Day in the life of John Pedersen, Hog Manager, midwife to the sows

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Photo by Laura Mortelliti

It’s a farrowing affair and not for everyone. But it takes a talented, caring person to raise some of the smartest animals on the planet. Unlike factory hog production that confines sows in gestation and farrowing crates, we raise all of our pigs on pasture, completely unconfined. It isn’t easy or convenient, but it is the right thing to do. Our Hog Production Manager, John Pedersen, does a brilliant job caring for them, and we’re excited to introduce you to him on this week’s blog. Read on to get a glimpse into a day in the life of one of our favorite pastured pig farmers. 

Q: Why did you get into farming?
A: I started contemplating farming as a potential career about 7 years ago after my son Nicolaus came into this world. My food focus switched from a solely sustenance approach to a source of preventative healthcare and high nutrition for my family and me; we began searching for local farmers to provide us with the food we felt would be best. During the search for food and educating ourselves to the farming practices in our area we learned about regenerative farm practices that not only provided nutrient dense protein and vegetable sources but also was extremely respectful of the animals grown and the land/soil used to raise them, and I wanted to be part of it.

Q: What has been your proudest moment at work?
A: Being the “midwife” to the hogs (thank you for the new nickname…) brings with it many proud moments every time a new litter is born. Anyone who has had a child enter their life will be able to relate to this. Caring for a pregnant sow or gilt and then being there for that new litter of piglets is so satisfying.

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Photo by Angie Mosier

Q: What’s your favorite daily chore?
A: My favorite and most satisfying daily chore is checking on the piglets and mommas. They are on a specific diet that we daily feed utilizing five-gallon buckets and when they see the truck coming they dance and squeal and hop around like you would imagine a puppy would when seeing its owner after a long day away at the office. It’s precious!

Q: What is your favorite food in our on-farm dining Pavilion?
A: I have coined a new slogan for anyone dining at the Pavilion, “Support the Pork.” Every meal that Reid and his team prepare with pork quickly becomes my favorite. Support the Pork!

Q: If you could trade roles with someone on the farm for a day, who would it be and why?
A: All of the employees at White Oak Pastures have extremely diverse, rewarding and challenging roles. Each of us are passionate about our programs and we frequently work together. I miss working with cows and really enjoy working with our livestock manager John Benoit. He wears many hats and I couldn’t handle all of his responsibility, but I do have fun working with cows when I have the chance.

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Q: What’s the best, and worst, part of living in Bluffton, GA?
A: I grew up in very suburban/urban locations and enjoyed all that those places have to offer, most importantly, the diversity of restaurants which ironically is the best and worst part of living in Bluffton. We have the best restaurant right here on the farm but regrettably the only restaurant in Bluffton.

Q: What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
A: I love a good seared pork chop, salt and pepper only. The flavor that comes through on our pork is amazing and needs no amendments. Support the Pork!

Q: Choose one word to describe White Oak Pastures.
A: “Pioneering”

Shop our pastured pork online

Categories: Animal Welfare, Staff Spotlight | Tags: | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Day in the life of John Pedersen, Hog Manager, midwife to the sows

  1. Another outstanding story about a talented person and forward thinking practices at White Oak Pastures. Your posts are terrific – keep them coming.

  2. Very interesting! I had to google what a “gilt” was. I always learn something here!

  3. Fran Delgado

    Tell me this is not so. Is one so hypocritical to believe they are a “humanitarian” because the raise beautiful, intelligent, feeling beings for the sole purpose to be violently slaughtered and eatened??? If you were the pig, would you considere the person slicing your throat and eating you – a “humanitarian”!!!

    We have been cultured in to the worst hypocrisy and cruelty to other species of beings on the planet!!! You are murderes, disguising yourselves as fraudulent humanitarians. Stop the killing, slaughter, violence. You are the devil, himself. Time to evolve from this unthinkable barbarism. Nice try. Actually, deplorable deception,

    • Angela Huffman

      Thanks for your comment, Fran, but it’s clear you don’t understand much about the natural world, regenerative and humane animal agriculture, or White Oak Pastures. Come see us if you want to better understand what we do on our farm. The experience would do you a lot of good.

  4. raffinehospitality

    Greetings from Sanibel, Florida! Many thanks to you all for your hard work and fantastic products. We just rec’d our shipment and can’t wait to order more — support the pork, indeed! Looking forward to visiting the farm again soon.

    • Angela Huffman

      Thank you for supporting our practices! We hope you enjoy our order and we look forward to seeing you on the farm again!

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