Speaker Date Topic
Tania Issa Jan 23, 2018 7:00 AM
The Sheepish Pig

Tania's interest in farming is genetic.  Both her parents grew up on large sheep stations in Australia. Her grandfather's first farm was a pig farm in the town of Hay, the Outback of New South Wales, where Australia's national museum for sheep shearing is located. While Tania's parents married and immigrated to the US, her aunties, uncles and cousins remained in Australia, with many working in livestock farming and sheep shearing. One of Tania's earliest and best memories of farming involves her Uncle Norman waking her up at dawn to help milk the cows and count the many heads of sheep, a dreamy job the 7 year old girl never forgot, despite the early mornings and exhausting, dirty work. 


Tania is raising rare breed Mangalitsa, the so-called 'wooly pig,' on her 23 acre farm in Kingston. This breed of hog from Hungary, which was near extinction in the late 1990s, is well known in the culinary world as "The Kobe Beef of Pork", prized for its deep red marbled meat and creamy white lard. Tania's interest in this breed developed after reading an article 10 years ago, about the use of this hog to remove invasive plants from forests and wetlands in Europe.  After getting her own herd of Mangalitsa hogs, Tania was delighted to see them devour scotch broom and Himalayan blackberries, clearing her overgrown Kingston pastures in record time, and turning out the tastiest bacon and chops her family had ever eaten.  


Tania's professional background is in Public Health and Biomedical Research.  She graduated from California State University Long Beach with a degree in Health Sciences and went to work as a Public Health Investigator specializing in infectious disease prevention and control for the Los Angeles County Health Department. Her passion for disease prevention in the early days of the HIV epidemic was a segway into her work in vaccine research and development. Tania has worked for a large number of biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, primarily auditing clinical trials for patient safety and reviewing new drug/device/biologic applications under submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 


These days, Tania is doing less 'pharming' and more farming. After a 20+ year career which involved heavy US and international travel in the biopharmaceutical world, she is happy to throw on her blue jean overalls, grab a floppy hat, and saunter out to the pasture to rub some bellies and scratch some of her 'sheepish pigs' behind the ears.  When Tania is not on "The Sheepish Pig Farm," she can be found at her retail store, Kingston Mercantile & Marine, where she sells USDA-certified small cuts of her Mangalitsa pork. Tania and her husband Antoine are also busy parents to their five sons, ages 12 to 21.

More info at http://www.thesheepishpig.com

Our Story: http://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2017/06/18/kingston-farm-raises-pig-sheeps-clothing/397361001/


Nicole Comforto Jan 30, 2018 7:00 PM