homemade vegetable soup and talking about their Army days. They might not be alive today had it not been for an historic decision made by President Harry Truman.

As WWII was coming to a close on the European front, attention turned to the Pacific and Japan. Among options available, a massive invasion of Japan similar to Normandy was on the table.

There was a big difference in Normandy and Japan. Normandy was in France, a nation occupied by the German army. Japan was not an occupied nation.

An invasion of Japan would have been an invasion of the homeland of a people who had already demonstrated a willingness, even desire, to heroically die for their country. Normandy would have been a small skirmish contrasted to the American lives that would be lost in an invasion of Japan.

Another option was a secret weapon that was ready for deployment. This weapon would reign destruction and terror of such a magnitude that the Japanese might choose to surrender. President Truman decided to use the new weapon.

On August 6, 1945 the first atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. Sixteen hours later, President Truman called for Japan’s unconditional surrender or, “expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”

The Japanese leaders fiercely debated among themselves about continuing the fight for favorable conditions of cease fire or accepting the American demands. On the evening of August 8, the Soviet Union broke their neutrality treaty with Japan and declared war. Shortly after midnight August 9, the Soviets moved into Manchuria.

Later that day, the Americans dropped the 2nd atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Japanese Emporor Hirohito had enough and ordered the Japanese to accept unconditional surrender. He gave a radio address announcing the surrender on August 15.  On August 28, 1945, the Americans began the occupation and rebuilding of Japan.

Robert Cole and Billy Forrest were both draftees from Georgia. They were both sent to Japan as part of the American occupation at the end of the war. They were both assigned to the Signal Corp.

73 years later, they met each other for the first time. They compared notes and found out that both had been deployed to Japan immediately following the Japanese surrender.  Both were in the Signal Corp. Both recall going through a terrible storm on the way to Japan. They concluded that they might have been on the same ship.

They served in different locations in Japan. Instead of fighting the Japanese, they made friends with them and helped rebuild the nation. They were in Japan for about a year before being sent home and receiving their honorable discharges.

Robert Cole married and had two children. One of them was me.  Billy Forrest was already married when he was drafted but he and his wife never had children. Both of these men are now in their 90’s.

They have lived productive lives and impacted the lives of thousands. Billy became a pastor, plays the guitar and sings. He still preaches or pulls out his guitar and sings on ocassion today. Robert applied his Signal Corp training to work at Robins Air Force Base where he retired working in Foreign Weapons Sales. Today he loves to cook and design and build models from scratch.

I may write more about these men later. Both have a great story to tell.

These two men, along with thousands of other young Americans, could have easily been casualties on a Japanese beach in the Pacific Ocean. Billy Forrest could have left a widow back in Georgia. Instead, they were young Americans who befriended former enemies and helped to rebuild a new allied nation of Japan.

Personally, I am thankful that President Truman chose the nuclear option. My prayer is that we never have to use that option again. I also pray for the wisdom of courage of every American President who may have to weigh that decision and use it if necessary.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

 






 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Rest for Those Who Never Get It

Megan’s House is a place to offer rest for those who never get it. Let me tell you about it.

The birth of a child is a miracle that the word “awesome” does not begin to describe. A mother and father hold this new member of the world community and dream of the future for their precious child.

They dream of Little League, dance recitals, schooling, college, romance, career, and a host of other life events. Parents wonder what this little baby is going to be like. They imagine how their own parents may have felt when they came into the world and dream ahead for the one they now hold in their arms.

Then, they learn that this wonderful little person has a disability. Perhaps they get the news at birth or before. For some it may be months later. Whenever they learn it, their world changes and it changes radically.

At first there may be a shock of disbelief. They pray that there must be a mistake. Maybe the records got mixed up. Then there is a grasp of hope for a cure, a medical breakthrough that will bring everything back to “normal.”

