AgriMissouri member Todd Geisert, a 5th generation pork producer in Franklin County, is featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today. Writer Joe Bonwich highlights the farm's free range, organic methods of raising hogs as well as the markets Todd, known as Toad to his childhood friends, has found throughout the St. Louis area.
Here's an excerpt from the article, titled "Family farm's pork feeds the desires of chefs, home cooks":
The family has raised hogs since 1916, "free to enjoy the fresh air and play in the sunshine," as Geisert says in his brochure. They didn't use antibiotics or growth hormones back then, and by continuing that approach, he has built a growing clientele.
His locally grown, naturally raised pork — aka "Toad's Pigs," picking up on Geisert's youthful nickname — is a favorite of many St. Louis-area chefs.
"We found Todd through our bartender, Dana, who lives in that area, near Washington," says Ben McArthur, chef at Balaban's in Chesterfield. "Dana kept talking about the quality of Todd's products and how good the stuff, his pork, is.
"Everything is organic, no hormones. The hogs are even free-range. We use it for all of the pork entrees on our menu. I also like to incorporate his pork into our daily specials. It's really good stuff."
Geisert raises chef-preferred heritage breeds of pork: Berkshire, Duroc, Hampshire and Cheshire White. His retail distribution has grown steadily and includes close to a dozen specialty grocers in Washington and St. Louis. He maintains a list of retail outlets — as well as a list of restaurants who use his products — on his website.
To see the full story, including photos from the farm, visit the St. Louis Post Dispatch online or pick up a copy of today's paper!