Piggy Bank is a leader in the ‘good food movement’ and believes that the security of our food is tied closely to how well we care for our planet and all its different life forms.

 
 

To demonstrate this, we built a sanctuary heritage pig farm, revealing that if you take care of your animals and planet, you create a healthier and safer food system for everyone. The Piggy Bank farm returns to traditional methods of pig farming and away from intensive factory farming. We allow our heritage pigs to roam free and behave naturally in a safe environment. We also manage the farm in a way that does not destroy the land or the surrounding environment.

Simply put, our farm will help:

  • Improve the state of the heritage breed pig industry

  • Ensure the sustainability of family farmers raising heritage breed pigs

  • Create a system of “Open Access Agriculture” - the free and unrestricted exchange of information among heritage pig farmers in the US and around the globe. 

    The agriculture industry needs an open access movement dedicated to making our foodways more safe, honest, and delicious. Piggy Bank is leading the way.

    Piggy Bank is an operating project under Multiplier, (formerly known as Trust for Conservation Innovation) an established 501(c)(3) organization with a portfolio of projects that are turning game-changing ideas into planet-saving impact.

Watch the video!

 
 
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OUR MISSION

Piggy Bank’s mission is to preserve and protect endangered breeds of heritage pigs and support family farmers dedicated to raising them in responsible, sustainable ways. 

We carry out this mission by:

      • maintaining a farm sanctuary that grows and shares heritage pig genetics

      • helping farmers develop and maintain the essential infrastructure to succeed in raising heritage breed pigs

      • educating the public about the importance of genetic diversity, special traits of different breeds, and the role of heritage pigs in sustainable agriculture

      • providing safe, humanely raised food

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OUR HISTORY

Piggy Bank was founded in 2015 by Brady Lowe, a well-respected educator for responsibly raised foods and culinary event producer.  As a culinary event producer, his work with small family pig farmers gave him a unique perspective on the problems these farmers face and an in-depth understanding of the critically endangered state of heritage breed pigs.

Brady founded Taste Network in 2002 to create elevated live-event experiences that promote family farmers and lifestyle brands. In 2008, he founded Cochon555 in response to the lack of education around heritage breed pigs. Today, Cochon555 is a critically acclaimed national culinary festival traveling to 20 markets each year and feeding over 20,000 people. It is the only “nose-to-tail” culinary event dedicated to supporting family farmers and educating buyers about the importance of farming heritage breed pigs, some of which are on critical watch lists. 

Since the launch of Piggy Bank in 2015, Brady Lowe has worked with multiple organizations from related culinary events to provide the much-needed support to build Piggy Bank’s sanctuary farm in Missouri.

WHAT WE DO

The center of Piggy Bank’s work is the “Sanctuary Farm”, which will serve as a Noah’s Ark for heritage breed pig husbandry. Construction of the farm, situated on 20 acres in Myrtle, Missouri, was successfully completed in July 2019 in collaboration with Newman Farms. For the last 25 years, family-run Newman Farm has been raising purebred Heritage Berkshire Pork in the countryside of southern Missouri. 

The sanctuary farm consists of a barn with ten paddocks to house breeding stock from each of ten endangered heritage pig breeds- Berkshire, Large Black, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Hereford, Red Wattle, Tamworth, Mangalitsa, Mulefoot, Guinea Hog and Saddleback.

The breeding pigs will produce genetically pure piglets, which will be gifted to farmers to start or enlarge a farm. In turn, the farmers must submit a viable business plan and commit to participate in the Piggy Bank “open-source collaborative" for information sharing.

Piggy Bank maintains an on-line, open access portal to organize and share business plans, successful farming techniques, information about sustainable heritage breed farming practices and information for the public on heritage breed pigs. Leading the way to Open Access Agriculture

 
 

We need safe and honest food sources! We need new farmers to provide these safe foods! Piggy Bank helps consumers, new and existing small family farmers and the pigs themselves. We are on life support trying to put safe food back on American tables!

