Pat And April’s Pork: Open House 2021 Edition
When Did You Start Your Business?
What Made You Want To Get Into Producing Your Products?
April here: I grew up on a farm where our family farrowed hogs. Seemed like there was a need in this area for more homegrown pork Patrick: Many small things added up to make it look like taking over the family dairy farm wouldn’t work out, so we looked for other options Both: We want to work with our children every day and build a family together on a farm
What Are Your Growing / Manufacturing Practices?
We grow non-GMO corn and are experimenting with open-pollinated corn, which, unlike hybrids, we can save the seeds. We cultivate the weeds instead of using any herbicides. We then grind the corn ourselves which forms a large portion of the diet of our pigs. We grow our own hay for our cattle. All of our animals live in comfort with 24-hour access to water and plenty of space. Our laying birds are all outside (inside a large electric fence–thank you wildlife that wants to enjoy free chicken dinner). They eat a balanced diet with unlimited access to layer grain and enjoy eating grass and scratching in dirt and dining on various insects and worms.
What Does Local Mean To You?
Local means nearby 🙂 Around here, that seems to be less than 100 miles or so.
What Do You Enjoy The Most About What You Do?
We enjoy working together as a family, working to teach our children to become hard-working responsible adults, whatever they decide to do in the future. It’s also a really cool experience watching creatures go from conception to our (and your) dinner plate.
What Are Some Of The Challenges You Face?
Both of us: Time is my biggest challenge. Every day it feels like there are more necessary things to accomplish than can possibly be accomplished. Other challenges include working with butchers, that unfortunately, are also overwhelmed with work and regulations.
How Does The Co-op Influence Your Business?
The co-op has helped us to sell our products and helps people know our farm is here. Even this Open House helps us to connect with customers.
What Are Your Goals And Future Plans For Your Business?
Our goal is to be profitable enough to continue. To accomplish this, we’re constantly planning projects which increase efficiency and decrease costs. This year, we’ve worked a lot on restoring our 19th-century barn and revamping it to make a comfortable maternity ward for our sows and their piglets. In the beginning, we bought piglets at weaning and raised them. Then, we started breeding and farrowing ourselves. We have now reached the point where we don’t buy in baby pigs. This year, with the revamped maternity ward, we’re hoping/planning to increase our number of hogs to keep up with demand and have enough to sell baby piglets in the Springtime.
Tell Us Something Else You Want Our Customers To Know About Your Business
Our farm is our only gig, we both work full time here, with no off-farm income. We’ve started as young children learning to care for creatures and continue to learn more every day. April: Farming was my family’s only income for a long time. My parents, four brothers, and I worked to grow and harvest hay, wheat, oats (and whatever else my dad decided would be profitable that year). We all helped with the creatures which included sheep, hogs, and beef. I developed a love for piglets, often raising the runts in their own little pasture in the summer. Patrick: Farming was my family’s only income. Dairy farming was the main source. We also had a small beef herd and raised a few hogs for our family too. We raised all of our own forage. For about 15 years, I specialized in the nutrition end. It was my responsibility to keep the cows first of all healthy, and then also productive. The knowledge and learning process there, while not exactly the same with pigs, chickens, and beef, has helped us tremendously.