Every newborn requires a lot of care. The average family with a healthy child knows that there will be sleepless nights. Feeding, changing diapers, and walking the floor with baby in arms in the midnight hours is tiresome and weary. The schedule is tiring but as the baby grows, parents know that things will get back to “normal.”

Parents of a child with a disability adjust to a new “normal.” That new normal carries with it a new perspective on life itself.

Parents of a child with a developmental disability will follow a new path in life. In many ways that new path will bring with it joy that they never could have imagined. That path brings a greater empathy and compassion for others.

That new path also brings with it a constant and overwhelming demand on resources – physical and emotional. A community cannot have enough bake sales, pork chop dinners, car washes, love offerings, and fund raisers to meet the costly needs.

The demand never ends. Don’t let that slip by you. It never ends – ever.

This is where Megan’s House steps in. Megan’s House is a program of Easter Seals of Southern Georgia that provides respite care for families with a child with developmental disabilities or who may be considered medically fragile.

The first home was in Albany and now there is a Megan’s House in Valdosta and Waycross. Easter Seals of Southern Georgia just opened their new Megan’s House that will accommodate up to four children at one time.

This linked video is two minutes. This will be a worthwhile investment of your time.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

 






Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

The State of the Union

I look forward to hearing President Trump’s State of the Union Message tomorrow evening. We will hear him focus on how we have advanced as a nation in the past year.

The last President was going around the world apologizing to other nations for America. Contrast that to President Trump who is unapologetically proud of America. The differences are as stark as the dense darkness in the depths of Mammoth Cave to high noon in the Sahara desert.

From his first visit to Saudi Arabia where he confronted Muslim terrorism in its own back yard to Warsaw where he boldly proclaimed Western Judeao-Christian values that are the foundation for freedom.

Just last week in Lavos, he promoted America First and clearly explained that America First does not mean America alone.  He made economics simple by pointing out that a strong American economy is good for the whole world.

The stock market hits new records highs on a weekly basis. When it passed 25,000, President Trump said it looks like 30,000 is our next goal.

I expect him to talk about his plan for investment in infrastructure. He will discuss his plan for Immigration.  He offered a proposal to the Democrats for the Dreamers that is bi-partisan.

He stood firm when Democrats shut down the government to allow some illegal immigrants to stay. His proposal now doubles the number of illegal immigrants who would be allowed to stay and have a path to become citizens.

The mainstream media has focused on matters that don’t matter to the average American. It has become nauseatingly comical. President Trump will address the things that do matter.  It is not just talk. It is action and millions of Americans are seeing it now, even in their own paychecks.

This will be an important address. I will be watching. I hope that you will too.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

 






Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Shoehorning to Shutdown

Congress failed to send a bill to the President to continue funding the government. As a result, President Trump directed an orderly shut down process to begin at midnight, January 19, 2018.

Senate rules allow a minority of Senators to block action on a bill. Republicans hold a slim 51 to 49 majority in the Senate. When Democrats filibuster (which they did) Republicans need at least 9 Democrat votes to allow a vote on the bill.

Five Democrats voted to proceed with voting along with 45 Republicans. Five Republicans including McConnell voted NO on the motion to proceed. McConnell voted NO so that he could move to reconsider.

I watched the Senate proceedings. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell spoke with clear common sense about the failure of the Senate to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government.

There was very little controversy over the content of the resolution. McConnell noted that the shutdown was 100% avoidable and pointedly said, “Democrats chose to filibuster a non-controversial funding bill that contains nothing, not a thing, that they do not support.”

That raises a rather obvious question. What is the problem? The problem is that Democrats decided to insert a completely separate issue into the resolution. McConnell put it best, “There is only one reason we ended up here; the shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate.”

Cut through all the hype and it comes down to one simple issue. Democrats put the interests of illegal immigrants above the interests of Americans.

The issue they shoehorned into this debate has nothing to do with funding the government. Republicans in the Senate should stand together and refuse to yield to this blatant extortion.

