June 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm #16965
Here are your nominees for two open Board Positions. Please consider their brief biographies. We will be sending ballots out with the current newsletter, please make TWO
choices and return the postcard to the LBHA Vice President Alec Bradford.
Alison Charter-Smith of Madrone Coast Farm
My husband, Tony and I own and operate Madrone Coast Farm in Northern California, a 97 acre Certified Organic farm, and we grow and sell vegetables, fruit, laying eggs, meat and milk to our local community. We have been raising Large Black hogs for the past 2 years and we sell our pork to our customers directly at our four local farmer’s markets and through our meat and eggs CSA. We are an Animal Welfare Approved farm, and we strongly believe in raising and farrowing our hogs on pasture and in our Oak, Madrone forest on our farm. We are a member of The Livestock Conservancy, and we also raise other heritage breeds of livestock for meat, milk, wool products and breeding stock such as Oberhasli Dairy goats, Babydoll Southdown sheep, Welsh Harlequin ducks and Delaware chickens.
Prior to farming full-time at Madrone Coast Farm, I worked 22 years as a Marketing Director in Silicon Valley’s High Technology sector, and I have extensive experience with social media, marketing campaigns, demand generation, website development, writing articles in magazines and press releases, creating newsletters and email campaigns. I am also the newest Board member of the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market Association and I have served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Oberhasli Breeders of America dairy goat club since 2011.
I believe with my prior corporate experience in Marketing and serving as a Board member on the Oberhasli Breeders of America dairy goat club for the past three years, I bring the expertise and the passion to help LBHA promote the amazing attributes of the Large Black for both the quality of their meat and their outstanding nature. I would also personally love to see more exposure of the Large Blacks to the Western US in such events such as the “The Heirloom Expo” which is held yearly in Santa Rosa, CA in September to 60,000 attendees (attendees include schools, chefs, farmers, etc.).
Madrone Coast Farm
Kevin & Kimberly Growns of KMG Farms
Our names are Kevin and Kimberly Growns and we are the owners of KMG Farms which is located in central Arkansas. Kevin is a State Trooper with a background in computer science and Kimberly is a Physical Therapist Assistant and Director of Rehabilitation at a nursing home. Our interests include working outside on our farm and spending time with our family. We both have an extensive history in farming practices.
Our farm is currently located on 5 acres but we are trying to find more land to expand our operations. We raise Large Black Hogs, goats and chickens. We believe in raising our animals on pasture rather than in confined pens and are hormone and antibiotic free. We have been raising Large Black Hogs for about 6 months. We purchased our first breeding stock after studying the breed and its history for several months. Our goal is to grow our herd to include excellent breeding stock of each bloodline so that we can make sure that each line is preserved and does not become extinct. We believe in only breeding the best of the best to ensure that the breed remains true to its history. We hope that we can help the breed gain popularity here in the south. We plan to do this by offering only the best piglets for breeding stock and supplying only the best pork to our customers.
We feel that as a board member we can benefit the members of the LBHA by being available to help them with their needs. We are a young couple and are very energetic and feel that with some added energy we can help the LBHA spread awareness and bring in new members. In bringing in more members we can help spread the breed and ensure that it does not become forgotten or extinct. Also by being from a younger generation we feel that we can better connect with the younger community who will be responsible for making sure that the breed survives. We feel that we can help with new ideas that will help expand this organization. We would greatly appreciate your consideration in our becoming a board member for the LBHA.
Kevin & Kimberly Growns
Alan & Amy McKamey of Heritage Meadow Farms
I would like to take a minute to introduce ourselves and tell you a bit about us and our farm. We are Alan and Amy McKamey and are the owners of Heritage Meadows Farm in Clayton Indiana. We run a pasture based farm raising all Heritage Breed Livestock. We raise Large Black hogs, Kathadin hair sheep, Ancona Ducks, and various breeds of chickens. All of our animals including all of the poultry are total free ranged and are all guarded by Anatolian Shepherds. We hope to do rotational grazing with multiple species once our fencing is completed. We also run a small produce csa and hope to do a full meal deal in the future that will include vegetables, fruit, meat and bread. We are also working with various contacts to get our meat into restaurants. We have been extremely happy with the large black breed. They are everything that we expected and more! We know that to save a rare livestock breed you first have to create a market for them. We run all registered stock and our goals are to help increase the genetics of this breed and to also get the products they provide into the hands of many consumers. We also hope to increase the different blood lines we have and in the near future be able to provide breeding pairs.
