Rotary Club welcomes pig farmer for program

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rotary was visited by Iberian pigs this week, via the presentation of pig farmer, Hines Boyd of Monticello, Florida.

Boyd, who has a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Florida, was semi-retired from a career in agricultural real estate when he decided to pursue a whole new profession—raising pigs. These are not just ordinary pigs, but Iberian pigs brought from Spain.

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He professes a long time fascination with pigs. First, there is the interesting history of the interaction of pigs with humans.

He spoke of the evolution of pigs as human populations began living in closer quarters with each other.  It seems the pigs took care of eating all the garbage and dead corpses. He humorously described the pig as “the only edible farm animal that will return the favor,” under the right circumstances. Pigs also love peanuts and insects.

Pigs are considered to be very smart animals and adaptable to most any situations.

Boyd got into the pig business by recognizing an opportunity. He had been contacted by Spanish pig farmers who were looking for land in the states that was heavily populated with Oak trees, as acorns are the pigs favorite foods.

Boyd’s family has been on the same farm for eight generations. So, Boyd suggested the Spanish customer lease land. He set up the importation of the pigs, telling them he could be paid in pigs. He accepted a shipment of 20 sows to his farm and now has 400. He perceives it as an opportunity to help his grandchildren become familiar with the farm, and maybe they will decide to stay there.

Boyd said a ham from an Iberian pig that has fed on acorns, has a high oleic fat, similar to that found in olive oil. The meat is said to be in big demand in high-end dining places. “An acorn fed ham that has been aged for two years will sell for as much as $1000 in Spain.” he explained.

He showed photos of his pigs, explaining everything is done outdoors, where they enjoy foraging in the woods, grazing in the fields, bathing in cooling ponds and taking siestas.