Thursday, July 12, 2012

Total Hogwash in Michigan

For some time now I have been watching a farmer in Michigan, Mark Baker, as he fights yet another inane law inflicted upon decent Americans. The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) in Michigan has decided in their so warped wisdom, that Mr Baker and his family is raising a breed(s) of hogs that can only be defined as "feral." The DNR further believes this feral hog to be dangerous to other livestock as well as to humans and must therefore be destroyed.

Destroying these hogs would destroy Mark Bakers farm and his ability to provide for his family. The Michigan DNR could care less but Keith and I care more. We care enough to support Bakers Green Acres with some of our own hard earned cash and we care enough to talk about it on this blog. Listen here to   Marks Side

We will also admit that we support the Bakers not just out of farmer to farmer camaraderie but also out of fear.

What is happening to them could very easily happen to us. The Michigan DNR is distributing this picture of what they describe as a feral hog. Oddly the photo was taken by Chris Grady of a wild hog seen in Gloucestershire, a county of SOUTH WEST ENGLAND.  Now, tell me, if the feral swine issue was of such magnitude and concern in Michigan wouldn't they have  their own photos of feral Michigan hogs? Or at least a feral hog seen somewhere in the US instead of overseas?

Photo wild boar, Gloucestershire, is property of Chris Grady
and was used with permission following monetary compensation  by the Midlife Farmwife.

While you ponder that...Please note the similarities to our own Red Wattle Boar Wally

 The Michigan DNR , Invasive Swine Order goes on to describe a "feral" hog as

Depending on ancestral lineage and cross-breeding among breeds, feral swine vary in appearance. Typical fur coloration for true Eurasian boar can be grey to dark brown to black, while domestic breeds can display a wider variety of colors with many defining patterns of striping or spots. Several generations of cross-breeding between domestic and Eurasian lineages can make the physical appearance of these animals drastically different within the same family unit. As with coloration, the size of mature adults can vary greatly depending on the bloodlines. In Michigan, adults typically range in size from 100-200 pounds, but larger specimens do occur.

Furthermore the Michigan DNR identifies the following Specific Characteristics: hair color; solid black, solid red brown, black and white spotted, black and brown/red spotted. Facial profile straight. Dark distal portions, legs, ears. White tipped bristles. Straight tail. Erect ears. Light colored underfur.

It is obvious to me therefore that if we were farming in Michigan our won RW hogs could quite easily meet the above definition. Well, I'm not sure about the tail. Wally 's does have one kink in it but looks pretty straight the last foot or so.Obviously on the day of this photo he was in a most excellent happy pig tail mood.

In my opinion, the only hogs that DO NOT meet the Michigan's DNR description of a feral hog are those very pale colored piggies  being raised in confinement, the non-heritage hogs. Paranoid? You bet. If the Michigan Pork Producers Association can apply enough pressure on the Michigan DNR to enforce this silliness, then Illinois and other states in this union could easily follow suit.

One right at a time. Being stripped away while we stand by with our thumbs up our ...coveralls, waiting to see what will happen or worse yet, ignoring what already has happened. In Mark Bakers own words

     "We are duty bound as Americans to disobey orders that are illegal or unconstitutional."

What can you do? Read both sides of the issue. Follow the links I've highlighted above. And if you agree that what is happening to Mark is wrong then please put your money where your mouth is. Or at least put your mouth out there telling others about this travesty.

At the risk of you getting cut by the shards of my broken record I will say it again...this issue is not about the pigs at Bakers Green Acres . For our farm is is not about Raw Milk Issues.  IT IS about about our rights as Americans being peeled away one bacon strip at a time.


  1. Plenty of 'wild boar' farms here. How, otherwise, would they make the delicious Paté de Sanglier?

  2. I can't under. stand why they would do this. Must be either ignorance or to someone's financial benefit.

  3. Contact your local sheriff and ask him to uphold the oath he took to protect citizens. Your local sheriff has more power than the feds. Checkout Sheriff Mack

  4. Cro, good for France. Here in the US craziness abounds as far as small farmers go. On one hand rules restrcting what we can and cannot raise pop up daily while on the other hand grants to raise wht THEY want us to raise are ever abundant, even though our country is rapidly going broke.

    Dear broad. It is pure financial. For years the small farmer was no threat to the main hog producers but about a decade ago we began to thrive. Still, we only capture about 1% of the hog market but it threateninf to those who are used to controlling 100%

    Anon. What an excellent suggestion!

  5. I've also been following this story for a while and am appalled at what the Michigan DNR is doing. Their definition/description is SO broad that it's frightening.

  6. It's obvious this is being driven by agri-business since the only pigs that don't fit the description are the pathetic mass-produced pigs whose meat ends up in grocery stores. It is truly scary! In an age when we finally understand how livestock diversity is healthy and we finally understand the benefits of knowing where your food comes from, it is truly disheartening to see the government taking so many steps backwards.

  7. Full freezer. So agree. The description of a feral hog covers me pertty well about 6 am before I've inhaled my pot of coffee

    Zephyr. I think for along time the big agribusiness had a lot of fun at the small farmers expense then they got caught off guard and realized how very successful we could be and they were THREATENED.
    Who knew we could make a better living doing things the right way?!?!

  8. It is hard to believe that something like this can really happen! It seems to bizarre to try to control heritage breeds that are clearly so well suited to that climate. I feel awful for the farmers involved, just trying to get on with farming and having to deal with this crap. "Feral" backyard chickens will be next... we need to take this very seriously. I am just shocked and appalled....

  9. I've been following this one a while, signing petitions and whatnot. It's appalling. It is all about money, yes. Big ag has it, we don't.

    Our rights are being stripped away. Can we win?

  10. Just when I think Arizona politics are extreme (as in extremely BAD), I look at Michigan and Wisconsin and think "Holy Mackeral!". Just follow the money, and you'll see who is pushing this.

    Hey, send the info to Rachel Maddow, maybe she'll do a piece about it on her show. Get the message out.

  11. Michigan is so assbackwards. It's no wonder the state is failing miserably.