Dreams of Better Food For Healthier Living are the Core Foundation of End-O-Fite Enterprises LLC
Visions of a Building Better Food System Launched End-O-Fite Enterprises In Spite of Less-Than-Favorable Circumstances
Imagine a world where everyone you know has access to safe, nutritious, locally grown food. Food that was grown on healthy soils. This is the dream that launched End-O-Fite Enterprises LLC back in 2012. At the time, we had no business experience, no health, no financial backing…. We had some considerable constraints to work with. David had a full-time job that was paying the bills, and could not give any substantial time to building our food security business. I had just been diagnosed with a permanent disability. We had two teenagers in school. The only thing really driving us forward was the belief that if we did not fix our food system-from the soil up-our children had little hope for a quality life.
Diverse and Out-of-the-Box Solutions Provide Hope Necessary For a Better Future
Both David and I come from families who resided in New Mexico long before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. We believe in free choice, and we are not the kind of parents who want to keep our children here just because we chose to stay. Neither did we want them to be the first generation since the Anasazi to have to leave because there were no opportunities here. We knew poverty and food insecurity in New Mexico was on the rise, we understood the economic and environmental trends driving food insecurity, and we had watched a steady stream of small farms selling out to urbanization our entire life. We knew we had only two choices. We could stay and fight or pack up and go. We decided to fight. We began our effort fully aware that restoring the microbes and nutrients that contribute to healthy plants, soils, livestock, and people were crucial to combating the food insecurity that is making life in the Southwest challenging for many. We were equally aware that the small farm models we proposed would be challenging to sustain economically. We researched Co-ops (David’s family once belonged to one,) CSA’s, Farmer’s Markets, and other strategies people use to make small farms viable. We simply were not seeing these models gain the traction that is needed to catalyze a major shift towards healthier local food.
Sometimes the Powers of the Universe just have to hit you over the head to force you to accept new ideas. In 2013, a car accident left me bedridden for months and threatened to crush any plans of orchestrating a transformational shift in our food systems. As I lay in bed with a twisted spine, dizzying pain, and a major concussion, a friend called to introduce me to a different way of doing business. She shared some natural remedies that reduced my inflammation, relieved my pain, allowed me to recover without medications, and planted me in the middle of the network marketing industry. Yes, that’s right, the multi-level marketing/pyramid thing. No, they aren’t illegal. Yes, some are unethical, and yes, some unethical people gravitate towards the industry. But the same can be said for conventional businesses, government agencies, churches, and any other organization where real people gather. Initially, as I researched the good, the bad, and the ugly of network marketing, I came to accept that the industry offered me a kind of opportunity I could pursue on my own terms during recovery. But as my vitality began to return and my organization began to grow, I realized I had experienced more to like than to dislike about MLM.
For example, while I want to crush any myths about easy money and MLM, and I want to make it clear that building an organization takes diligence, I met and conversed with more debt free and wealthy people in my first year of MLM than I had encountered in all previous career efforts combined! I also found products that restored health issues I’d been battling for decades. I met associates that were there for me when I was down. I surrounded myself with happier, healthier people than I had met anywhere else in my career. Most of all, and towards my interest in building food systems, I had met a number of farmers and ranchers who had paid for their land with income earned in network marketing, and were running their operations debt free.
Ironically, while outsiders insisted that the industry was unfair because only a handful of people make all the money, what I was observing on the ground was that only a handful of people were doing any work! I saw a number of people who joined enthusiastically and worked diligently for a month or two and then quit, leaving angry, because they hadn’t learned recruitment methods, and they hadn’t earned big bucks. I saw others (women in particular, sorry ladies) who joined with great ambition but quit when their husbands made fun of them. But those who joined ethical companies, did their due diligence, invested in personal and business development, and persisted with professionalism, invariably grew and prospered.
