Kassie O’Brien and her husband Kent, who is a 4th generation farmer, and their two daughters Klair and Karla, started 4K Farms in 2013. Their farm is located in Southern Alberta near the small town of Swalwell.
They started their farm with goats, alpaca and chickens. Wanting healthier lifestyle options for their family they purchased a sow Ezmerelda, then a boar Zuckerman and their pig adventure started!
4K Farms is presenting Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 11AM on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage BMO Marketplace, Hall A.
Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about 4K Farms
Kassie O’Brien: 4K Farms heritage pigs are BC SPCA Certified and are raised without the use of antibiotics.
With over 60 humanely raised breeders 4k farms sustains a complete farrow to finish farm! 4K sows are bred ONLY once or twice a year, Moms have months in between births to allow some relaxing time.
All the pigs at 4k are given clean paddocks with trees for shade and wallowing holes, we rotate paddocks frequently to prevent boredom and allow rejuvenation of the land.
We give our pigs enrichment items that change all the time, tires, frozen treats, balls, forage and scattered treats to dig up and sniff out! 4K pigs are fed a diet of wheat, peas, barley and fodder.
Fodder is grown year round so the pigs are fed grass in the winter months.
CS: When did you know you wanted to be involved in the food industry?
Kassie: After we realized that we wanted to focus on farming pigs we teamed up with our lifelong friend and Red Seal Chef Simon Bentley. Simon uses 4K pork and introduced the pork to Community Foods Wholesale Meats and not long after 4K pork became available to the local chefs of Calgary.
CS: What do you love about your job?
Kassie: We love that we have created this farm together and we enjoy being with our children. Kent and I farm to support a brighter better future for our children and future generations to come.
CS: Do you have a favourite memory of the Calgary Stampede?
Kassie: We are both Calgary born and raised. I remember every year my dad would take me to the Calgary Stampede and I haven’t missed a year. Kent remembers going to the stampede with his 3 brothers Robert, Jeff and Dave. Kent’s favorite thing to do at the Calgary Stampede is to try the new foods and walk the barns.
CS: Do you have a recipe you would share with our readers?
Kassie: Our favorite pork recipe is one we create for all family events and functions at the farm:
4K Pulled Pork
1 butt roast
½ cup of brown sugar
1 cup of honey
1 pineapple sliced
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Put oil in frying pan on high heat, allow cooking oil to boil
Sear the butt roast in a frying pan for approx 2 mins on each side
Put roast, sliced pineapple, honey and brown sugar into the crock pot on high for 4-6 hours or in the
oven at 350F for 3-4 hours
For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website