 
 

ENDANGERED HERITAGE BREED PIGS

Heritage breed pigs will benefit by living a natural existence. 

Most heritage pig farmers and the chefs that commit to using heritage pork are compassionate individuals who care deeply about breed preservation as well as animal welfare and sustainable farming. Heritage pigs are uniquely adapted to particular climates and terrains and are raised by small-scale family farmers that give pigs unlimited access to open pasture and range. With access to fresh air and sunshine, they can forage and live naturally in an environment where they can thrive. When pigs are raised in confinement, they have no room to move freely and they are generally subject to deplorable conditions – hard surfaces, gestational crates that completely restrict movement of sows, and foul odors of ammonia that can harm their lungs.

Taste aside, the ethics of working with heritage meat is the single most important factor. If I'm going to consume a life, I want to know that animal had a good life up until the point that it became food. I know this animal was well cared for. It was allowed to run in the woods and forage for acorns. That means a lot to me."

St. Louis restaurant chef speaking to NPR


NEW FARMERS

Creating and maintaining a ‘Noah’s Ark” dedicated to breeding, raising and distributing heritage breed pigs will benefit new farmers by providing them with the genetics needed, at no cost, to establish their farm. 

Through a commitment to open access agriculture and the sharing of information, new farmers will also benefit from the guidance and support of existing, successful farmers who are members of Piggy Bank’s collaborative network. Information will include successful strategies for maintaining and growing their herds, as well as how to reach and connect with access points in the market.

EXISTING FARMERS

Existing farmers who become part of the collaborative can expand their farms without incurring the cost of genetics.

By sharing their business plans and knowledge with new farmers, existing farmers will likewise benefit from being part of a community of like-minded heritage pig advocates. 

More importantly, the piglets produced at the farm sanctuary will also be available to existing farmers in the collaborative who lose their herds due to natural disasters or disease.

By providing easily accessible information about sustainable heritage breed farming practices, farmers have a greater chance of success, thus increasing the availability of higher quality, sustainable pork available in local and regional foods systems throughout the country.

CONSUMERS

More family farmers raising heritage breed pigs means ensuring accessibility to safer and tastier pork products for consumers. 

SAFER FOOD

Present and future generations of consumers will benefit from safe, high quality and highly flavorful pork products. Pasture raised, naturally fed heritage breed pigs are not tainted with the pesticides, hormones and antibiotics associated with modern confinement pig growing practices. 

FOOD SCARCITY PREVENTION

The declining number of family farmers raises concerns about food scarcity for future generations, specifically related to non-GMO products. To ensure that there is enough food for the future, we need to build up new farmers. Most of today’s family farmers are older and there are not enough new, emerging farms and farmers to maintain the present supply of non-GMO food products. By supplying new farmers with heritage pigs along with a roadmap on how to be successful, we are reducing our risk of food scarcity.

MORE FLAVORFUL FOOD

Heritage breed pigs have more marbling than modern breeds, have significantly different yields, and most of the heritage breeds are slow growing. Studies show that slower growth results in a better flavor profile, providing variety to the marketplace for meats, just as heirloom fruits and vegetables have added variety and quality to the produce market. 

 

The Piggy Bank Team is committed to making a significant and meaningful contribution to sustainable agriculture.

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Rita Newman
Newman Farms

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Brady Lowe
Founder / Volunteer Director

Founder
Cochon555
Taste Network
The Pantry
Mags for Ag

Dr. David Newman
Scientist

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Joyce Hunter
Advisor

Former USDA Deputy Chief Information Officer for Policy and Planning Obama Administration

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Ben Rechkemmer
Advisor

Financial Analyst

Chris Newman
Operations

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Peter Jacobsen
Advisor

Jacobsen Orchard
Dentist

 

 

Knowing Your Weakness is Your Greatest Strength.
— GBatiste

The Farm is located in Mrytle, Missouri
The Office is located in Atlanta, Georgia
The movement is all around us

WELCOME TO PIGGY BANK