Nestled in the lush and rolling landscapes of the Ozark Mountains is a special pig farm. This sprawling 90 acre piece of farm land in Seymor, MO is known as Circle B Ranch, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Backes. The ranch name stemmed from Mr. Backes’ affinity to another ranch called Circle as well as the continuing “circle of life” observed in nature, and the family name, Backes. The ranch is populated by approximately 90-120 Berkshire, Red Wattle, Berkshire/Red Wattle cross hogs who wander the heavily wooded property with the Ozark mountains as a backdrop.
Mr. and Mrs. Backes started a small hobby farm populated with horses, turkeys, ducks, and chickens when they were stationed in New Jersey. Described as a couple “ahead of their time,” the Backes raised their animals without subjecting them to unnecessary hormones and antibiotics. It would only seem fit that they would continue this practice once they started their pig operation.
After going on multiple farm tours in Missouri and receiving a plethora of knowledge from another pastured pig producer on the Certified Humane® program, Newman Farm Pork, this east coast couple purchased land that was conducive to the natural pig environment. Amidst the initial shock from their family members, who assumed they would have a confinement operation, the two built their pasture operation from the ground up in 2008. The Backes’ motto “Happy pigs are pastured pigs” which are allowed to graze the land and rotate pastures was critical in the planning and development of their farm. They based their farm facilities and operations on the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® standards. Mr. Backes is especially fond of the English style huts that are popular amongst European farmers. These animals breed, farrow, and mature in the natural setting of Circle B Ranch. By October 2010 Circle B Ranch was officially established and in business as a working pasture pig operation.
Not only do the Backes understand the importance of animal welfare but they also understand the impact of supporting local businesses. The Backes’ support the “Buy Local” movement by supplying their pork to community restaurants. Mrs. Backes notes that “Certified Humane® and locally grown concerns are providing the demand for our product.” However, this is not the extent of their services; they also take orders via the phone and internet. Please visit their website (www.circlebranchpork.com) where you can purchases an array of pork products, as well as sauces stemming from family recipes and those developed during Mrs. Backes extensive career as a caterer.
To learn more, visit their website at: Circle B Ranch
For information on where to find other Certified Humane® products in your area, visit the “Shop” page of HFAC’s website.