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Project OINK

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

5...4...3...2...1...Project OINK has begun! What is Project OINK? Well, Project OINK is one of Grateful Graze’s mission is to Bring Livestock Back to the Land, specifically hogs back to Henry County - the Hog Capital of the World! The entire farm team has been planning Project OINK, so we can provide our customers with pastured pork.

What is so special about our pastured pork?

  • Heritage Hogs. We start with Berkshire hogs, a heritage breed known for its great marbling, so our pork will be extra tasty! Plus, Berkshires were raised for many years by Monte’s grandfather, Willard.

  • Timber/Pastured. Our hogs will be raised in timber and on pasture, so they can practice their natural foraging and rooting instincts while eating a diverse array of nutrients. Ranch 226 will be their home where chemicals have not been applied to the grasslands for at least 20 years and likely never in the timbers. This natural, chemical free environment will allow them to live a stress free life which makes incredibly tender meat.

  • Homegrown Feed. We feed them a special diet of homegrown, Non-GMO feeds including Non-GMO corn, Non-GMO Roasted Soybeans, Non-GMO Wheat, and Rye baleage. All of these ingredients are grown on our farm, using no tillage, no glyphosate (RoundUp tm), no fungicides, and no insecticides. When we grow it, we know we are giving your family the best possible.

  • Special Supplements. They receive special feed supplements including organic fish meal, Non-GMO whole milk, and vitamins and minerals from Advanced Biological Concepts (ABC) from nearby Osco, IL. ABC also supplies our free choice cafeteria minerals for our cattle and sheep and have decades of experience with building a pastured/timbered pork diet that is incredible!

  • On Farm Grinding. We grind and mix all of these ingredients ourselves. Instead of hoping the feed store does it right and delivers it on time, we purchased our own grinder mixer and added a scale to make sure it is done right!

We want you to know when you buy Grateful Graze pork, it is definitely the best you can get. Heritage breeds, raised in the timber, homegrown feeds, and on farm grinding allows our pigs to be Raised on Good Stuff!

With that said, we will all have to practice patience because our pigs will not be finished until five to six months from now. By the end of December, Grateful Graze will be offering pastured pork to our customers, and we could not be more excited!

Below is a video of how we feed our pigs. One of the Ranch’s innovations is to use a seed tender because it is easier to bring feed to the timber than the feed grinder.

It didn't take long for the pigs to find the feed and start feasting!

I think Grazer approves of the feed that the pigs are getting too. In fact, he even let’s the baby pigs root on him. We will see when they are 300 pounds if he still behaves this way!

Monte and Robyn reenact a picture from Monte’s childhood. Monte’s friend Ted came over to help him nearly 40 years earlier.

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