Thanks to our partnership with Heritage Foods USA, Casella’s is proud to be working with a network of independent family farms, all raising their animals on pasture, with traditional methods. They truly represent the best of American farming, protecting heritage breeds and working hard to promote sustainable, humane, healthy, and happy animals. This is the very best of old-world farming in America.
Lazy S. Farms – La Plata, Missouri
Larry and Madonna Sorrell have worked with Heritage Foods since the beginning in 2002, originally growing heritage turkeys and eventually becoming the undisputed royalty of Red Wattle pigs in the USA. Because of a fierce dedication to the genetic purity of the breed and thanks to relationships with the Amish community that took years to develop, Larry and Madonna are a major reason why the Red Wattle, once critically endangered, has been upgraded on conservation lists by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Larry, like the Wattle itself, is sweet and buttery, but can also be tart and charmingly inconsistent!
Good Farms – just North of Manhattan, Kansas — “The Little Apple”
Craig Good inherited the responsibility of maintaining a passel of the finest Duroc breed pigs in the nation from his father who taught pig husbandry at Kansas State. Craig began working with Heritage Foods in 2006 and over the years transitioned his farm to include numerous rare breeds like the Gloucestershire Old Spot and Tamworth which he also crosses with his Duroc to make deliciously marbled breeds with names like Spot-Rocs and Dur-Worths!
Craig introduced Heritage Foods to many farmers local to him in Manhattan, Kansas including a talented young lamb farmer and a student who raises pigs through the Future Farmers of America. Craig maintains his lovely farm with his wife Amy and it is a favorite stop along the numerous chef farm tours taken over the past decade. In addition to pigs, Craig raises 100% pure Angus beef, which Heritage Foods features once a year during grilling season.
Newman Farm – Myrtle, Missouri
David Newman is a professor of pig science in North Dakota and along with his brother Chris, has continued the tradition of raising the old-line English genetics of the Berkshire breed started by their father more than 40 years ago on their family farm in the Ozarks. The Newmans are responsible for introducing the purest Berkshire genetics to dozens of farms throughout the country and remain among the fiercest proponents of pasture-raised systems that result in the best marbling in the business. First imported to America in 1823, today the Newmans deliver the closest taste to that original stock. Stay tuned for promotions featuring cross breeding experiments from the farm with Berkshires and rare breeds like the Red Wattle and Large Black.
Krapfl Farm – Delhi, Iowa and Halverson Farm – Benard, Iowa
Tom Krapfl and Randy Halverson. Because the Berkshire is not endangered like the Wattle, Old Spot or Tamworth, it allows us to meet an ever-growing demand for pasture-raised pork nationally. Tom’s and Randy’s farms are both certified to be humane by Humane Farm Animal Care, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production from birth through slaughter. Raising outdoors makes for healthier and happier animals that taste better than their counterparts raised indoors.
Norton Farm – Plattsburg, Missouri
Eric Norton farms an immense property within a stone’s throw of Heritage Foods abbatoir in Trimble, Missouri. His diversified farm includes grains, which he uses as feed for his cattle, and pigs that run wild across vast stretches of the hilly landscape that has been owned by his family for generations. When Eric began working with Heritage Foods in 2006 his Berkshire line was but a small percentage of his overall production but over the years he has selected for the Berkshire genetics and today more and more of his pigs have the black color with white spots on the tip of the feet, nose and tail — trademark characteristics of the breed. Eric is a young farmer with a growing family giving hope that superior, non-industrial pigs have a vibrant future in the area surrounding Kansas City.
Keevhaver Farm – Trimble, Missouri; Baker Farm – Kiron, Iowa; Meyer Farm – Lawson, Missouri
Ben Keevhaver, Trent and Troy Baker, Sharon Meyer. When Heritage Foods first started to ramp up production of heritage pigs at our abattoir in Trimble, Missouri, a number of local farmers called asking if they could also provide pigs for the program. The answer, like usual, was yes as long as they transitioned to raising the Berkshire outdoors, a breed that was readily available to them locally. So over the years the three farms started to ramp up production themselves and now provide excellent pigs on a monthly basis. They are also helping to grow the supply of good, clean and fair pigs in the Kansas City market, good news for the local restaurant scene, which has really taken off in recent years.
Doug Metzger and his family – Seneca, Kansas
Doug Metzger was the first farmer to grow pigs for Heritage Foods and it was he who introduced us in 2005 to Paradise Locker Meats, an abattoir we have worked with ever since. We met Doug and his wife Betty through our original project to introduce rare breed turkeys to the national market and continued to work with him to raise Berkshire pigs and eventually Tamworth pigs, which are considered rare. Doug is a master of agricultural arts and has raised almost everything imaginable over the decades. Doug is a great connector of people and has played a major role in the local ag scene through his diversified farm. Doug is older now and we hope very much that his daughter and son continue to the tradition of farming in the family that was started many generations before. Life Magazine once wrote that Doug’s father had more living descendants than any American – and many of them were farmers.