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Podcast: Raising all-natural pasture pork

The 19th episode of the Real P3 podcast unpacks Master Blend Family Farms’ pasture-based system and how the certified all-natural, premium pork is marketed to customers.

The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals from around the world are interviewed about challenges and solutions in their day-to-day work. In this episode, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to Ron Simmons, who says he is having a lot of fun and “the time of his life” raising pigs as the founder and owner of Master Blend Family Farms in North Carolina, USA.

There are currently 115 production sows at the farm, most of which are purebred. Some crossbreed females are used to create a complimentary combination for superior meat quality and a unique flavour.

An all-natural approach

Simmons talks about the intricacies of the farm’s all-natural approach and what that means in terms of antibiotic use, minimising carbon footprint and mitigating parasites and disease. He discusses pig feed and pasture rotation and how he manages the pigs’ diet, excessive rainfall and changing seasons through a good ground cover system to avoid soil erosion, and the right vegetation. He keeps heat-tolerant pasture, greenery, nutrition and the enjoyment of the pigs in mind.

The Real P3 · Ron Simmons – Chasing Greatness – Niche Pork Production

Promoting the Master Blend pork brand

When it comes to marketing, Simmons has a unique approach: “With all of the awesome customers we have, large and small, I always look at it with a business mindset of not only rendering a responsible value-added product but also rendering my time and my resources so that we all as a unit are able to benefit from what we do.”

In the previous weeks, Pig Progress published earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series: