Yorkshire Meats bills itself as “The Meat Company with Character”, and at last count there were twenty characters on the farm, nineteen of them pigs. Duncan Turnbull is the other; he’s a high school student who makes a comfortable profit raising these livestock on a smallholding north of York.
The pigs are Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs, breeds Duncan says “were nearly eaten out of existence during World War II.” His, however, wander his parents’ twenty acres munching apples and additive-free feed, and are in his estimation “some of the happiest pigs in Yorkshire.”
Some of them even have foster parents. Duncan has initiated an Adopt-a-Pig program that allows parents to name, visit and observe a pig from birth to butchery.
He is also hoping to get the Italians in on the scheme. With the aid of a government grant, Duncan will journey to Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto in October, where he will perhaps find new families for his pigs. “The Italians adopt vines and olive trees and get in return samples of the product, so why not pigs? We’ll send them bacon, sausages and pork scratchings,” he told the Yorkshire Post.
Duncan’s original agricultural enterprise was Duncan’s Ducks, but he eventually found it to be economically untenable. The pigs, on the other hand, bring in a hearty profit, and Yorkshire Meats is expected to gross £10,000 in turnover by the end of the year. What’s a 17-year-old to do with all that money? For the present, buy and maintain more pigs. After that comes college.