Google “bacon meme” and you’ll find more than a few to make you chuckle.
But our favorite is this one:
While the image here is a pig, we may as well replace it with Matt and Tim Bierman, brothers originally from northwest Iowa.
The two brothers grew up on a farm with their three siblings, and after college, Tim returned to the family farm, which he still runs to this day. He is the one who cares for the pigs day in and day out - the pigs who convert their plant-based diet into the amazing product known as Bierman Bacon.
The Biermans have farmed in northwest Iowa for several generations. Tim went to college and was selling veterinary supplies in 1985 when his father had a heart attack and was forced to decrease his work load. Within 2 months, Tim had left his job and began a career farming full-time, carrying on the family tradition.
“Farm life isn’t for everyone,” Tim says, “but it was always my goal to come back to work the family farm.”
Although Tim is still responsible for the care of his pigs, over the past 35+ years, he’s been active in leadership roles in the pork industry.
In the late 1990s, Tim became active on the Iowa Pork Board, eventually serving as chair of the organization, and ascending to chair of the National Pork Board in 2009. These organizations exist to help pig farmers by promoting pork and teaching consumers how to cook pork. The pork board also conducts research and farmer education to improve pork quality, animal welfare and sustainability.
During Tim’s tenure, Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) was developed. This program for pig farmers requires them to meet several standards related to food safety and animal well-being. Training courses are followed by on-farm assessments for certification.
PQA Plus covers a variety of topics, from animal movement guidelines to farm-worker safety requirements to animal health issues. The entire program is designed to improve pig farms and give meateaters like you peace of mind.
Tim, who chaired the pork board’s animal welfare committee at one point, sums it up very simply. “We just do the best we can to keep our pigs happy and healthy.”
Tim’s brother, Matt, took a different route to Bierman Bacon. Matt went to college for business and moved to Omaha, then Minneapolis, and finally Denver, where he lives now.
While most of the Biermans’ pigs are sold to a larger processor, the family always had a few harvested locally for their family, like many farmers do. The bacon from these pigs was outstanding, and Matt loved to share it with clients, colleagues and friends.
“We had such amazing reviews,” Matt says. “People loved our bacon. We knew we had to figure out how to get it out to more people.”
In 2018, the brothers joined forces to transform Bierman bacon from a family favorite to the official brand we love today. They worked with local lockers and butcher shops to create recipes and did extensive taste-testing before settling on six delicious flavors: apple cinnamon, prime rib, jalapeno, cajun, cracked pepper, and original.
To get the rich flavors, the Biermans' bacon is seasoned and brined before being sliced and packaged for customers.
The Biermans recommend baking their bacon.
“A lot of times,” Tim says, “We put it in the oven.”
To bake bacon in the oven, line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. Lay out the bacon on the tin foil without overlapping the pieces. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bacon until it reaches desired crispiness.
A few tips and tricks:
Try Bierman Bacon for yourself - order here!
No posts found