Back in October of this year a little bit of fire began to boil up in this farmer. Time and again in various groups for pig farmers I would see folks disparage those of us who choose to exclusively raise purebred pigs. Didn’t matter what the breed was the same words were used “hybrid vigor, cost of production, customer demand, and inferior product” as reasons why farmers like us were behind the times and quite simply a bunch of idiots for raising “elitist” pigs. I witnessed multiple purebred farmers blasted for wanting to discuss their breeds of choice. Each time a new farmer would ask the inevitable “What breed is the best?” they too would get blasted with “no breed is the best, the best pig is the one that gets to market the fastest, and registered stock is a fool’s game, etc.”
All that may be true for commercial producers, wannabe large scale folk, and commodity minded people looking to grow pigs BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER, MORE ~ but not for us. On our farm and many others across the world we look to step back to a more simple and honestly flavorful time. A period in agriculture when people grew their own food, knew what a pastured pig tasted like, raised livestock to feed their family and maybe a few neighbors. Small scale, local, and highly specialized breeds that made use of local resources in a way that made extensive farming practices viable for local communities are really what we are talking about when we say Heritage Breed. These breeds have a place in our history, our hearts, and as many small farmers are learning a place on the plates of socially conscious and food loving people.
So what was a Farm Girl to do? By golly, create a space for breeders, fanciers, chefs, conservationists, and those wanting to learn more about purebred heritage pigs. At the end of October 2014 I began the Heritage Purebred Pigs group and to date we have 477 members from around the world. People from Australia, England, Hungary, Canada, Germany, and all over the United States now have a place to talk about their purebred pigs without persecution. The focus is on Heritage breeds which to date include breeders raising our breed of choice Large Blacks as well as Durocs, Tamworths, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Berkshires, Meishans, American Guinea Hogs, Mulefoots, British Saddlebacks, Middle Whites, Oxford Black & Sandy, Welsh, Ossabaws, and Red Wattles just to name a few!
It has been wonderful to see the sharing of information, want ads, for sale ads, and discussion among pig lovers world wide. If you or someone you know has an interest in Heritage Breed pigs I highly suggest stopping by 🙂