Paul Willis is a 5th generation family farmer and founder of the Niman Ranch Pork Company, a network of over 500 family farmers. He has owned and operated the Willis Free Range Pig Farm in Iowa since 1975, dedicating his life to promoting and practicing responsible agriculture that not only benefits the welfare of animals and the integrity of the environment, but helps sustain our rural communities.
I've been raising pigs for 46 years, and still do today. Over that time, I’ve seen a shift in farming: animals in agriculture have been reduced to ‘protein production units’ and have lost the respect and dignity of being living individuals in our care. As a farmer, a consumer, and a steward, I think it’s important to reverse that trend. Moving the market to incentivize raising animals with higher welfare creates opportunities for healthier food systems and more diversity in farming and ranching.