I was talking with a dear friend last night.
We hadn't talked in months. We're both very busy and time had gotten away from us.
I met Amanda in the Summer of 2021. I reached out on social media for volunteers to help me water all the hogs here. My 2 farm hands and I were already at capacity.
We talked last night about her and her daughters perspective on my work with the Meishan as outsiders coming in and where we are today.
We both agreed that most people have no idea what we've done. Most people think we're a farm with pigs and a store. And basically, I guess we are that too.
But, what we've done in the 2 years since the registry and foundation herd moved to my farm from TN has made history.
With the help of my family and my crew, we've saved the Meishan pig.
That's a bold statement. I know.
Let me break it down....
When I took over work with the seed herd for North America, it included 12 hogs. 7 foundation hogs and 5 of their offspring.
Rico shared that the foundation herd may be beyond their breeding age and that there may be a mycotoxin issue effecting fertility in the others.
Essentially, there were issues within that herd that needed to be sorted out.
I also took responsibility for 50+ pigs that people had ordered from his farm too. It was now on me to make good on those deposits and orders.
At that point in the registry, if I may put on my AMBA Registrar hat, Hog # 10138, or 138 was registered the month I took over, May 2020.
To say I was behind the 8 ball was an understatement.
I couldn't get the stock I had inherited to produce consistently well....I had to do something....too much was at stake here.
So I scoured the herd book and rebuilt that herd in 2020.
By the time 2021 rolled around, I had a breeding herd of 22 boars and sows.
13 litters were farrowed here in 2021 for a total of 142 piglets farrowed.
127 of them were weaned.
By the end of 2021, there was no back log. I had delivered around 100 pigs by either farm pick up or flying them cross country.
But that didn't mean we were out of the woods yet.
I needed those hogs to successfully farrow. And for those breeders to find the same success I had.
And we're there.
This week, back to my registrar duties, I will register hog #10550.....or hog #550.
To do the math for you, that's 336 hogs registered since I became registrar 2 years and 3 months ago.
Now, don't think I'm claiming to have been the only person registering hogs. I was not. But I was the seed herd for everyone else to get rolling.
If I failed, we all failed. I knew that with every ounce of me.
A breed with a 5,000 year history depended on me.
And I have done it. I have fulfilled every backorder. Supported every fellow Meishan pig nerd. And I'll continue to do that too.
As I told Amanda last night, "We did it! We saved the Meishan! At this little farm in Loganville where everyone thinks we just raise some pigs."
A breed with a 5,000 year history has a bright future now. Thanks to my ability to deliver 1 registered Meishan at a time.
Photo: Me with USDA foundation boar, Zhou.