hog waste storage by Jonathen Darwin via Morguefile - CCMeat eaters should search out Heritage Acres’ all-natural pork products. Not only are their pasture-raised hogs hormone-free and fed only soy, corn and oats with no antibiotics, now its pork processing will become the first in the US to boast a zero-waste operation, fully powered by turning its waste products into biofuel to run the generators.

Russ Kremer, a fifth-generation Missouri hog farmer and leader of a coalition of 52 family farmers known as Heritage Acres Foods, says the plant should be completed in two years. With the new technology, Kremer and his fellow natural farmers will be able to reprocess all the farm’s waste, rather than paying to haul it or dump it, turning it all into bio-diesel fuel to power its entire operation.



Kremer will also use wind and solar generators to capture the power the plant needs using lithium-ion battery packs engineered by Corvus Energy to store and to disperse energy whenever needed.

This is not the first time that Kremer’s taken on such a lofty endeavor. In 1989 he was almost killed by a bacterial infection that had been passed to him from one of his own boars. He had routinely fed his animals commercial feed and had inadvertently been helping to incubate the antibiotic resistant strep that almost killed him. In 1989, Kremer decided to start over from square one.

He destroyed his Confined Animal Feeding Operation barns and exterminated his herd in order to raise brand-new, free-range, hormone-free piglets on his pastures. He traded in their food, composed predominantly of antibiotics and animal byproducts, for one made with soy, corn and oats. It was a risky, expensive decision, one that forced him to cash out his retirement account and forgo health insurance.

But it turned out to be a success. In 2001, he and 33 other farmers banded together to create an all-natural, hormone-free Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative and, later on, Heritage Acre Foods. Since then, the self-described sustainable agriculture evangelist has worked beside everyone from prestigious NYC-based chefs to the likes of President Barack Obama. He’s taught Alaskan farmers the benefits of cooperative farming and is considered to be a prophet-like visionary within the agricultural industry.

The pork processing plant is the logical next step, Kremer said. The farmers are hell bent on ensuring that their entire manufacturing chain is as healthy and environmentally friendly as possible.

“We’re helping revolutionize farming by providing family farms with the capability to capture consistent, green energy,” said Brent Perry, president and chief executive officer for Corvus.

“This is the first time that truly effective portable and remote energy storage has been created for a farm and pork– processing plant.”

Heritage Acres Foods, based in (no joke) Pleasant Hope, Missouri produces products using no antibiotics, no growth promotants, no animal by-products, no irradiation, and no pesticides.

Want to read more about the “Pope of Pork”? A local newspaper did a feature story about him you can read at RiverFrontTimes.com.

Hog waste storage facilities, by Jonathen Darwin via Morguefile – CC

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