Encouraging strong roots for a better food and agriculture system for all, a young Oakburn couple operating a third-generation family farm, has diversified their operation by offering 100 per cent fresh pork from the farm gate.
Steve’s Farm Fresh Pork, owned and operated by Stephen and Vicki Yanyk, offers a variety of products to Oakburn-area residents and others through various marketing systems.
“Over the past five years, we have steadily grown our market stability and clientele,” said Stephen, on their farm, approximately five kilometres east of Oakburn. “We look at the business as a means to market farm-fresh animals to consumers who may wish to pick up from our farm gate, or track us down at local markets including Sporty’s in Onanole or at the new Clear Lake market in the Subway parking lot.”
It’s here or a phone call away, where homegrown pork products are readily available. The Yanyks offer whole, halves or special cuts such as bacon, pork chops, ribs, etc., plus a variety of byproducts including sausage, garlic or garlic ham sausage, a variety of smokies, and wieners. A number of the products are gluten free.
“We know we have competitors, but a part of our marketing strategy is sharing knowledge of what you are actually eating,” said Vicki. “One hundred per cent fresh is not only a statement, but a statement that we fully back.”
Purchasing feeder pink Yorkshire pigs from local producers, the Yanyks raise the animals inside on rolled barley to a weight of 200 to 240 pounds before butchering at the Sandy Lake Locker Plant, a government-inspected facility. The pigs are antibiotic and hormone free.
“Keeping the best cuts, lesser meat cuts are shipped to Brandon where our byproducts (wieners, sausages, smokies) are made,” said Stephen, who can be reached at 204-234-5653 (home), 204-365-0285 (cell), or email [email protected] “Often whole animals sold are cut, wrapped and directly picked up at the Sandy Lake abattoir.”
The Yanyks feel the No. 1 route to getting repeat customers is to offer a quality, homegrown product free of additives and preservatives, which appeals to today’s health-conscious consumer.
They also know that competition is a facet of their off-farm business, and they see this as a positive which inspires them to come up with better products, extending market opportunities and attracting additional customers.
Although the Oakburn couple is sticking closer to home these days, it is their aim to branch out down the road, with sights set on further-afield markets such as the very popular St. Norbert’s Farmers’ Market — Manitoba’s largest — where vendors excel in offering unsurpassed quality, variety and freshness to their many customers and shoppers.