I believe that we could benefit the association in many different ways. We are both very goal oriented and are big planners. We constantly juggle many different projects in a day including farm work, regular jobs, and family time. Alan is a fireman/EMT by trade, and I am a registered veterinary technician and manager in a large 24 hour emergency hospital. Our goal is to get our farm up and running to be able to support us full time. We are both huge on timely communication and being on time and on schedule. We hope to be able to assist with various projects with the large blacks and also contribute new ideas to the mix. I am a huge 4-h person and my son will be showing soon. I would love to see us be able to get these hogs into a county fair to show the breed. We are willing to help where we can to preserve and grow this wonderful breed. Please consider us as new board members for the association.
Alan and Amy McKamey
Clyde & Allyson Morales of Manchac Farms
I was born and raised in Louisiana in the New Orleans area. I grew up hunting fishing and eating some of the best foods in this country. After graduating high school I moved to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana State University. During this time I got into the rental business and started a contracting company and have been a licensed General Contractor for over 10 yrs. I liked the city life and the great restaurants but needed to move where I had more space to get back to the woods where I spent most of my childhood. My wife and I bought a rural property and started raising various animals with our two young daughters. I expanded into raising large blacks approximately 2 years ago after raising pigs for a few years the “new way” in a small pin on an all corn diet, and not getting the results we hoped for. We did some research and decided to try the English Large Blacks. I contacted Kelly and Mark Escabedo and drove out to their farm. It was awesome and they invited us into their home not once, but twice and they invited us back for a slow foods farm dinner. I have looked forward ever since then to the day we can have some great events like that at our farm. We became great friends and they have helped me along the way in many different ways. We bought our original breed stock from them and started Manchac Farms. We soon realized how much we enjoyed this life and how much fun it was starting a new farm with our girls. We realized that there was a place in this market for this kind of pork and that there was not enough people doing this. We changed our focus from just providing for our family’s needs and now focus on producing and purveying heritage breed pigs in South Louisiana for the discerning pork consumer, restaurants, and chefs. I have an established and respected construction business, but I would love to spend my time working on the farm and building things to enhance our farm. Manchac Farms is aimed at producing a better pork product and making that product more available and understood through marketing and fostering awareness for how pork should taste. Among farmers the prestige of the breed is known. It is the belief of Manchac Farms that the Association can be the platform to reach beyond the farmers and into the public to share the beauty of our pork. I would like to see the association reach beyond finding more farms and farmers interested in producing breed stock and focus more on consumer awareness of the great taste and quality of our breed. We are currently at a point where the average consumer knows the difference and knows why there is a cost difference in grass feed beef and feed lot beef, but that same consumer has no idea that there is this same difference in pork. I would love to help promote the association and help in any way I can with getting the word out about this great heritage breed pig.
Bjorn & Debbie Stengel of Rusty Bridge Farm
My name is Bjorn Stengel. My wife and two very young sons make up the human half of Rusty Bridge Farm, in southern Indiana.
The 20 acre farm’s other half consists of Shetland sheep, chickens, a dog, cats, Eddie Murphy the Donkey, and our favorites: The Large Black Hogs. (2 sows and a boar.) I first found out about the breed around 10 years ago reading about the Wolfe family doing what they could to keep the breed going, and what they had experienced in doing so. It has been only a few years now, but I have the same love for the breed that Kay W. shared long ago; what the association shares today.
I want to promote the breed and keep it pure, respected, known, and in the most positive of light.
I have done everything possible to inform buyers/interested parties of our breed stock, about the breed and the association so that they are better informed about the breed.
I am quick to respond to any inquiry, sale or question. I love talking about the breed in general and if I don’t know the answer I will certainly find it.