Soon, I began entertaining the idea that MLM, particularly MLM in an ethical company that offered quality nutrition products, could be a powerful tool for supporting the growth of local food networks. After all, it is a business that builds healthy people and develops prosperous communities. I slowly accepted MLM as an untapped resource, and began searching for the right company to align with. When I found Youngevity in 2017, and learned the legacy of it’s founder, Dr. Joel Wallach (a legacy that combined training with soil and natural resource giants like William Albrecht and Marlin Perkins, with a foundation in pathology based nutrition research), I had no doubt that this was a company that could appeal to rural and urban consumers alike, and could offer an alternative system of support for regenerative growers. Today, our affiliation with Youngevity is allowing us to support a growing network of small, regenerative farms, the following podcast, and (in collaboration with donors within and beyond our organization) a scholarship for students who are planning to build regenerative farms.
The YGY Extension Team offers an Out-of-the-Box Solution for Building Healthy Food Networks
Recently, I discussed our growing network with Horticulture Educator and podcast co-host Libby Hamilton in the following ~15 minute podcast. In the podcast, and in the list that follows, I’ve highlighted some of the benefits of working with our YGY Extension Team to expand healthy food networks in and beyond New Mexico.
Benefits of Building Food Systems with the YGY Extension Team
Note: Since there is no benefit to joining an MLM Team if you do not value the parent company itself and the products it offers.
- Since Youngevity opportunities stretch beyond nutrition to more than 1000 products and services people use daily, the company allows members to pick their passion and build where their interests lie. This is crucial for growing networks that build local communities–a necessary foundation to local food systems.
- The YGY Extension Team is made up of Independent Distributors who are committed to locking arms with those local farmers who are working to remineralize soils, and with local health care providers who recognize that nutrients essential for good health can only come from healthy soils. When nutrients are missing from the soil, our diets require supplements.
- Belonging to a network can help seal the communication and cultural gap between urban and rural communities, uniting growers and consumers alike in efforts to make healthy food profitable.
- By uniting with teams who value healthy food and healthy soils, local farmers can access markets for their products that would be difficult to tap into independently. The whole is simply greater than the sum of its parts.
- The YGY Extension team has members who specialize in health, nutrition, business management, agriculture, marketing, and more. By joining our team, you have access to resources and relationships, little bit like belonging to a Chamber of Commerce. When was the last time your Chamber of Commerce gave you a commission check?
- The local multiplier effect that emerges when people buy from people they know is critical for building the local economies that build markets for local farm products. This was eloquently discussed by Sabrina Lucero in her recent speech on why Local Food Requires Local Farmers.
- For those who are willing to persist, learn the necessary skills, and make appropriate investments, there is opportunity to create financial independence that can help growers, consumers, and local food outlets to buy land, storefronts, or equipment without debt. Note: Remember, it is an opportunity, not a guarantee. Creating substantial income will take substantial work.
- Our team offers a variety of training and networking opportunities, including the opportunity to feature your farm, garden, healthy food outlet, or support business on our podcast.
- We are investing in our community. For example, in 2018 we launched a fundraising campaign that resulted in a new scholarship at New Mexico State University . This scholarship supports students with interests in regenerative agriculture, to ensure a new generation of local food providers.
- We do not rely on government subsidies or grants from the 1%. It takes no rocket science to look at the growing frequency of government shutdowns, the inefficiency of government programs, and the growing disparity between those who have and those who don’t to recognize that reliance on government programs is risky. When we build food systems around teams of independent distributors, we are building solidarity and independence while promoting diverse economic opportunities that help communities thrive.
How to Get Involved
Contact any YGY Extension Team Member. Not sure if a representative is on our team? We are working on a web page that will list our members. Until we get there, ask the person you are speaking with to put me on the phone with you, or send me a note and ask how they are involved. Remember, we take people from all walks of life. Those who have experience in agriculture may work directly with our farmers and gardeners. Those who have other interests pursue their own passions knowing that their growth is supporting the growth of local and regenerative food systems.