Every year we take a dozen or so of our favorite chefs to visit David Newman on his family farm in Southeast Missouri, right smack dab in the middle of the Ozarks. There used to be hundreds of small plot pig farmers in the region but now David is the last one left mainly because agriculture there is not conducive to growing pig feed (beef became the name of the game there).
David’s pigs are raised like Princes and Princesses. The Mothers raise their piglets in hoop houses spread across hundreds of acres of grass. As the babies age they are moved to group pens which are kind of like the pig equivalent of boarding school or college dorm life or a hippie commune. The boars are spread throughout the farm on different paddocks, each one mates with a set of specific sows.
The genetic lines at Newman Farm are strictly controlled. There are about 5 lines of Berkshire genetics being raised there and it’s important that the lines do not inbreed. Some lines produce better than others: larger litters, nicer looking pigs, or pigs with more marbling etc. These are the lines that the Newmans pay the most attention to.
Touring the farm is a wonderful experience. Seeing pigs act like pigs is actually a hard thing to find in the world. David tells the story of an industry giant in the commodity pork world who didn’t even know the basic behaviors of pigs even though he raised over 1 million a year!
We love working with David and Kristin and their two kids. And we love that they are fighting to remain one of the last 100% pastured systems for pigs left in the South. And we love that every pig on their farm comes from absolutely and completely 100% Berkshire genetics! Shop Berkshire Pork from Newman Farms on our website!