This month on the podcast, two all-stars from Niman Ranch join Lance and Matt for a fantastic discussion on raising animals without the use of antibiotics. Chris Oliviero, the General Manager of Niman Ranch, and Ron Mardensen, an Iowa-based hog farmer and field agent for Niman Ranch, detail the benefits of a farming system that doesn’t overuse antibiotics.
Meat production is the single largest purchaser of medically important antibiotics in the United States. Often these antibiotics are used to combat unsanitary or stressful factory farming conditions, rather than to treat verified illnesses. According to sales data from the past few years this number is trending in the wrong direction, which is bad news for keeping antibiotics effective.
Niman Ranch has led the way in raising hogs, cattle, and lamb without the use of any antibiotics. Their secret to success? Let pigs be pigs! Plus they use a combination of fresh air, low stress environments, and the occasional essential oil to keep animals healthy. Here’s to hoping conventional producers are taking notes.