user's avatar
Lewis & Clark Bank customer testimonial
MAUPIN, OR—Peter O’Hanley loves working with pigs. He started working closely with the animals when he was a professor researching vaccines at Stanford University. Today, the medical doctor, drug researcher, and rancher raises heritage hogs, goats, and Tibetan yaks at Hangbelly Ranch, his 750-acre property on Juniper Flats, near Maupin.

The ranch has been in continuous operation since 1876. Today, O’Hanley has 500 acres in wheat, and plenty of room for his herds to roam around (something animals raised on commercial hog farms are not free to do). He is focused on raising heritage hogs, largely to help maintain the breeds for future generations. Hangbelly Ranch is home to American Mulefoots, Red Wattles, and Berkshires—all breeds with unique traits that help them survive in austere environments. 

Hangbelly’s hogs are all fed a high quality diet, which results in a much higher quality cut of meat. “We feed them cut alfalfa, spent beer grains from Hood River, apples from Odell, and crushed grains without any antibiotics.” By adding hazelnuts to their diet before the hogs are sacrificed, the richer, redder meat has also has a distinctly nutty quality to it. 

“The business side of the ranch can be very difficult,” admits O’Hanley. Thankfully, his ranch is located near farm-to-table Portland restaurants like Higgins and Trifecta, plus Sheridan Market, who all buy directly from him. Hangbelly Ranch also sells about 45 to 50 hogs per month to local ranchers interested in raising these heritage breeds to mature weight. “I’ve been fortunate that people believe in the quality of the food product,” says O’Hanley. 

Heritage hogs also sell for about three times more than conventional hogs, a fact that helps Hangbelly Ranch remain in business. O’Hanley credits Sheridan Market and their customers for supporting his operation. “The customers who go there are like Hangbelly Ranchers as well, because they endorse the concept of raising the animals in a humane way and they are willing to pay more for quality.” 

The other ace in Hangbelly’s hole is Lewis & Clark Bank. “The customer service at the bank, to me, is worth every nickel,” O’Hanley says. He runs his business cash flow with the hands on help of Bankerpreneurs. “I call up Pam or Angela sometimes three or four times in a day, and they never get upset or grumpy. Most banks are not that way. I run ‘em ragged and they’re very sweet.” 

“I’m a very happy customer of Lewis & Clark Bank. I have three other jobs. I don’t have a lot of extra time to get in the car and go to the bank,” O’Hanley says. “I could do it online, but I like the personal touch and I know it’s getting done.” 

With so few banking concerns to weigh him down, O’Hanley is free to innovate. His herd of Tibeten yaks, for instance, can’t currently be processed at an FDA-approved slaughterhouse. As a work-around, O’Hanley is crossbreeding his yaks with beef cows, which yields an ultra low fat cut of yak-beef. He expects to deliver this new food offering to market in the next six months. 

At Hangbelly Ranch, the dream of growing your own food and producing high-quality food for others is a dream realized. The ranch is also a key player in an ecosystem—both economic and environmental—that other food producers can learn from and replicate on their own properties. In a state where agriculture is responsible for approximately 13.2 percent of all sales, and hundreds of thousands of jobs, it’s critical to support healthy producers like Hangbelly Ranch. 

At one point there were only 50 American Mulefoots left in the entire world, O’Hanley reflects. “American Mulefoots have been spread from my ranch, which is kind of a good thing.”
Lewis & Clark Bank customer testimonial
0
19
0
Published:

Lewis & Clark Bank customer testimonial

0
19
0
Published: