Our Breeding Philosophy:
Maintaining the genetics of an entire breed from a very small genetic base requires disciplined and informed breeders. At Gods Blessing Farm LLC we are constantly balancing the preservation of an adequately broad genetic base of the Meishan Breed with the realities that animals must conform to breed standards and performance goals.We believe that you learn more about a breeder from the pigs they cull than the pigs they sell. It is our strategy that we never completely remove a bloodline from our herd but we are willing to and have aggressively culled individual animals.These animals go into service as meat barrows or pets. We do not sell inferior stock as “pure but unregistered” .In the first two years of our breeding program less than 35% of piglets farrowed have been retained or sold as breeders. The pigs that we have culled from our breeding herd are more total Meishans, from more bloodlines, than most other Meishan breeders even own. We always adhere to the sage advice “breed the best and eat the rest”. It was a significant commitment in opportunity cost but it will allow us to more quickly reach our breeding objectives and in the long run will benefit the entire breed and those farms that choose us as their source for Meishan genetics.
Genetic integrity is not just purity of stock.It is documenting the diversity of each breeding animal in relation to the other animals it is bred to. Being a breeder with all three research herd bloodlines assures us that these three genetically distinct bloodlines( USDA, University of Illinois and Iowa State) offer the greatest opportunity for genetic diversity possible. These three research herds were completely isolated from each other for over 25 years and countless generations. The unique genetic profiles of the different research herd animals were documented in a USDA research paper on genetic drift (Blackburn et al 2014). In addition our USDA line hogs which were obtained directly from the USDA Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Nebraska were provided with 3 generation pedigrees. Our University of Illinois lines came directly from the campus in Champagne and were the last descendants of the original research herd there. We are the only independent breeder on record to receive breeding stock from these two facilities.Only Gods Blessing Farm and those breeders who purchased stock from us in 2016 and 2017 have these USDA and University of Illinois bloodlines. These bloodlines are critical for the effort to maintain a genetically sustainable Meishan herd in North America. We are also proud to be deeply involved in the American Meishan Breeders Association. The A.M.B.A. was incorporated in 2016 to develop an on line pedigree data base that will allow breeders to make informed breeding decisions as part of the effort to establish a genetically sustainable herd of Meishan pigs in North America.All of our nucleus herd of Meishans are registered in that data base.