I’ve long been intrigued by raising and processing animals. The inspiration comes from spending fall vacations at my Aunt Trish & Uncle Ed’s home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. With eyes as big as saucers, I got to do all the fun stuff– shoot every possible caliber off their back porch, string up deer, drive four wheelers, eat venison jerky and bear meat, and sometimes there was even some shine.
I started farming in 2012 at The Piggery Farm in Trumansburg, NY. Working with animals came naturally to me, and I thrived when I had time to be outside and use my body. I feel blessed to have found a lifestyle that I love, and I’m proud of the work I do with our hogs. I’m grateful to the many farmers and mentors who I continue to learn and grow from.
Pigs do not get a significant amount of protein from grazing on pasture because they cannot digest cellulose, unlike ruminants such as cows, sheep, goats, and horses. All pigs require a significant amount of freely available protein, typically in the form of a milled grain, that has to be eaten daily to grow and thrive. This is why it is easy for a farmer to want to simply confine hogs for the duration of their lives. However hogs do receive some protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals from having access to grass to forage on and dirt to root in. And aside from the nutritional benefits, we believe that this is just the right way to raise the animals that we are going to eat.