WRCB recently came out to talk about swine flu, and learn about the differences between factory raised swine and our happy, naturally raised porkers.
SEQUATCHIE, Tenn. (WRCB-TV) – Health experts have stated that one cannot catch the “swine Flu” by eating pork. They have even stopped calling it “Swine Flu” to re-enforce their point. But, fears still pervade many parts of the globe.
A local farmer says, these trying times can move people back to locally raised crops and livestock. And that is not a bad thing. “Our pigs are really healthy,” explained Bill Keener, “in part because we do raise them in a really natural environment.”
He and his wife run a bit of Shangri-La in Marion County. Sequatchie Cove Farm is 300 acres of hills and meadows and grass and buttercups. Conditions for Keener’s herd of 40 Large Blacks and Gloucester Old Spots are a far cry from those of a commercial swine farm. “Well, there you have people coming and going and animals coming and going,” said Keener. “And there is a greater possibility and they really have to look out for, I guess, bio security.”
“The industrial pig is a 3-way cross and it’s kind of designed almost to really grow fast on a small amount of food,” he continued. “And these pigs grow slower, they get a lot of exercise and I don’t have health problems.”
The demand for his is growing. Again, you can’t get the virus formerly know as swine flu from eating pork, but there is this fact. “Things like this often help us,” Keener said, “because a few more people say, ‘I’m gonna get my pork at least where I know it.’ You know?”
So, Bill Keener will keep raising his crops and taking his livestock to market. And he will keep sharing his knowledge of the land and mother nature with one eye on profit and the other on the future. “A lot of what we do is just study nature, said Keener. “And then we say, ‘okay, if this is the way it works in nature and the animals are healthy, what can we do in the confines of this farm to imitate these cycles and processes going on to produce really healthy animals and get our soil healthier and healthier?’ And so, for the next generation, you know, we’ll these healthy animals.”
Reported by: Greg Glover