Pig Farmers Help Feed the World and Their Community
Greg and Alicia Schmitt are young pig farmers from Nora Springs in northern Iowa. The couple met in high school over shared love of livestock at the county fair. After leaving North Iowa to pursue degrees in agriculture at Iowa State University, it was a career in livestock production that enabled them to move back home after college.
Growing up, Greg helped his father on their hog operation. It was no surprise those early lessons propelled Greg into an opportunity of his own partnering with a local farmer to repair a set of hog barns and go into business finishing pigs. The Schmitt’s are proud of the high quality pork they provide and enjoy any opportunity to share a plate of smoked pork loin with friends.
With their business underway and a growing family, the Schmitt’s found themselves wondering how they could pay forward all the blessings they’d received. The answer arrived during a block party hosted by one of their neighbors when a friend encouraged Greg to consider joining the Nora Springs Fire Department. As fate would have it, Greg decided to drop by the fire station about a month later and it just happened to be the night they were interviewing for new positions.
While pig farming was a tradition Greg learned from his father, Alicia is proud of her family history in fire and rescue. Her step-father Rod is both a farmer and a firefighter. He served as chief of the Colwell, IA fire department for a number of years. Her sister Kelby is also completing fire training. Alicia enjoys her role in the Nora Springs Fire Wives group organizing fundraisers for the fire company and coordinating outreach events.
Whether it’s high-quality pork or volunteering, for the Schmitt family it’s about serving people. The exciting thing is that Alicia and Greg aren’t alone in their passion for serving community. A large percentage of rural volunteer fire companies are comprised of local farmers. “The schedule works out well, says Greg, “I spend most of my days at the farm caring for pigs. The flexible hours allow me to respond to fire calls during hours when those who work office-related jobs aren’t able to be on call.”
While I pray I never have to make “that call”, a big thank you Greg and Alicia for giving of your time to keep our community safe.