Agricultural Veteran Case Study: Matt and Emely Hendl

Farm and Food
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This case study specifically focuses on the hog operation of Archer Meadow farm. To learn more about their farm, visit

  • Matt served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Emely's professional background is in marketing and retail.
  • Matt and Emely have been farming since 2017.
  • Anchor Meadow Farm, located in Milford, Nebraska, offers high-quality pork from KuneKune pigs, free range eggs, honey, and beeswax items.

All about the KuneKune pigs

"KuneKune (prounounced cooney cooney) pigs are a lard breed heritage pig originally from New Zealand.

This is our fourth year raising KuneKune pigs. We wanted to raise a pig that would do well on pasture so we could feed our family with organic type practices in mind.

When we discovered KuneKune and their calm presence along with the fact they are a pasture pig, we knew this was the perfect homestead pig for us."

Sustainable practices

"We plant a variety of cover crops so our hogs can forage from March until December on pasture. Once a day, the lathers hogs only eat two pounds per day of soaked feed from our local co-op. In the coldest months, they eat flakes of fourth cutting alfalfa, sunflower seeds, heads of cabbage, and their feed.

In between, we have two gardens of supplement ourselves and the pigs. Friends love giving us all the pumpkins and squash that they can in the fall, which is like chocolate cake to them. Thirty-six full grown pigs do not event come close to damaging or rooting up the 2.75 acres they are on."

Butchering aspect

"We take the animals into a trusted facility that understands our smaller niche hog. Their meat is as red as a beef steak and is marbled with their fat perfectly. It's nutritionally dense due to being on pasture 100% of the time. We love selling whole hogs to customers as well as individual cuts available in our little farm shop on site."

Advice for others interested in raising hogs

"You have to do a lot of research into the type of hog you think you want first. Find a breeder who will also be a mentor to you, and who also has a dual purpose program like meat sales and registered piglet sales. Not every piglet in the litter is worthy of registering. KuneKune take time to grow, but the end result is so unbelievably worth it. The taste and quality of the pork is unreal."

Programming is funded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Center for Rural Affairs is an equal opportunity provider and employer. NIFA USDA fund Award #2020-77028-32890.