Our Town Dyersville: Raising Better Pork
By Travis Bockenstedt, Our Town Producer
DYERSVILLE - Becker Lane Organic Farms may look like any other Iowa farm but it’s actually quite unique. This farm has captured the attention of chefs from coast to coast.
Jude Becker owns Becker Lane Organic farms. A graduate from Iowa State University, he decided to continue the family farm. “We are a rare commodity. We really are, and that's an increasing asset that I take abroad and say, I'm a farmer from Iowa. People’s eyes open wide and say wow, I'd like to try that pork. You're a farmer from Iowa, that’s amazing I've never met a farmer before,” said Becker.
The pigs on the Becker farm live in large open pastures. Free from hormones and antibiotics, these pigs are certified organic.
"To me its Iowa, but we have pigs in these white steel buildings and you don't see pigs living outside. So we are reinventing something we've already known,” said Becker.
Jude knew if he wanted to keep his small family farm he need to set himself apart. Not only has he tapped into the organic food market, he feeds his pigs acorns. He learned about the process while visiting Europe. Now chefs around the United States are "subscribing" to his specialty pork.
"Mario Batali has two acorn pigs, we got the Viceroy in Palm Springs, Manhattan Beach Country Club, David Burke in New York,” said Becker.
The Becker farm has one of the largest outdoor pig units in North America. Becker says independent testing shows their pork is better quality and tastes better than non-organic pork.
"Traditional artisan farming methods go back for generations. Since I'm the sixth generation on this land it’s important for me to carry on with the traditional ways,” said Becker.
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