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Co-Applicant / Spouse:
Past and present farming experience:
John and Holly have a 50 acre pasture-based, non-GMO pig farm in MO. John has a B.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Holly has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Education from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME and a Master's in Acupuncture from Maryland University of Integrative Health.
We currently have two farm based projects. We produce Roam Sticks, the only nationally available non-GMO, pasture-raised pork snack stick. (Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms carries a co-branded version of Roam Sticks made from his pork but produced at the MO smokehouse.) We also sell pork cuts to multiple national retailers such as Vital Choice. The pork in Roam Sticks and in frozen cuts is both from our farm, Singing Prairie, and also from other small, non-GMO, pasture-raised pork producers throughout the Midwest.
The summer of 2017 we will be doing a study funded by SARE on the nutrient density of pigs on full grain, 50% reduced grain, and no grain rations. We do this by rotational grazing in fields of forage crops, feeding waste produce, and supplementing with whey or dried organic milk powder. Our previous research has indicated that when hogs are feed a lot of "green stuff" it greatly increases the amount of Omega 3s in the meat. Pork from all three groups, as well as conventional pork, will be tested at the Iowa State Meat Lab in the winter of 2017. For the no-grain experiment group, hogs will be purchased from Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm in Vermont as they have the best genetics for high forage consumption. We are partnering with Practical Farmers of Iowa and Mother Earth News to share the results of the study. Our great passion is weaving pigs into the regenerative agriculture equation in order to build soil and sequester carbon.
Holly, John and their two kids are interested in re-locating to Waldo County possibly in the Spring of 2018.
Counties being considered:
- Waldo County
Types of enterprises considered:
Total Acres Desired:
Acres in Pasture:
Acres in Pasture:
Acres in Orchard/Fruit/Perennials:
- Doesn't matter
None. We use a lot of solar electric fencing and we will bring it with us.
- Standard Sale
- Owner-Financed Sale
- Lease with Option to Buy
- Joint Venture with eventual sale
I am interested in farms with Conservation Easements:
- Maybe (Please send me information)
Here is a summary of the vision for my farming future and/or business plan:
We are both farmers and manufacturers. We intend to continue to produce Roam Sticks and pork cuts from farms we already purchase from in the Midwest. We have great USDA inspected processing facilities we are able to utilize in the middle of country and can ship to both coasts.
The part of the work we are most excited about is our SARE grant focusing on reduced grain rations/increased forages in pigs. We call this product "Salad Bar Pork" because the pigs eat a lot of forage greens and vegetables. We would like to continue to do farmer outreach and build a network of farmers willing to produce pork in this way, if we could provide them with a guaranteed market and a premium price.