Sugar Mountain Farm

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Sugar Mountain Farm
Color picture of pig
Yorkshire x Berkshire Boar Big'Un at Sugar Mountain Farm
Location
Coordinates 44°07′31″N 72°20′24″W / 44.12528°N 72.34000°W / 44.12528; -72.34000Coordinates: 44°07′31″N 72°20′24″W / 44.12528°N 72.34000°W / 44.12528; -72.34000
Region
New England
Products Pastured Pigs & Sheep
Owner Walter Jeffries
Website sugarmtnfarm.com
pigs in pastural setting
Pastured pigs at Sugar Mountain Farm

Sugar Mountain Farm is a 70 acres (28 ha) family-operated pig farm in West Topsham, Vermont with approximately 200-400 pastured-raised pigs.[1][2] The pigs are fed acid whey from a nearby dairy farm, apple pomace leftovers from a nearby cider facility, vegetables, and spent barley from a brewery as opposed to grain.[2][3]

The company uses "natural farming methods",[4] also known as permaculture.[5] They only use antibiotics if a pig gets sick.[6] The farm does not use castration to control boar taint, relying on other methods such as selective breeding, diet, and pasturing males away from females.[7] They raised sheep and pigs until 2009, when the farm focused on pork due to lower demand for lamb and wool.[3]

As of 2010, the farm had been raising pigs for 12 pig generations in two herds of 40 sows and four boars. The herds comprise crosses of several heritage breeds. Most are Yorkshire crossed with Berkshires, Large Black, Tamworth, Hampshire and Gloucester Old Spots.[8]

Initially the farmers had to transport six pigs at a time 150 miles (240 km) to the nearest butcher. Using funding from friends, family members, their own savings, two community-supported agriculture programs[9] and $33,000 from a Kickstarter campaign,[1] they began building a slaughterhouse on the property around 2009,[2][3] as a do-it-yourself project.[3] Sugar Mountain Farm anticipates starting butcher shop operations in the summer of 2015 after Vermont and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Keck, Nina (May 23, 2012). "Internet Fundraising Helps Farmers Flourish". Voice of American. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b c Molly Hart, CNN. "Whey-ing Greek yogurt’s environmental impact". CBS News Channel 6. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Sugar Mountain Farm works to get all it can from pastured pigs". Burlington Free Press. September 10, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ Kelley, Kevin. "This Little Piggie Stayed Home". Seven Days. 
  5. ^ French, Arthur (April 2015). "The Practical Permaculture Pig". Acres U.S.A. Magazine-The Voice of Eco-Agriculture (Austin, TX: Acres U.S.A.): 34–41. This article is about four permaculture pig farmers and how we feed our pigs. ...Walter Jefferies of Sugar Mountain Farm ... All shared their opinions on raising pigs on pasture in permaculture systems. 
  6. ^ Tamar Haspel (December 23, 2013). "Antibiotics on farms: Can curbing their use also curb resistant infections in humans?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-05-05. 
  7. ^ "Is the GMO Debate Aimed at Pig Testicles?". Modern Farmer. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ Cooper, Carlotta (2010). The Complete Guide to Raising Pigs: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply. Ocala, Florida: Atlantic Publishing Company. pp. 90–91. ISBN 9781601383792. 
  9. ^ "Chapter 8: The “Multi-Year CSA” Financing Model Farm Case Study: Sugar Mountain Farm, West Topsham, Vt.". The Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm-Ways for Farms to Acquire Capital from Communities (PDF). University of Vermont Extension-UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture. 2012. pp. 43–45. Retrieved 2015-05-05. 
  10. ^ "ButcherShop". Sugar Mountain Farm. Retrieved 2015-05-05.