The American people clearly see Schumer’s priorities.They see where they stand in relation to illegal immigrants.

Senator McConnell is to be commended for his leadership thus far. Schumer’s Shutdown does not just put Americans in the back of the bus. Schumer’s Shutdown kicks Americans under the bus.

Democrat Senators need to make the wise decision to put America first. Put an end to this hypocritical smokescreen charade and let the Senate vote on the Continuing Resolution.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

 






 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

A Community in Prayer

I recently received a letter inviting me to attend a community prayer vigil in my community of Cordele, Georgia.Community praying in Cordele, GA I was familiar with the name of one of the three organizers but not the other two.

It was scheduled for 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the Cordele community club house. The letter said that it was a prayer for the community and, in particular, the problem of crime in the city.

I will be transparent.  I did not know what to expect and a few unfounded thoughts ran through my mind. Was this going to be another one of those “unity” gatherings with prayer tacked on to be sure that something religious was included?

I did not want to promote something just because it was framed as a time for prayer.  I decided to go and see for myself. At the very least, I could bow my head and pray silently.

The unfounded thoughts that ran through my mind proved to be just that – unfounded. Not just unfounded, totally false.

The crowd was not very large but it looked to be a fairly good turnout to me. There were maybe three dozen people gathered. There were men and women, boys and girls, black and white.  The racial makeup of the crowd was probably 80% black and 20% white.

The prayers were about the community of Cordele, Georgia.  There was no focus on the West side or East side of town.

The prayers were that crime would be stopped; that families would be strengthened; that there would be jobs for the unemployed; that children would learn and be safe in schools; and that public servants would have wisdom and strength to serve.

What was not talked and prayed about was as significant as what was mentioned. There was no mention of political parties. There was barely a reference to race and that was only in the context of praying for everyone in the community no matter what race. There was no distinction of economic class.

In short, the prayers were about the people of our community. They were prayers that one would hear in churches anywhere in our region. They were heartfelt and humble.

When it was over and I was getting in my car, it dawned on me that something else was never mentioned in that gathering. There would have been nothing wrong had it been mentioned.

On the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, his name was never mentioned.  It was because the focus was not on Dr. King, but on The King of Kings. For one hour on a chilly afternoon in the small Southwest Georgia town of Cordele, three dozen citizens of the community humbly gathered and bowed to pray.

Thank you, Joyce Williams Mitchell, Shannon Penny Nipper, Lavater Hall Bass, and the others who responded to a leading. We need to do this again, soon.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook.

Sign up to below to get my commentaries sent directly to your in-box.

I promise, you won’t get a bunch of junk and I will not share your e-mail address with anyone. When you get an e-mail from me, you can be assured that it will be easy to read, informative, and usually short. Thank you again for reading.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required







 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Repeal and Let It Fail

After numerous efforts to replace Obamacare failed, President Trump stated that he is fine with letting it implode under its own weight, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has stated that he is bringing a vote to the floor on the same bill to repeal Obamacare that passed the Senate in 2015. It would have an effective date two years away.

Three Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine said they oppose McConnell’s proposal. Of those three, only Collins voted against the 2015 repeal plan. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Charlie Gard and President Trump’s Speech in Warsaw

Eleven month old, Charlie Gard, has been granted what is the equivalent of a stay of execution. The Great Ormand Street Hospital had requested and won the right to keep Charlie in its custody and remove his life support.

According to a story in the Daily Mail, seven international experts presented evidence that the baby has a much higher chance of survival than originally thought. Based on the evidence, the hospital requested a new hearing in the High Court. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Independence Day and Charlie Gard

It is the 4th of July.  I had not planned on writing anything today but the case of Charlie Gard just keeps running through my mind.  I think of those words in our Declaration of Independence – “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Charlie Gard is a ten month old in Great Britain. He has a rare disease for which there is no proven cure and there is no life expectancy.  There is an experimental treatment in the United States. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather