Pasture Protocols & Animal Husbandry Guidelines

Farmer Girl Meats Heritage Pork

Farmer Girl sources pork from its family farm, Mettenburg Farm, and the Roberts Farm in Kidder, Missouri. All hogs are raised in a pasture –based system. Both suppliers sign a Farmer Girl affidavit attesting that all hogs meet the criteria outlined below. 

This program consists of the following criteria for pork:

  • Continuous and unconfined access to pasture throughout the hog’s production cycle. 
  • Grass and pasture forages are supplemented with free choice or limited feeding with corn, barley or wheat.
  • No added hormones. Livestock have never received hormones (synthetic or natural forms of growth hormones), steroids, or other artificial growth promotants from birth to harvest. 
  • No antibiotics used. Market livestock have never received antibiotics from birth to harvest.
  • A record keeping system for source verification, general pork management, and identification of livestock that may have received pharmaceuticals due to acute illness. These hogs are not sold as retail pork.

 


Pasture Raising and Grass Feeding:
Hogs are raised on pasture. Any purchased piglets are purchased from known local producers who farrow their sows in a natural environment (pasture or earth environment with litter provided for nesting) and wean pigs at approximately 8 weeks. If purchased, weaned hogs may be confined to a paddock for acclimation to the following: electric fencing, a waterer, and the presence of other hogs.  This is necessary to prevent injury and death. During this time hogs are fed whole corn, barley, wheat or other grains as well as alfalfa hay and a soybean concentrate. After the acclimation period, hogs are moved to a pasture paddock of grass and other forages. Hydroponic grasses may be fed in the acclimation lot and in the pasture paddock. Hogs have free choice access to corn, barley or wheat, salt, and mineral mix with diatomaceous earth (parasite control). At pasture hogs have access to shelter and water. 

Growth Hormones, Antibiotics and Vaccinations:

Mettenburg Farm and Roberts Farm utilizes low-stess handling and employs production practices that promote health. 

Hogs have never received hormones (synthetic or natural forms of growth hormones), steroids, or other artificial growth promotants from birth to harvest. 

No antibiotics or ionophores are used, unless serious illness mandates treatment. In the event of serious illness or injury, animals will be conventionally medicated and administered antibiotic to minimize suffering and prevent death. Hogs that receive antibiotic as a treatment for an illness or injury arenot sold in the wholesale or retail meat supply. Hogs treated with antibiotics are either marked with an ear tag or ear notch and sold via auction, or designated for private use. Medication and antibiotic treatment is recorded in the pork record book. Animals that have received antibiotics are not separated from the herd unless their condition requires more intensive treatment and confinement.

Record Keeping and Documentation:
The physical description, gender, age, weight and breed of hogs are entered into the record keeping system along with the producer source and date of purchase if applicable. The hog book is used to record all health records, weight records, medications administered, vaccinations, and specific antibiotic administration events. Antibiotic events are highlighted with a backfill color, and the i.d. tag/animal is designated as Not For Sale. Prior to processing any animal for wholesale or retail sale, the record book is consulted to confirm no antibiotics have been administered. 

All purchased forages or feeds have sales receipts that include a description of the product. These receipts are kept in files, by year.

Source Verification
When it is necessary to purchase additional outside market animals, they are purchased from other local farmers with whom Mettenburg Farm and Roberts Farm has a personal acquaintance or long-term relationship. All animals have full traceability; additionally, these farms’ practices are visible and well known.  Producer production practices must comport with those of Mettenburg Farm and Roberts Farm, as outlined here. Producers must sign an affidavit attesting that production practices comport with those of Mettenburg Farm and Roberts Farm, as outlined here.

All hogs and their mothers must have been born, raised and spent their entire life in the U.S.

Follow this link to browse our selection of pasture-raised heritage pork.