Jeff and Kaytie Duda grew tired of the hectic pace of city life and decided to purchase some land outside of the city. Jeff had been raised on a farm in western Nebraska which grew “a little bit of everything,” so when faced with an open piece a property, it was only natural to start working the land. The Dudas started with calves and chickens, and then slowly transitioned into raising pigs. As they searched for a boar to breed their sows, Kaytie stumbled upon a Meishan boar (one of the oldest breeds of domesticated pigs in the world) in the area for sale for $200. After Jeff did some research and discovered a purebred boar can sell for upwards of $6,000, they decided to give it a try. After they tasted their first pasture-raised Meishan meat, they were sold. As their business grew, they started selling direct to customers and eventually markets and grocery stores. The Dudas named their new enterprise Clear Creek Family Farm, reviving the name of the farm Jeff’s grandpa once owned.
Reason for Loan
Capital from Steward is being used to build fencing that allows Clear Creek Family Farm to increase its capacity, hold more pigs and boost production from around 1,000 head per year to up to 4,000. Steward financing is also being used to meet other operational and infrastructure needs, including additional transportation, trailers, and tractors to move the animals and maintain the farm. The barn that was on the property when they purchased it is also being restored to allow the pigs to farrow indoors during inclement weather.
Demand for Clear Creek’s product has grown so quickly Jeff and Kaytie have been forced to outsource some of their production to other like-minded producers around the country. As Clear Creek grows to meet the demand, they’d like to keep as much of production in-house as possible. At the same time, they have their sights set on growing their production enough to supply stores on the scale of Whole Foods—a significant jump from their current regional grocery supply. To do so they must substantially scale the size of their operation. Vegetable production at Clear Creek is also growing. This past year they produced several hundred pounds of cucumbers and 300-400 pumpkins (the other half of what they produce is fed to the pigs). Since surrounding communities are all small towns, the Dudas have plans to deliver fresh produce to neighboring communities next season.