Ozarks Hog Producer Successful Despite Drought Thanks to Niche Market

If you like bacon you may want to stock up.  Experts are predicting a worldwide pork shortage by next year, and like with so many other things the drought is getting the blame.

  The information comes from the National Pig Association in Britain, which is predicting European pork prices could double by this time next year.  In the United States pork supply soared last mont, rising more than 30% as most producers rushed to sell off their herds because the cost of feeding them is just too high.  But it’s a different story in Seymour, Missouri.

  “Feed’s of course gotten higher, corn has gone up, everything has gone up, cost is up, fuel, fertilizer, that’s why it’s tough out here on the farm,” a cattle producer told us back in July.

  It’s been a summer of sacrifice; trimming the fat, or maybe more appropriately thinning the herd of skinny animals, Ozarks farmers are selling out and selling off– but not at Circle B Ranch.

  “Let’s put it this way, the trend is upward,” John Backes explains.

  Despite a drought, despite the fact the Backes’ are a new business, despite being Ozarks transplants– the New Jersey natives are expanding.

  “Our internet sales have increased, our market store sales have increased,” Backes tells us. “We’re in natural food markets in Springfield as well as down in southeast Missouri, and of course the farmers market of the Ozarks has taken off and our sales are very good there.”

  They credit hard work and a niche market.  They raise hogs and got into the business as others were getting out.  The Backes’ have been living a pork shortage ever since they came to the Ozarks.  Whether you’re going west to Rogersville or east to Ava they are one of the only pork producers in the area and they say really only one of four or five in the country who raise pigs this way: “they’re all natural and pasture raised,” as well as certified humane.

  A worldwide pork shortage sounds pretty appetizing right about now because Circle B isn’t going anywhere but up.

  “We’ll be profitable once we’re finished with our growth curve,” Backes concludes.

  While the shortage may be good news for producers like backes who plan to stay in the game, it’s not good news for consumers.  Food prices rose steeply this summer and are expected to continue to climb.

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