Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hoosier Farmers Celebrate Indiana Ag Month

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Jay Hawley or Grandpa Jay, a pork farmer from Clinton County, thinks Ag Month is so important because he feels there is almost no knowledge of where food comes from anymore.

  Grandpa Jay 
"Wal-Mart hasn't grown any food ever, but some people believe that they are the source of all food," says Grandpa Jay. "There are so few of us left that we need to educate the vast majority of the public who we are and what we do. The farmers used to be viewed as the good guys, but that is changing.  We need to tell our story and that we are really great people who do care about the land, our animal, and the environment."

Grandpa Jay2

Jay graduated from Purdue University in 1969. He then returned home to farm with his dad. Jay married his wife Sue that summer and they have been farming and raising hogs for more than 43 years. They currently farm about 750 acres and have a farrow to feeder pig operation-they keep the pigs from the day they are born until they reach 50-60 pounds. Jay and Sue have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

They started Grandpa Jay's Pork in 2006.  "We sold at four farmers' markets last summer which included Noblesville, West Lafayette, Frankfort, and the Statehouse market," says Grandpa Jay. "We have two restaurants using our pork and hope to increase that number.  We have a produce that is 88% lean and has nothing added except different spices for different flavors."

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