This week for Vendor Highlight we are featuring Spragg’s Meat Shop – purveyors of some of Alberta’s favourite pork!
You may not think piglets would make the best gift, but for Greg Spragg, receiving three little pigs for his birthday in 2002 from his wife, Bonnie, was the start of something life-changing.
Those piglets soon grew to a herd of 75 market-weight pigs later that summer, and now, almost 15 years later, the Spraggs raise around 700 market hogs a year on their farm. These days the Spraggs meet the increasing demand for their happy pigs by partnering with another local hog producer, who supplies them with piglets. The business has also grown to include a processing plant (giving the Spraggs total control over their products) and now employs 24, including the Spragg’s daughter Ruth.
Although the growth of their business has been quick, the Spraggs have stayed true to their ethics, both in the humane raising of the pigs, and their commitment to being as environmentally friendly as possible. The pigs are raised in a low-stress environment, where they have free range in pastures seeded with annual grasses to increase their grazing time. In the colder months, the pigs’ get straw and alfalfa hay to keep the forage element in their diets. The Spraggs grow faba beans, barley, and wheat on their farm to feed the pigs a high protein, plant-based diet year-round. They are raised holistically, without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.