The Brown family, of Iowa, are hog farmers for Niman Ranch.
How many family members are involved in your farm?
Our entire family – myself, Andrea and three children, Derek, Allison and Landon.
How many hogs do you raise per year?
What crops are produced on your farm?
Corn, non-GMO soybeans, oats and hay.
What’s the history of your family’s farming operation?
We met in 1987, when I took a summer job on Andrea’s family farm. This was my first introduction to pasture hog production and my future wife. After that summer job, I began working in confinement operations, but realized I was going to raise hogs outdoors. Beginning in 1991, we moved to a home in New Providence, Iowa. We farrow on pasture during the spring, summer and fall, and in a traditional farrowing house in the winter with free-stalls allowing the sows plenty of room to move around. After the 1998 hog market crash, we started looking for options for our hog operation and found Niman Ranch. With the traditional raising practices on our farm allowing the pigs plenty of room to move and behave naturally on pasture, it was a perfect fit.
What sustainable farming practices are a part of your farm?
We use buffer strips along a creek and have installed many waterways on our entire farm. In 2000, we began farming crops organically in rotations with our pastured hogs.
"We believe the most important reason to farm sustainably is to make sure the farm is here for future generations."