Chris and Anthony Scheer, of Iowa, are hog farmers for Niman Ranch.
How many generations in your family are farmers?
My dad raised eight kids on the farm and his parents were farmers. Now I farm with my son, Anthony.
How many family members are involved in your farm?
Anthony is my partner on the farm. Additional help comes from the rest of our family: Amanda, Emily, Elizabeth, our son Jonathan and my wife Joan.
How many hogs do you have?
We raise 400 to 500 hogs annually for Niman Ranch.
What crops are produced on your farm?
We mainly grow corn and soy beans, but we have a small four-acre patch two-miles away where we rotate wheat, rye, oats and corn simply for straw for the hogs.
What’s the history of your family’s farming operation?
My dad lost the farm in the late 80s, so my older brother took it over. I helped with the crops and worked a job in the city until my wife Joan and I were able to purchase our own acreage and start from scratch in 1998.
We also rent land that originally belonged to my great-grandfather from my mother’s cousin. I started crop farming soon after in 1999, then raising hogs for Niman Ranch with my son, Anthony, in 2012. He had been raising hogs for them since 2009, so I picked up the model when we started farming together.
What sustainable farming practices are a part of your farm?
We have no-till crops, grassy waterways and we rotate our corn and beans. We also have cover crops planted on a hilly patch of the property.
How long have you sold hogs to Niman Ranch?
We’ve been selling hogs to Niman Ranch as a family since 2012.
"Anthony is my partner on the farm. Additional help comes from the rest of our family: Amanda, Emily, Elizabeth, our son Jonathan and my wife, Joan."