Friday, August 1, 2008

Midwestern Mangalitsa Expansion

I've been very busy lately trying to set up production of Mangalitsa in the Midwest. That's cut into my blogging.

Wooly Pigs isn't moving to the Midwest, but some of our pigs are.

When we are done, we hope to have several farms in the Midwest producing Mangalitsa and Mangalitsa-derived pigs, complementing those from our Washington farm. We will produce a lot more Mangalitsa than we have to date, lowering our prices at the same time.

Producing Mangalitsa in the Midwest should also allow us to more easily deliver pigs or pork to the Eastern Seaboard, something that's been impossible so far due to Washington's remote location.

Although the Midwest produces a lot of low-quality pork, that doesn't mean our quality will drop - because we won't be using typical Midwest breeds, facilities or diets to produce our hogs. E.g. corn and soy isn't always the right feed - so we'll have to truck in the right feed.

There's incredible amounts of unused hog capacity in the Midwest. It is simply amazing: people have small farms set up to run 50+ sows, and they don't have a single hog on the place.

The shift to intensive farming has created a situation where small-scale facilities are unused and decaying, expert hog men aren't running any hogs and you can drive through some of the world's most hog-dense areas and not see a single hog.

Moving our hogs to Midwest will allow the few expert hog producers we work with to capitalize on their skills and facilities. Putting our hogs in the Midwest should allow us to scale a lot faster than we otherwise would.

People interested in finishing Mangalitsa pigs, particularly from East of the Mississippi - should contact me - we'll have trailer-loads of pigs for sale. Although we need to prioritize our existing customers, we expect that there will be some spare capacity in the future.

6 comments:

Snakeman said...

I believe Iowa may have the biggest pig to human ratio in the US. In 2006 Iowa had almost 17 million pigs and less than 3 million people.

http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2006/10/01/news/iowa/5e2f6b2a3efc901d862571fa000fc9f2.txt

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/19000.html

Heath said...

Snakeman,

I think Iowa is one of the most hog dense places on the planet.

What's interesting is that in some of the most hog-dense areas, you don't see any hogs - because they are inside barns. E.g. drive around NW Iowa and you'll smell lots of hogs, but you won't see many.

The high cost of fertilizer has some guys putting up confinements just so that they can get the fertilizer, which is worth real money now.

Also, although there are lots of hogs, not that many people own them or see them on a regular basis.

I saw one confinement with hogs on my tour. It didn't look that bad for the pigs inside, although I understand it was an older confinement, which is supposed to make it nicer for the pigs than the newer ones.

I wasn't there touring the Midwest to see hog confinements - as I'm not planning to finish hogs that way. But I was there on a farm and they had one with some hogs inside, so I took a peek.

Andrew said...

Living in central Ohio, this is great news!

Sean said...

Yes! I nominate the backyard of the house I grew up in, in North Olmsted, OH. See you at Christmas dinner, piggies.

-Sean K.

Michael Yim said...

Slowly but surely, these pigs will reach NY!

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