Raising heritage pigs was not in our plans but hidden in tragedy is unforeseen opportunities.
Several years ago, our entrepreneur son, Jack, purchased a 70 year old pork curing business. With the investment, the previous owner agreed to share his family secrets to make dry cured and smoked bacon, hams, sausages, bratwurst, prosciutto, pancetta and bologna.
Handcrafted with pride and quality Jack’s artisan products were the very best, rivaling those from Germany, Italy and Spain.
Jack took pride in continuing the tradition of preparing recipes passed through generations in an old building with all the original wood floors, chopping blocks, equipment and a 2-story brick smokehouse. In a bad economy, Jack worked long hours to build a thriving business that served local patrons and shipped products throughout the United States.
One fateful night in 2011, Jack’s dreams went up in smoke when an electrical fire left his business in ashes.
While many business owners would give up with such a devastating loss, Jack was determined to rebuild his pork business from the ground up. Rain Crow had the land, Jack had the desire and customers wanted his products.
Heritage breeds were popular before World War II, when pigs were raised outdoors on family farms. Because of the exercise they got and the fat they needed to get through winters outdoors, heritage breeds produced pork that was perfectly adapted to their outdoor environment.
Jack chose a heritage breed cross of Berkshire, Duroc and Red Wattle pigs to build Rain Crow Ranch – American Pasture Pork
Heritage breeds are prized for juiciness, flavor and tenderness. The meat is pink-hued and heavily marbled.
High fat content makes heritage pork suitable for long cooking and high-temperature cooking. Heritage pork is prized by top chefs, 5 star restaurants and knowledgeable consumers.
Many Americans have only experienced pork from CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) raised pigs
Big Agriculture engineered new pig breeds that fit the factory farm model. They developed pork they could market as “the other white meat”.
Lower in fat but tasteless and tough these new industrial breeds could not live in a pig’s natural environment. CAFO raised pigs with the heavy use of antibiotics and growth hormones has allowed for confinement and consolidation of the industry into operations that have become huge, cruel and present waste hazards to the environment.
At Rain Crow, our pigs are raised outside and allowed to forage according to their biological and behavioral instincts, like rooting.
They are provided bedded pens and ample wallows.
Our pigs live the humane life a pig ought to live!
“Family farmers, consumers and pigs are all ready to go back to the real thing.”
Today Jack has found another pork processor willing to use his recipes to cure the pork he raises. Jack’s goal and ambition is to build a smokehouse and processing facility one day right here on Rain Crow. Please click here to visit our shopping cart site to try our Rain Crow Ranch – American Pasture Pork and help Jack rebuild his dreams.