Producing upscale pork for small-scale farmers: An Appalachian application

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2006: $8,254.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Chuck Talbott
Black Oak Holler Farm, LLC


  • Animals: swine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, free-range
  • Crop Production: agroforestry, forestry
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization, hedges - woody
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, public participation, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Farmers are looking for ways to produce pigs that have a unique flavor that distinguishes them from commercially-produced hogs. This project will look at raising pigs in a forest environment, using oak-hickory mast as an alternative feed. The effects of the alternative feed on pork quality and flavor will be evaluated, as will the effect of swine stocking density on forest ecology. Outreach will be through field days, publications, and a web site.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.