After working on a nearby station, Rob’s Great Grandfather settled ‘Mystery Park’, just west of St Lawrence in 1925. As fourth generation beef graziers, Rob, Ainsley and their six children practice holistic grazing in their operation. Through monitoring and management, they observed the benefits intensive grazing had on their soils and ecology. The McArthur family initially began growing Berkshire pigs for their own consumption, loving the array of fresh homegrown pork, ham, bacon and ribs the pigs provided for their growing children. Ainsley says “We couldn’t believe how much more flavour and character pasture raised pork had”.
We raise our pigs in pastured paddocks through a rotational grazing system, which compliments our larger cattle grazing rotation (a multi species typed system). Our aim is to both build organic matter and improve soil health. Pigs are rotated into fresh paddocks regularly so that nutrients are spread evenly and grass cover is maintained. So far our focus has been on production, delivering finished pigs to market.
As our confidence grew with pig husbandry, we could see an opportunity to expand our band of breeding sows. We began by selecting several of the leading gilts and purchased an additional boar as an outcross. Growth has been very organic, scaling slowly to ensure we could manage farrowing, weaning and market preparation, always seeking to improve our system.
As our numbers have grown, a local business ‘Freckle Farm’ approached us about sourcing market – ready pigs for their program. This has been a great relationship, allowing us to work with a boutique brand and see transparency in the supply chain. We are excited to offer our homegrown product we know and love to the market in this way.
McArthur Holdings is built upon a family foundation, and our pig enterprise is no different. It’s all about connecting consumers with their farmers, building knowledge and confidence in their food production systems, developing and improving our land, and involving our children in the business of agriculture along the way.
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