“It’s all about respect,” says Belinda from McIvor Farm. “Respect for the pigs, respect for our customers, respect for the land.”
Belinda is passionate about every aspect of farming life and her holistic approach begins with the soil. “It’s the foundation of our business,” she explains, with no pun intended. “Soil is a living being. An entity of its own and it’s the key component to what agriculture is about.”
For Belinda, and her husband, Jason, agriculture is more than just business. It’s life. At university, Belinda studied Animal Nutrition and Jason studied Agriculture Business Management. Since taking on Jason’s family farm in the rolling granite hills of Tooborac – he’s the third generation to do so – it’s been over six years of hard work and learning. The pigs, however, are new to the 100-year-old farm and the couple started with just one boar and five sows.
“Jason grew up here, but you never stop learning,” Belinda admits. “We are constantly asking, ‘how can we do better?’ We are always looking to challenge existing systems. The truth is, if we’re not looking after our soil and building up top soil, then 50 years from now we won’t be farming.”
To the outsider, the pair farm pigs. Handsome, black Berkshire pigs (a decision that was made due to both the quality of the meat and they wanted 100% free-range stock and didn’t want them to be affected by sunburn) but Belinda believes what they actually do is build soil and grow grass. “The by-product of that is the delicious pork,” she says.
An exert from the recently published book, ‘A Sense of Place’, written by Sonia Anthony and Amy Doak. To read Jason and Belinda’s complete journey and the story behind McIvor Farm Foods, purchase the book online here: https://oftheworldbooks.com/product/asenseofplace/