Mark recently posted a video explaining our pig situation with the DNR and what you can do to help. There is also a blog entry a bit further back explaining things. We do have a Legal Defense Fund set up to help cover the costs associated with this battle for the right to farm as best we can. Checks should be made out to “Mark Baker” and can be sent to:
1579 Brinks Rd. Marion, MI 49665
We’ve learned a lot about the legal process already, and have worked with some great people (some of whom are lawyers!). It’s another opportunity to think about why we do what we do and make decisions about what’s important to keep and what should be let go. We’ve decided that our Mangalitsa and Mangalitsa hybrid pigs are important assets to our farm for many reasons. Not only do they produce really good food, they do it in an ecologically responsible manner. These “back to basics” hogs thrive in our northern Michigan climate and can grow on any kind of feed. They utilize grasses, roots, root crops, animal parts (heads, feet, heart/liver/gizzard from the chickens), and end-of-production garden plants to grow. They do not require oil dependant means (feed or shelter) to provide high quality food for many people. We’ve been impressed with their mothering skills and hardiness in a wide variety of conditions. “Hybrid vigor” is a term that aptly describes the productiveness of such animals. On top of all that, they are generally pleasant, cooperative animals, as pigs go. We’d hate to lose these and other heritage breeds of hogs in the local food community.
Anything you can do to help us preserve the right of Michigan farmers to raise heritage breeds of hogs for human consumption is a vote of confidence for small local farmers and local food security. Letters to the DNR head, Rodney Stokes, to your legislators, and to the governor will help. Financial support for legal defense against the DNR will help (Mark talks more about that on the video). Purchasing locally grown, pasture raised pork will encourage many small farmers.
Thanks for your interest and support!