Paul & Rosie Hill – Mitchell ON
Paul Hill has been raising pigs all of his life on the home property where he grew up in Mitchell, nurse Ontario. Rosie was raised on a farm as well, ambulance and holds a diploma in Foodservice Management. When they were married, Rosie came to work for Paul in the expanding farming operation, and the rest is Willowgrove history. Paul and Rosie had three children – Ryan, Maddie and Joey. Sadly, in 2001, their oldest, Ryan, succumbed to liver cancer at the age of two. This loss was the impetus to further enhance their premium-quality pork and ensure that their family – and all of their customers – had an accessible, healthy choice. First, they changed their herd to an extremely high-health, genetically stress-free animal: Topigs – maternal (Topigs being one of the top three breeding organizations in the world, dedicated to improving and refining breeding techniques) and Tempo – paternal (known for its sturdiness and high resistance to disease). This respected genetic line also gives the meat a little more marbling, which results in a more tender and more flavourful end product. After seeing the success of Omega in eggs and milk products – and recognizing the corresponding health benefits – Paul and Rosie set their sights on becoming the first pork producers in North America to enrich their products with DHA/EPA Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and organic Selenium, farm-raised and without the use of antibiotics or growth promotants. In the spring of 2007, they began the intricate process of introducing DHA/EPA Omega-3 fatty acids (human-grade fish oil) naturally, through feed, based on a specially formulated diet designed by a professional hog nutritionist.