Iberian pig farm thrives with traditional approach

Pepe Vazquez’s pig farm in southwestern Spain prospers largely due to its adherence to long-standing traditions rather than its efficiency. Iowa Farm Bureau members visited Vazquez’s scenic farm near the mountain village of Aracena, about an hour northwest of Seville, recently during their week-long County President’s Incentive Trip to Spain.

The highly regarded Iberian ham produced from Vazquez’s pigs can take up to five years to hit the market from the time piglets are born until the ham completes a lengthy curing process. The time-intensive process is reflected in the prices consumers pay, with the 16- to 20-pound hams fetching anywhere from $100 to $600. At that premium price, the ham is usually served in...

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