Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2001


Published in Great Plains Research 11:2 (Fall 2001). Copyright © 2001 Center for Great Plains Studies.


This is a book that should be on every Ag teacher's desk in the country. Instead of espousing the factory production of hogs, the norm for the industry today, it gives alternative production techniques that should be useful to starting farmers, niche producers (including organic farmers), and anyone else who might want to raise hogs in a more ecologically sound and humane fashion.

The volume is a compilation of articles by various authors originally appearing as research papers or in magazines and journals. While each author has a different reason for presenting his or her system, all are alternatives to the present day's status quo. Many of the ideas presented are actually old production systems revised with a new twist or two. Pasture farrowing and finishing and using hogs as grazers are methods employed since Grandpa's day. Some of the newer ideas include the use of hoop structures for growing-finishing and deep bedding systems in place of total confinement finishing. There are quite a number of articles describing university studies on these two systems. In depth comparisons between such alternate methods and confinement systems are presented along with performance evaluations in regard to temperature variations.