In 2009, Jim Kuntzelman began raising Red Angus and South Poll breeds of beef and sheep from a Katahdin/Florida Cracker cross in Dover (just north of Brandon) on a small family farm located in the heart of Florida strawberry country. Jim grew up on a conventional dairy farm in Pennsylvania but had no experience in grass-fed or beef or sheep farming when he started and didn’t know anyone who was doing it. So his hands-on experience has come through pure trial and error and reading books. To quote Jim: “If it doesn’t work, try it another way!”
Jim’s mission has always been—and continues to be—to produce extremely high quality food for others while healing and improving the land at the same time. Fast forward to 2014 & the financial factors involved to bringing a new enterprise forward!
Quotes Jim: "We have been working with a local gentleman since the beginning of our adventure and we have helped each other out a lot through the years. We felt like raising pastured pigs was going to be about the most beneficial enterprise for us and we worked out a pretty sweet system with him. He is somewhat of a pig breeding genius so he is raising outstanding quality animals. So the set up we have worked out is that he farrows(or births) the piglets. He lets them nurse for 8 weeks to get a good healthy start. Then once they are weaned, he trains them to electric fence at his place. After which we buy them from him, bring them to our place and raise them on pasture and under oak trees where they are able to root and dig and be as “piggy” as they can possibly be for the next several months [until they are ready for processing]. We are learning a lot but having an absolute blast raising these pigs and we look forward to continuing to improve this part of our operation even more in the year to come!" Their diet consists of what they get from the earth (grubs, worms, acorns, roots, etc.). They also have access to a high quality ration to balance out their nutritional needs, which includes plant protein products, processed grain byproducts, molasses products, calcium, zinc, and salt.
Once Jim’s pigs are slaughtered by Casa Sierra Farm in Wimauma, a USDA Facility under USDA Inspection, pork sausage is made by Geier’s Sausage Kitchen, a USDA Certified Facility in Sarasota. It is MSG and Nitrate free. No additional fat is added. The sausage is UNCOOKED. See this Sausage Cooking Primer