Officials with Bacon Acre Farm in rural Jay were recognized with first in the United States for Sale Transfers of registered Tamworth pigs in August, during the National Tamworth Show in Eaton, Ohio.

This ranking is from 113 growers listed with the Tamworth swine association. The farm sold 76 registered Tamworth pigs nearly 11 percent all the 674 sale-transfers nationwide.

Bill and Karen Wehlage placed second for number of litters and number of pigs, producing 12 litters and 112 pigs in the association's business year.

This ranking takes into account that Bacon Acres is a 100 percent pasture operation, while most other large producers choose to raise pigs indoors in confinement operations. The Tamworths of Bacon Acres roam freely on acreage, only kept in check by two-strands of electric fencing.

"I call them, ‘4-wheel drive pigs’ because they are born in the field and raised outdoors on the rocky pastures and wooded hillsides of Zena," Bill Whelage said. "It is a great life for a pig, foraging the forest floor for acorns, grubs and persimmons, grazing pasture grasses and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

"We have ‘tough’ pigs that are naturally bred and minimally restricted. They are resilient and strong so people seek them to begin pasture operations."

The couple, who reside in the Zena area have raised Tamworth pigs since 2013 since Bill Whelage retired from the U.S. Army where he served as a chaplain and deployed five times.

Bacon Acres Farm sells pigs in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Washington, Florida, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio.

The farm is responsible for fostering the First Registered Tamworth breeding operations in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Bacon Acres Farm has even flown young pigs to the northwest United States on commercial airlines.

For more information, persons interested may contact Wehlage at 580-695-9402 or visit www.baconacresfarm.com or by searching “bacon acres farm” on Facebook.