I purchased my hogs from Cyndie Philips and Harvey Work. They both took their time to answer any and all questions I had. I have taken that same torch and have treated ALL, and even the worst of callers and Craigslist add conversations, with the same detail and enthusiasm that got me so excited about raising Large Black Hogs in the first place.
I would be honored to be on the Large Black Hog Association Board.
Thank you for your consideration.
Rusty Bridge Farm
Nabb, IN 47147
Angela & Jason Johnson of Lucky George Farm
Hiya! I co-own Lucky George Farm in Derby, IA with my husband Jason. We have been raising Large Blacks since the summer of last year when we finally found a little bit of land to call home for us and our six children. Before we had the land we have been creating a plan for the past two years. It has been wonderful putting it all together now and raising these amazing gentle giants.
Our goal is simple—raise the best breeding stock possible including all of the male and female lines available in North America. Our herd is raised on grass from our fields year round. In the winter we are feeding hay from our back pasture and supplement no more than 20% of their feed with grains. Our pigs grow very well, are handled daily, and know that they are loved by our entire family. Feel free to check us out on Facebook and get to know me and our farm better. Here in Iowa, Land of Big Agriculture, we are considered the “hippie” farmers and we love the label! For us it means pasture raised, heritage breeds, no antibiotics, no hormones, with natural meats being processed at our AWA butcher that we then sell at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market direct to customers. Could it really get better than that?
I think I can be a positive force on the LBHA Board. I’m an overeducated lady that loves these pigs with all of my heart. When not on the farm I run Athena Consulting LLC and work as an advisor for large corporations looking to make extensive organizational changes. I hold degrees in Finance and Insurance, an MBA in Organizational Leadership/Change Management and to top it off I am an attorney. I think business, know how to grow one from the ground up, and create new opportunities for others through cooperation and executing on plans rather than just talking about them. I also love technology and use the same software as the LBHA to manage our herd, CIs, matings, and trial matings. I have researched the origins of each of the North American bloodlines and am familiar with the history of the pedigrees in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. I am a huge believer that knowledge makes the world go round!
We are missing out on too many potential positives for the betterment and future of this breed. I believe the LBHA needs to have a presence at local state fairs and support members that are looking to show their livestock, we need to support niche pork operations with guidelines and literature to promote the breed as one of the best tasting pigs on the planet, and we need to engage the membership so that new members as well as old feel value from the LBHA. I want our voices to turn into action through an engaged membership.
We need to have basic information on genetic importation, artificial insemination, breed specific vet care, and breeding guidelines available to our members. I am a current member of many organizations including Slow Food, Practical Farmers of Iowa, The Livestock Conservancy, and the British Pig Association. During the past year I have gone to the Livestock Conservancy National Convention, the Mother Earth Fair, the Iowa State Fair, Southern Grass Conference, and the World Pork Expo for the sole purpose of understanding what I can do to better the visibility of our breed and pastured pork. I’d like to do the same and more in the next year representing not only my farm but yours as well June 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm #18581Member: IA
Hi all! If anyone has questions for me or my husband, Jason, feel free to give us a ring. My cell number is 515-779-4526 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to talk through issues, concerns, answer questions or just talk PIG! Feel free to check out our farm page on Facebook (search for Lucky George Farm) or you can visit our website at http://www.luckygeorgefarm.com.
Jason also gave me a bit of a rub that I didn’t mention his background at all in our bio. He is a graduate from the University of Iowa with degrees in Journalism and History. He then went on to receive his MBA in Marketing from Gonzaga Univeristy in Spokane, WA while I worked on my law degree there. Before farming full time he worked in Sales and Management at large mobile/cell companies.
Angela & Jason Johnson
Lucky George Farm
Derby, IAJuly 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm #18597
If you sent in your ballot and it was returned to you, please forward it on to
16383 County Road 75
Kenton, Ohio 43326
Slight snafu with receptacle at the address it was supposed to be sent to.July 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm #18598Member: IA
When do ballots have to be received by to be counted in the vote?
Lucky George Farm