Russ Kremer

Osage County, Missouri

On a 150-acre family farm in the Missouri Ozarks, fifth-generation farmer Russ Kremer raises heirloom-breed hogs without antibiotics, added hormones or growth enhancers in open spaces where they’re free to root, nest and explore.

When Russ graduated from the University of Missouri in the early 1980s, he adopted modern hog production practices like everyone else he knew. He gave his animals drugs, kept them confined, and sped them to market. All that changed when one day a boar gored him and he nearly lost his leg. The boar had developed antibiotic-resistant germs due the routine feeding of antibiotics and other additives –– a resistance that was transferred to Russ. The ensuing infection festered for months, until an effective treatment was found.

That near tragedy changed Russ’s way of farming forever. In 2001, he helped found a cooperative made up of farmers who share his commitment to sustainable practices. Their antibiotic-free hogs are raised humanely and are prized by chefs for their tender, flavorful meat.