Today I am proud to be blogging about a wonderful woman who is a part of the Ag industry here in South Dakota. She is a wonderful representation of SD Pork and I am so proud to call her my friend.
My name is Peggy Greenway and I’m proud to be a family farmer. I am a former city girl who grew up near Saint Paul, Minnesota. I met my husband, Brad, at college where we attended one year together at SMSU in Marshall, Minnesota. Brad and I have been married 29 years and have a diversified farm just west of Mitchell, SD where we grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. We also have 160 beef cows and raise pigs in a modern hog barn. Brad and I have two children. Mandi lives in Sioux Falls with her husband Cris, and is a first year resident physician. Brent graduated from SDSU with an Agricultural & Bio-Systems Engineering degree and works at AGCO in Jackson, Minnesota. We are very proud of their accomplishments and think that growing up on a farm and helping with chores, along with being involved with sports and 4-H, has given them a great work ethic.
Although I help with every aspect of our farming operation, I also work four days a week in Mitchell as an investment assistant. That means on any given day my attire can change drastically – from a suit and high heels during the day to coveralls and rubber boots in the evening.
I love to be outside so in the evenings and on my days off you can find me helping with a variety of things around the farm such as fixing fence, feeding cattle, hauling grain, baling hay, etc. During the busiest times of the year I do hog chores in the evenings so Brad and our full-time employee can keep up with other work.
Our hog operation has changed a lot in the last six years. We used to have our sows (mother pigs) in open lots outside in portable shelters. Brad and I got tired of trying to keep them comfortable outside in the wide variety of temperature extremes – from hot, muggy summer days and frigid, cold, snow drifts in the winter to knee-deep mud in the Spring, so we modernized our pig operation.
Now we are co-owners of a sow unit, with 14 other farm families, and employ Pipestone Vet Clinic to manage the breeding, gestating, and farrowing (birthing) of our sows which provide each co-owner family with healthy baby pigs. Every 3 months we bring 1300 3-week old pigs from the sow facility into our hog barn where we feed them a healthy, balanced diet of soybean meal, corn, and a mixture of vitamins and minerals, along with a constant supply of fresh water. Twenty weeks later they are sold at a finished weight of 265 pounds. The best part about this modern hog barn is that our pigs no longer have to struggle through the extreme temperatures of South Dakota. We utilize technology just like any other business today. Our barn has computerized ventilation and heating systems that keep the temperature at the appropriate level for the age of pigs. Heaters keep the barn warm in the winter and during summer months we have 10 large fans on one end of the building that pull air through the barn to keep the pigs cool. As farmers, we always strive to take the best care of our animals as possible so I love my hog building – I can rest easy each night knowing that my pigs are sleeping comfortably too.
You can tell I’m passionate about the hog industry. Brad is active on several committees on the state and national levels of the pork industry and he donates his time to speak about the pork industry and how modern hog farmers take care of our pigs, environment, and community. He has given over 110 presentations to groups in South Dakota and all over the country. He speaks to civic groups, schools, county commissioners, food editors, retailers, and dietetic workers. I support him in this venture by taking care of our livestock while he is away from home. We both believe that it is very important to share our story, the story of one American farm family, trying to ensure consumers that farmers work hard to provide all families with nutritious, safe, and affordable food.
I am also a co-leader for a local 4-H club and help out occasionally with events sponsored by CommonGround and Ag United for SD. I’m not a public speaker so I try to write about life on the farm whenever I have the chance, whether it’s an article in the newspaper, responding to online articles, or on Twitter and Facebook.
Peggy is definitely my “go-to” girl when it comes to all things Pork! Do you have any questions about where your Pork comes from?