Going Hog Wild: A sustainable agriculture project raising pastured pigs. Students manage all aspects of pork production, breeding-to-market.

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2020: $4,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Project Manager:
Jennifer Bauer
Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)


  • Animals: swine


  • Education and Training: youth education
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: community development

    Proposal abstract:

    Students learn sustainable agriculture practices by pasture-raising school-owned hogs. Students make management decisions with mentorship from Swickard Farm, dedicated to land conservation and all dependent organisms (note: before CAPS pig project, Swickard had only cattle, sheep and chickens). Students utilize grasses and nuts found on the acreage and employ multi-species grazing. They have hands-on experiences in all aspects of pork production (from impregnation, to farrowing, to harvest) and become decision-makers in their own small agribusiness. Students explore a myriad of careers, share their experiences on social media, and mentor elementary school students, plus facilitate a community pork event.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Increase sustainable farming skills by understanding the role hogs play in the health of land and other animals. 
    2. Empower students to be decision makers for small agri-business, embracing sustainable practices. Develop agricultural economics knowledge through price determination, marketing and distribution of resulting pork products.
    3. Give students hands-on experience in pork production: farrowing, lactation, weaning, piglet processing (ear notching, vaccinations, castrations), parasite/disease control/prevention, winter preparation, feed formulation, stocking rate calculations, water management and finishing.
    4. Share project by teaching younger students, family farm visits, social media and presentation at community restaurant featuring our pork products.
    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.