By STEPHEN GEORGE
Ralph Packard walks into his barn carrying a five-gallon bucket filled with small, yellowish pellets of feed. The swine—young, inexperienced and craving anything to eat—swarm him, trampling the plastic feed trays. They’re losing themselves in the pursuit, all squeals and snorts. At this stage, everything is food. They’ll chew on your shoes if you stand close enough.
Packard, who with his wife, Kathy, owns Misty Meadows farm, a 28-acre swath in Payneville, Ky., in Meade County, will raise them for slaughter. He’ll pack the meat into his freezer, hitch the trailer to his late model Dodge pickup, and drive it to Louisville, where he’ll sell the meat at weekly farmers markets. It’s a ritual the Packards have consummated regularly since 1989, when the Massachusetts native and his wife settled into their bucolic farm 70 miles southwest of Louisville.
But if a new federal rule takes effect, the Packards could lose their modest livestock operation and, perhaps in turn, their farm. Read more