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NWA Pigs Foraging for National Recognition

Production of a pig created in Northwest Arkansas could soon spread across the country.
Fayetteville, AR - Production of a pig created in Northwest Arkansas could soon spread across the country.

For the last eight years, Rose Konold has been tailoring her swine to thrive at Mason Creek Farm.

"You have to start with a conventional hog breed," she says. "It takes a long measure of time to actually develop a hog that does well in your environment and meets all the needs of your customers."

The "Boston Mountain Hog's" longer body provides more bacon, and they're bred to live mostly outdoors.

"They have a hair coat that protects them from the environment," Konold says. "We've also chosen good eyesight so that they're easy to manage in the pasture."

The pasture raised pigs are only going to get better. The animals with the best characteristics are saved for breeding, while the rest are sold for meat.

"You breed up," she says. "Not every litter will have a breeding quality animal in it. Some litters, they'll all be breeding quality."

The small operation is seeking a trademark for their swine, offering the Boston Mountain Hog to farms across state lines.

"Other breeders can raise this breed, certify their herd, use this trademark and that is a tool for name recognition on a regional or national level," Konold says. "It's going to be growing exponentially, I think. We already have four people here locally that are breeding the hog."

Myriam Frick visited the farm Thursday, to see if the pigs would be a good fit.

"We have a ranch North of Texarkana on the Arkansas side," she says. "We are looking for some pigs who are very easy keeper. A lot of the original pigs are spoiled. They grew up in protected environment, so were looking for pigs who can be out in the sun."

Mason Creek is also talking with farmers from Conway, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Missouri, and Konold says working with other breeders will help Mason Creek compete with much bigger pork producers.

"Otherwise there's no way that you can market your pork, because essentially, we're all small producers," she says. "We, as individual farmers, really have to market ourselves collectively to try to compete with the conventional farming."

For more information on Mason Creek Farm, or the Boston Mountain Hog click here.

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