Q: So, you’re the pork farmer in the Spragg’s operation. What does a typical day on the farm look like for you?
I spend most mornings at the Meat Shop directing and leading our team of meat cutters and then afternoons on the farm. Checking waterers and feeders, putting straw out in the winter and going through every group of pigs to check on them.
Q: Your pigs are raised free-range and outdoors. We’re curious, does the environment they grow up in really matter?
It’s more fun watching the pigs outside; that’s for sure. There is no smell of a pig barn associated with our hog operation. We take away the stress of intensive production and performance and just let them be pigs.
Q: What does a season change look like on the farm, especially now that we are leaving the cold weather behind?
My focus switches from keeping the pigs warm and dry to cool with lots of access to water and mud. It gets easier to feed all the pigs as they have more grass to eat on the pasture during the summer months.
Q: I’m sure your day starts very early. What motivates you the most to get out of bed every morning?
I do start early a few days a week. And there are days when we don’t finish until 9 or 10 pm. But I don’t focus on that. My motivation is that people depend on Spragg’s Meat Shop and on me to provide a job or a product or service. And the base of all that starts with the pigs and the pig farmer.
Q: What is it like raising a daughter on the farm and seeing her grow up?
Ruth says she is a better pig farmer than me, but I am still the one working on the PHD (piling it high and deep). Spragg’s is a family farm, and I would be proud to see it passed on to the next generation some time down the road.
Q: When you are not on the farm, where can we find you? Do you have any hobbies outside of hog farming?
I like hunting, fishing, and fine-scale modelling. I am working on a World War Two diorama right now.
Q: When you started this business with Bonnie all those years ago, did you see it becoming as successful as it is?
No, it was always about trying to just get to the next step. When we achieved one thing, there was always something else to focus on to keep us growing.
Q: We have to know, what is your favourite cut of meat? Do you have a favourite recipe to cook for your family?
Boston butt steaks on the BBQ. Just a few spices, seared and then cooked on the top rack.
Q: What do you see for the future of the Spragg’s family farm?
I would like to move towards farm tourism and get our farm set up to be able to showcase our free-range hog operation. This is not our top priority, but it sounds like one that we would have a lot of fun building at the right time.
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