Meat the Pig Farmer,
Brian Zimmerman, along with his wife, Tammy, son Austin and daughters Shelby and Korene, raise pigs just west of Beatrice. The Zimmermans have a specialized pig farm, raising exhibition and breeding stock. The family’s operation raises purebred Berkshires, Durocs, Hampshire, Spots, and Yorkshires, along with quality crossbreds. They are well known nationwide for raising quality breeding stock. Their pigs are winning championships every week across the nation during livestock show season. Recently, one of their championship pigs was also the top selling pig at the Springfield, Illinois National Summer Show.
Brian is a past president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association and has been active in developing and promoting educational programs for youth to learn about the industry. On the national level, Brian has served on the National Pork Board for six years serving on the administrative, International Trade, Animal Welfare and Demand Enhancement committees. The Zimmerman family has been honored by the Nebraska State Fair and inducted into the Nebraska Pork Checkoff Hall of Fame. One of Brian’s most inspiring memories happened while on a tour of a cold storage warehouse in China. Off in a corner, he spotted a logo he recognized. Looking closer, he noticed it was a pallet of Farmland Foods products from Nebraska. As a pig farmer, he knew that his pork products are feeding people all over the world, but when he saw it for himself, it was really special.
Brian doesn’t just raise championship pigs. He is also a skilled smoker and grilling expert. He says it is a hobby and a passion, rather than a career. Brian and his trailer loaded with a smoker and grill can often be spotted at corporate catering events, friends’ weddings, and graduation parties. “Catering is fun and challenging,” Brian says. “Sometimes I say yes, just because l like to be challenged.” Brian loves to try new recipes and tweak them to his own taste; wife Tammy is at the ready for clean up. Recently, Brian catered a corporate event for 2,000 people at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines. How much food do you need to feed 2,000 people? Brian prepared 600 pounds of ribs, 400 pounds of pulled pork, brats, bacon beans and potato salad. In addition, a 150 pounds of Cole slaw. This pig farmer knows how to cook for a crowd that loves pork!