Ashly Martin comes from a long line of Texas ranchers and focuses his current operation, Trails End Ranch, on 1500 acres of rolling rangeland in the Texas Hill Country. The ranch is covered with live oak and mesquite trees along with prickly pear cactus, and the acreage provides ample room for Ashly to manage his Certified Animal Approved by A Greener World (AGW) pigs.
In 2013, Ashly decided to embark on a new adventure when he began raising Spain’s famous black Iberico pig. He sold off his herd of Angus cattle and acquired breeding stock from Spain in order to begin breeding and raising the herd of Ibericos. “These extraordinary pigs trace their lineage back to the time of the cavemen and are particularly suited for outdoor living,” says Ashly. “The cerdo Ibérico (Iberian pig) has a different genetic makeup than industrial pigs. These animals are able to transform their diet – acorns, fresh grass, mesquite beans and prickly pear fruit – into heart-healthy fats much like extra virgin olive oil. That’s how Iberico pigs got the nickname “four-legged olive trees.” Our herd has 6 different strains of Iberico, providing vigorous genetic variation and a healthy herd.”
Pigs at Trails End Ranch are raised outdoors, on pasture and range, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AGW certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits. “Our 100 % Iberico breed pigs spend their days roaming freely, eating acorns, grass, herbs, sweet mesquite beans, prickly pear fruit and any other goodies they can find,” says Ashly. “Their diet infuses the pork with intense flavor, and plentiful exercise means the pork is marbled with flavorful fat, much like a fine steak.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork from Trails End Ranch and sold under the Texas Iberico brand is available for online order through La Tienda.com as well as at restaurants, grocers and butchers around Texas. Check the AGW directory for more details. For more information about Trails End Ranch, visit texasiberico.com.