Published in U.S. Catholic, May 2008
Honorable mention for investigative writing, Catholic Press Association
Honorable mention for feature, Associated Church Press
How family farmers are planting for a sustainable future
Russ Kremer had a near-death experience in 1989. On his central Missouri farm, he was bitten by a hog and contracted a form of strep resistant to at least five antibiotics. His hogs’ feed included antibiotics to protect them—but not humans—from disease.
Doctors cured him, but Kremer decided to start his farm operation anew, raising hogs naturally.
“I quit cold turkey,” he says. “I’ve basically been a crusader or an evangelist for raising hogs this way. I did it because it was the right thing to do.”
Although there was little demand for natural meat then, today small farmers across the country are finding economic opportunity in the natural, organic, and locally grown food markets. Like Kremer, though, their motivation goes beyond the bottom line to values shared by both family farmers and urban eaters. …