Hometown: Elkins, Ark.
In Town: “Over 20 years ago Danny McGarrah taught me brick masonry. My wife Jennifer and I moved to Elkins, Ark., four years ago but have always lived in the Washington County/Madison County area. I am now self-employed working in a 60 mile radius on mostly town jobs,” Bill Clouse said. “My wife Jennifer has her own full-service home healthcare business. She provides home-cooked meals and is hands-on with every client even though she has a staff of CNAs..”
In the Country: “When we purchased our house and 5 acres, we did so with the intention of fully renovating the home and raising pigs on Clouse 2J Pig Farm,” Bill explained. “At one time we had 22 sows but had not yet developed a market to support that much production. We now have seven Hamp/York cross sows bred by a Hampshire boar, who is very dedicated to his job. We sell both show pigs and state certified, USDA stamped processed meat off the farm. Popular cuts are pork chops, bacon and whole hams. We also sell whole, half and even quarter fat hogs. Our pigs run the land and are fed wheat middling’s powder and corn chops. We are stewards and take that responsibility seriously. We produce three litters a year with sows being bred back when they come into heat as they roam the land with the boar. We wean anywhere from 21 days up to 6 weeks, depending upon customer demand. While we prefer castrating before weaning, sometimes we have to wait until the piglets are old enough for the mother to be distracted by feed. At current production levels we are selling approximately 400 baby pigs per year.”
Future: “We do not use a farrowing house or crates because we want the pigs to free range,” Bill said. “Nonetheless we are building a barn for shelter during extreme weather and adding acreage. We are looking forward to expanding our market so we can sell a hundred 300-pound fat hogs annually in addition to our baby pigs.”