Happy Holidays from the Willis Family

We have been experiencing unusually warm temperatures this winter. Just two weeks ago I had to mow the yard, unheard of in December, but great weather for farm chores. I expressed my disappointment to my Dad that we probably wouldn’t be having a white Christmas but he reminded me how a mild winter works out just fine for taking care of the pigs.

Merry Xmas

The mild weather didn’t last long. This week a winter storm snuck up on us and our local meteorologist predicted that we could expect 4-6 inches of snow with high wind gusts up to 40 MPH.  Almost out of no where we found ourselves under a blizzard warning.

Sophia was excited at the prospect of having a snow day from school. To prepare for the storm, I went grocery shopping to make sure we wouldn’t run out of the essentials, milk, bread, and most importantly, coffee.

Merry Xmas 2

We woke up the next morning and, sure enough, we found ourselves buried under a blanket of fresh white snow.  It was like winter had descended upon us overnight.  My phone was ringing all morning with news about the storm.  My sister lost electricity in Des Moines due to the damage from downed trees that just couldn’t handle the weight from so much snow at one time.  Sophia’s wish had come true, there would be no school.

It was so cold and windy; we bundled up and headed outside with our sleds for a little winter fun and to check on our pigs.  We thought that it would be great to take some pictures of the newly fallen snow, the animals do have a lot of fun in the snow much the same way we do.  Our pigs ran around playfully as we put a Santa hat on the one we named Baby.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Merry Xmas 3

Hope you have a Happy Holiday with your family and friends and thank you for your continued support of the traditional family farmers who supply Niman Ranch.  We appreciate it.

One thought on “Happy Holidays from the Willis Family”

  1. Willis, fourth generation hog farmer, was raising free-range hogs the way his family had for generations. He knew raising pigs traditionally resulted in higher quality and tastier pork but did not know how to get the pigs to market. In 1995, he was introduced to Niman Ranch and shipped 30 pigs to the Bay Area. A number of chefs in San Francisco tasted the pork and were impressed with the quality. With this chef interest, Willis realized there was a market for hogs raised using traditional farming methods and hoped this need would help revitalize sustainable hog farming methods in the Midwest.

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