Stay true to the roots of farming. If you’re looking to become a millionaire find something else to do, but if you have a passion for farming and a strong back you’ll find success in more ways than your account balance.Mark Ford
Ford’s Pig Farm, just
0 MILESfrom its distributor in Ithaca, NY.
Interview with Mark Ford, Owner of Ford’s Pig Farm.
I’ve been farming since I was old enough to walk. As a kid our family raised chickens on the farm. I started raising hogs in 1974 with the help of my mother and sisters.
I was born in Waverly PA, and have lived on the family farm all my life in Sayre, PA.
I raised my 2 daughters here on the farm and like to think the lifestyle taught them a strong work ethic and skills to deal with the everyday challenges of life.
I don’t grow my own feed but sources it from other local farms. The feed is blended with the calcium and mineral the hogs need and I add 16% local molasses to the blend. The hogs have plenty of access to rut and enjoy the outdoors. They have full shelter in a ventilated barn in large pen areas during the winter and inclement weather.
I kinda fell into pig farming back in 1974. A farmer up the road needed some chickens from our farm and traded me a couple pigs. From there I started breeding and Ford’s Pig Farm was born.
In a rural community, everyone helps their neighbor. We still trade crops and livestock where I live and help each other with day to day work on the farms. For instance, I’m hauling some hay for my neighbor today.
The large commercial farms have really hurt the small to mid-size farmer. They drive the market price down so far that it is really hard to make a living. I’ve also been doing this long enough to remember when folks would buy piglets to raise for their families twice a year. Those days are long gone, I only sell a few a year now in the spring. Guess Walmart is cheaper.
Winter is really hard. Feed cost go up and you have the added expense of heat and extra bedding for the animals, not to mention at 60 years old my old bones feel it. I’ve tried finding younger guys to hire, but it’s hard enough to get them to show up when the weather is nice. Plus, they’re always on those damn phones!!
I’m not sure it makes a big difference either way, but through the years I think there is a correlation between the growth of large commercial farms and GMO seed. Like I said earlier, lots of small farms have fallen victim to the Big Guy.
Stay true to the roots of farming. If you’re looking to become a millionaire find something else to do, but if you have a passion for farming and a strong back you’ll find success in more ways than your account balance.