Better meat makes better cured meat, and better meat relies on humane husbandry.
Since the start of our business we have worked to support the kinds of farm systems and animal husbandry practices that we believe in. This has meant working closely with the farmers who raise the pigs we buy to develop standards and protocols for the animals in their care.
All of our suppliers adhere to the following protocol
No crates or cages:
All pigs must have room to move around and socially congregate and be able to root in deep bedding. This respects the pigs’ social instincts and natural behaviors.
No pigs from CAFOs (large animal confinement facilities).
Pigs must not receive non-therapeutic antibiotics, ionophores, hormones, or synthetic hormones. Our farmers can treat illnesses, but they do not use hormones or antibiotics to artificially promote growth.
No animal byproducts:
Pigs may not be fed animal byproducts, which helps avoid numerous health and environmental problems.
Much of the pork that we use goes above and beyond these standards, including programs using pasture-raised, outdoor-raised and heritage breed pork.
Our standards and sourcing partners
We work directly with a trusted network of growers in Iowa and select heritage breed specialists outside of the state in close knit collaboration with our partner processing center.
There are several benefits to this:
Though work with the farm and growers is important the work with the processor is equally important. Both to ensure humane standards are maintained (the majority of animal mistreatment happens at the processing center). But also to ensure that the fabrication, chilling and packing conforms to our program requirements. This also allows us to receive materials quickly and efficiently.
In addition, this program of control allows us to meticulously track the chain of custody and documentation of our materials.
RUSS KREMER'S FAMILY FARM
Russ Kremer raises our Acorn Tamworth hogs. Each fall these pigs forage freely in a fruiting oak and hickory forest. An estimated 60-75% of their diet consists of acorn and hickory nuts. This gives Russ a sustainable way to make use of the wooded hillsides on his property, the pigs a happy life and meat with an incredible depth and richness. Russ' program is rated Step 4 by the Global Animal Partnership.