McIvor Farm is the passion of Jason & Belinda Hagan, which are the third generation to farm amongst the granite boulders and rolling landscape of Tooborac, Central Victoria. In 2010 when they started it was all about the pigs in a free-range, ethically farming system. But as their knowledge and passion for holistic farming has grown over the past 6 years, it has lead then to a ‘beyond free-range’ system.
McIvor Farm is now days all about farming and growing SOIL!
Soil is the base for life and contains an amazing amount of life itself. Without getting to scientific and boring you…. basically if we can have more soil, healthy soil we can grow more & healthy plants then that provide livestock (in our case mostly pigs) better quality and quantity of grass (and many other plants) to graze – or root up, dig….
Therefore as the pigs go about their piggy business of roaming, digging up yummy roots & bulbs – they are disturbing the soil and plant, pushing in organic matter into the soil, fertilising it with their manure, providing food for dung beetles and therefore assisting in regenerative farming.
The other day I saw the most beautiful explanation of Regenerative Farming – describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by building soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.
McIvor Farm haven’t just put pigs in a paddock and think they have a better life and all is good for the environment. McIvor Farm have preferred the old breed Berkshire pigs – as they are handsome black pigs with distinctive white markings but most of all the flavour of their meat is exceptional. As the Berkshire pigs are pasture raised free from stress and GMOs, fed free from hormones and antibiotics – they are slow growing which creates a marbled meat with is prized for it’s delicious juiciness and flavour. It might just be the best ‘crackle’ or pork, ham, bacon you ever taste!
More about How We Farm…..
Jason & Belinda work closely with Darren Doherty from Regrarians – he assists them with their farm planning & design.
“…The Regrarians team continuously travels the world working on and viewing many of the premiere regenerative agricultural farms across the planet. From what we’ve observed over many years now, McIvor Farm Foods’ Hagan family operation exemplifies the cutting edge of pasture-raised pig production in the world. Their rapid rotations do not remove all ground cover like so many operations around the world and their grassy woodland landscape is regenerating as a result. The production of omnivores is challenging and the Hagan’s are pushing the bar higher with their pasture cropping program to supplement the diet of the pigs in situ. Their whole fencing layout minimises water (and nutrient) runoff, their integrated water and access system increases the efficiency, and their tree planting program will bring a taste of ‘Jamon Iberica’ to these Tooborac hills as the pannage falls over many decades to come. And of course their range of pork products is delicious – and priced to enable anybody access to some of the world’s best produced pork. Plus Belinda and Jason are great people & ambassadors for the integrity food industry…” Darren J. Doherty Regrarians Ltd. Bendigo, VIC, AU
By choosing McIvor Farm’s nutritionally superior, chemical free, ethically raised pork, you as a customers become an essential part of the holistic farming system. This safeguards best practice for the animals and land and ensures a sustainable supply of delicious, wholesome food.
Jason and Belinda know they are fortunate to do what they love and they know they could not do it without the support of their customers. People who desire to know more about how their food is produced, want the best for the land & environment, support local and love building relationships direct with the producer.
Recognition of our efforts
- 2016 delicous Produce Awards – National Finalist – Pork
- 2015 delicious Produce Awards – National Finalist – Pork & Ham Boneless Leg
- 2014 delicious Produce Awards – National Finalist – Pork & Ham On the Bone
- 2014 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards (RMFFA) – Silver – Veneto; Bronze – Cacciatori Mild
- 2013 Farming Woman of the Year National Finalist
- 2013 Farmer of the Year – The Weekly Times – ‘Farm Magazine’ Category
The Vision of McIvor Farm Foods is simple –
Farms produce Food
We would love to produce more than one Food
Food is an essential part of your health – ‘you are what you eat’
Creating a system that RESPECTS – animals, soil microbes, people, customers, environment
REGENERATION – the farm as a business, the soil & environment, jobs, local economy, enthusiasm (& youth – careers) in farming…..
For the next generation – a successful business that excites hopefully our children to be involved
Now days there is a growing market of consumers wanting to know about how their food is produced – respecting animal welfare systems, minimising chemicals and ultimately healthy foods.
MEET THE TEAM
Jason was grew up on the family farm at Tooborac, then went onto study Farm Business Management at Marcus Oldham College at Geelong. He has worked and managed different farming operations – from cropping, livestock (sheep and cattle), outdoor bred piggery.
Jason is the innovator and is always working on the next new development, system or enterprise for the business. He is normally the face at the Farmers Markets and deliveries – he is generally quiet initially but him talking about the farm or pigs – you will see/hear his real passion.
Belinda has a background in Agricultural Science and specialised in Animal Nutrition. She has spent time working closely with dairy, poultry, feed-mills and many years working in and with the pig industry.
Now days a mother of 2 young ones (Hannah 5 years old & Eric 3 years old) – she has her hands full. Belinda looks after all the administration, bookwork, marketing, most of the sales and always thinking up new ideas! Always be patience in an email response because the day if full of being a mum, so she does take a while to get to things (most new mums will relate – we hope!).
McIvor Farm Foods is more recently (September 2016) purchased neighbouring blocks to now consist of 240 hectares (close to 600 acres) in Tooborac – on the corner of the Northern Highway & the Lancefield Road.
Some of the land has been owned by Jason’s family for 100 years and is the site of the historical ‘Hagan Family Butcher Shop‘.
Our herd of Free Range pigs are predominantly Berkshire Old Breed and Berkshire cross-bred.
Berkshires are said to be ‘Britain’s oldest pig breed’. They are a black pig with common white markings on their faces (like a blaze), legs and the tips of their tails.
The pigs are in open paddocks with shelter, food (100% Australian Grain, NON-GMO & Antibiotic-Free) and water provided. They love to roam the open space (even at 2 weeks of age they are off exploring), root to find yummy bulbs, roll and wallow in mud and just be ‘happy’ pigs.
You may notice we do have some coloured pigs – reds, spotty, pinks… we do have some cross-bred sows and as we love them dearly and they are half-Berkshire, they will continue to be part of McIvor Farm family.