In 2008, Jennifer Curtis and Tina Prevatte Levy, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Firsthand Foods, merged…
Allen Raynor, along with his daughter, Christy, and son, Buddy, raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) pigs at DAR Farms in Duplin County, North Carolina. “I started growing hogs when I was 13 years old, so I’ve been raising hogs for 45 years,” says Allen. The Raynors raise hogs on four parcels of land that include a combination of cleared and woodland areas, several miles outside of Wallace.
The Raynors currently manage 75 sows, although they plan to increase the herd to 120 sows. The pigs are a variety of breeds, including Berkshire, Tamworth, Chester White, and Duroc—all of which are well-suited for management outdoors and known for their exceptional meat quality. “We are using the Berkshire to get the marbling, and the Chester Whites and Tamworths sows make good mothers and have good numbers of pigs,” Allen explains. “The most important thing for me is that we are raising good quality hogs.”
The pigs at DAR Farms have constant access to ranging and foraging areas and are frequently moved to fresh ground to prevent the build-up of potential disease and parasites. “We make sure the hogs are fed, given plenty fresh water, and taken care of everyday,” says Allen. “Most hogs grew outdoors until about 40 years ago when production moved indoors, but hogs are happiest outside where they can do as they please. That’s the way a hog should be raised; it’s a whole lot better for them, it’s better for the environment, and results in far superior meat, too.”
Allen, Christy, and Buddy chose to pursue AGW certification specifically to meet the growing local demand for Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW product: “The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification creates more market for us, and people are actively looking for AGW product in this area,” says Allen.
For more information about DAR Farms, contact Allen, Christy, or Buddy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 627-2349.