Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

As a Latina I am not just celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I am celebrating all heritage, traditions and families. During my most recent trip to Minnesota and visit to swine farms I soon realized that they are more than just a company raising pigs for all of us to consume, they are also a family (or as in many cases, a couple of families) coming together for more than just putting bread on the table, they have partnered for the raising of pigs. From the pigs gestation to the end consumer (us), they have an extreme attention to details and great pride for their farms and livestock.

Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - Wakefield Pork Inc. Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblogPhoto Credit: National Pork Board

When I was invited to visit Minnesota farms; I jumped at the opportunity and joined bloggers, farmers and vets. My goal for this trip was simple, I wanted to see real food growing locally and I wanted to see first hand how livestock where cared for. Even though I test and photograph more recipes and dishes than the traditional home cook, I am seldom not sure I really understand what it takes to get that food to my table. As a city girl living in Florida I don’t get to see or experience farming other than the seasonal U-Pick farm picking, (blueberries and strawberries). Note, I am growing a container garden and have been harvesting and sharing with my neighbors. And have been learning and appreciating more the work of a farmer/grower. Nothing compared to the actual living and caring for a field that is hundreds of acres large and farms with hundreds of livestock in it.

pigglets_first_day_born_editedPhoto Credit: National Pork Board

We all have questions and concerns about where our food comes from or how farmers are treating pigs, what they are feeding them or what they are treating their fields with. Even though I spent a couple of days with Minnesota farmers my questions are not all wrapped up. But, on the other hand, meeting the families behind the farms, those who work the fields, and tend the livestock, and who work in the offices. and plants to help keep this food safe when it reaches our table, makes me a lot more comfortable with what I feed my family with.

Just born pigglets are adorable / Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - Wakefield Pork Inc. in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

These farmers not only work for a living, they care about their fields, and livestock, and about their family, and the people their farms eventually feed. A common denominator we all saw during our trip was that farmers we met all love their work, despite long hours and unpredictable markets. Pigs are born seven days a week, 365 days a year at Wakefield Pork Inc. and their staff is there to be sure they get off to their safest and healthiest start. A lot of work, time, care, dedication and experience goes into the food we eat. The food these farmers produce is what they feed their own family with too.

Corn fields that will become swine feed / Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - Wakefield Pork Inc. in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

If there is something I can say I took away with me was learning how sustainable and eco-friendly pig farming really is. From how the manure on the farms are collected and then used to fertilize their corn fields to how they use that same corn as feed for their next generation of pigs. Also, how much farmers love working alongside their families. Most of them hope to grow enough to keep providing for future generations. Some have larger farms and provide jobs for many employees. Still for them they are all a large family, whether blood related or not.

Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - Wakefield Pork Inc. in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

I hope that at some point during or after reading this words give some thought to where your food comes from and realize that those farmers are family people just like you and me. They love their lands and the their animals.

Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - swine finishing farm - Wakefield Pork Inc. in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblogPhoto Credit: National Pork Board

Many thanks to the Langhorst family, Wakefield Pork Inc., Minnesota Pork Board, Real Pig Farming and National Pork Board #realpigfarming for inviting us to get a glimpse into their farms and process. It takes great courage to bring in about a dozen of different set of minds into their space. Thanks for letting us be part of the “farm to table” conversation.

Just born pigglets are adorable / Your food comes from a farmer's hands including these adorable and delicicous cookies #PassThePork tour - Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

Your food comes from a farmer's hands #PassThePork tour - Wakefield Pork Inc. in Minnesota / #realpigfarming / My Sweet Zepol #foodblog

Disclosure: My trip and expenses were covered by National Pork Board as part of an initiative to connect influencers, farmers and vets together. As always, all thoughts and ideas found here are entirely my own.

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Recipe Developer / Food Photographer / Social Media Influencer
Making memories around the kitchen table and capturing them with my camera is where you’ll find me. Unless I’m boarding a plane or on a road trip somewhere with my girls.