From a young age, I loved animals and caring for them. That is no different today and is reflected daily in our operation on our farm. One of the things that makes me most proud on our farm is how we raise our pigs. From birth to harvest, they get the most natural life with the best food available to them and an abundance of forage and enrichment from their forested rotational spaces. Please enjoy this video that documents the journey our Berkshire Hogs take from pregnancy to farrowing to beyond.
Read on to learn about how my love for animals shaped our establishment into what it is today..
Growing up, I always loved animals. I started riding horses when I was 4, eventually moving to showing on the Appaloosa Circuit and competing across the country, holding National Titles until I sold my horses before college. If you were ever looking for me as a kid, chances are I was at the barn, picking stalls, riding and sharing sandwiches with one of my horses.
I was always fascinated by animals, by caring for them and by the bond that came along with it. At the start of college, I dreamed of being a vet, but had to face the facts quickly, I couldn’t stand school. Unlike high school where I breezed through AP classes, rarely picking up a text book or reading the assigned reading, in college I actually had to apply myself. (Sorry to all of my teachers who are reading this now, but I’m sure it wasn’t a secret🤷🏽♀️) Applying myself in those higher level classes sure took away from my outdoor time and enjoying nature, so I gave that dream up and coasted through once again doing the bare minimum while I searched for what made me feel alive and like I had a true purpose on this earth. I may have been happy being a vet, but at 22 years old, I certainly wasn’t ready to say, “yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and I’m ready to buckle down.”
I lived overseas in Japan and Italy, traveled, worked in different industries, but always was called back to my love of nature and animals. I never regretted not going to vet school, but I knew I wanted to stay close to nature and to animals, where ever or how ever that happened to be. After graduating high school, I had become a vegetarian as my way of participating in saying no to factory farming. It wasn’t until I met James that I realized that I needed to find a way for he and I both, together, to say no to factory farming, and for James, vegetarianism wasn’t the answer. It was sourcing local meat and dairy OR raising our own. So we started raising our own.
Now 4 years into our journey, I couldn’t be more sure that this is what I was meant to be doing. I get to combine my love for the earth, for nature, for animals and for making a difference for others and my community, all in one place. We are also providing an amazing life for our daughter and for the animals that we raise.