Sugar Mountain Farm

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Sugar Mountain Farm
Color picture of pig
Yorkshire x Berkshire Boar Big'Un at Sugar Mountain Farm
Coordinates44°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
New England
ProductsPastured Pigs & Sheep
OwnerWalter Jeffries
Remarks1,000 acres (400 ha) (forested)
70 acres (28 ha) (pasture)
pigs in pastoral 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 has stated that it 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, a community-supported agriculture programs of pre-buys by customers[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 started butcher shop operations October 15, 2015 under Vermont state inspection.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Keck, Nina (May 23, 2012). "Internet Fundraising Helps Farmers Flourish". Voice of American. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  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.
  6. ^ Tamar Haspel (December 23, 2013). "Antibiotics on farms: Can curbing their use also curb resistant infections in humans?". Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  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 May 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Judy Simpson. "West Topsham farm builds new facility to process locally raised pork". WCAX-TV.