Robbery & Sabotage – REWARD!!!


Updates in comments: 3 of 5 to 8 arrested

Someone sabotaged our field fencing letting many of our pigs out here at Sugar Mountain Farm in Orange, Vermont. Virtually all of the pigs are still on my land and not far from their fields. At this point the vast majority are back in since they tend to stay towards the food source and where they’re familiar.

Dealing with this is taking our total focus to rebuild the fences and get the pigs back in. It will take me many weeks to which is going to cause an interruption in deliveries to stores and restaurants that buy our pork. Once the pigs are secured back on their pastures we’ll start fresh on butchering meat and deliveries which will take one more week. I’m expecting to do the next delivery to stores and restaurants in Vermont & New Hampshire the week of 9/18.

Furthermore we were robbed on Friday 8/23 at 4:50pm by five people in three vehicles – a small red car, a large black pickup truck and a smaller black pickup truck. The robbery and the fence sabotage may be linked to an ex-employee who had previously stolen a pig that was recovered by the state police. Clearly the robbers had insider information and knew exactly what they were doing and looking for as well as knowing when when nobody was here. They took a thousands of dollars in expensive tools, my welders and may have stolen meat too. I have not fully inventoried the losses yet. I have reported to this to the Vermont State Police and am giving them the recordings from my video surveillance cameras plus objects that the thieves handled bared handed so the police can get finger prints. Hopefully the police will be able to catch the thieves. We have very good face shots as well as excellent images of the vehicles that may aid in presecution.

Thieves at the door & Vehicles
Click for larger images

If you recognize any of these people or vehicles, have any information about this robbery, the fence sabotaging or the other sabotage and theft that has gone on please contact Trooper Mathew Nadeau at the Vermont State Police 802-229-9191. I am offering a reward of one whole pig of pork (delivered all at once or as monthly boxes) for information leading to the capture and conviction of this ring of robbers and saboteur.

This is extremely frustrating and has already cost me many thousands of dollars. Insurance won’t cover this so this is all out of my pocket but we shall persevere and get past this so we can bring you excellent pork products cut here in our own on-farm butcher shop.

Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm, LLC
in Orange, Vermont


See comments for more details

Sickness and vomiting are also possible. To avert accidental overdose, you should be careful during the treatment.

The lovely couple again soon to be off on their honeymoon in separate jail cells…
We now have first and last names as well as addresses for these nice people.
Note the cigarette with DNA samples and the fence post she has with finger prints.
Rumor has it he’ll be rooming with Bubba and her with Ms. Butch.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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50 Responses to Robbery & Sabotage – REWARD!!!

  1. Update 9pm Wednesday 8/28 – about 99% of the pigs are in, new fences up, four sows camped out on my “lawn” with their piglets. I only know of one sow and piglets who left our property and she is back. All other pigs stayed on our farm within 2,000′ of the home area. Tomorrow more fencing. Some pigs in behind the new vehicle gate and innorator shown in the picture… Oh, and the state police have a good lead on the man and the woman who robbed us and may be tied to the fence sabotage.

  2. Bob says:

    I sure hope your things are recovered and the thieves spend some time in their own little pens.

  3. I got another gate and innorator setup and more fencing. Seven more sows in. I know of one sow that is still out with a few piglets – she is on our land, as are all the pigs, just across the road in the east field where the sabotaged fences were. She tried to come in to the west fields through the innorator on the driveway but got spooked. She’ll try again later tonight or tomorrow.

    By the way, for WCAX to say the town is overrun with pigs is a serious exaggeration. The town is about 39 square miles of which I own about two square miles, all of our valley. All the pigs are still on my farm in our valley. They’re just not in their pastures and some are along the road grazing. Our road is a one lane dirt road that normally gets about 1 car an hour during the day normally and almost nothing at night – pigs are asleep and not on the road at night. Traffic went up 2400% due to the WCAX article – not good. People please don’t come by as it just makes herding the pigs harder. Honking and screaming really doesn’t help. Yes, there were a few of those.

    Channel 5 news also did a story that was a bit more balanced and informative and an AP writer came out today.

    Four guys from Vergennes Vermont showed up in the afternoon and helped use herd pigs in for several hours. Thanks Brett, Brian, Mike & Nathan!

    -Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    Orange, Vermont

  4. Vermont State Police Press Release of 2019-08-29

    Someone SWATted our farm, reporting animal abuse after they let the pigs out. The police came and found no evidence of animal abuse. In fact they said the pigs looked great, which they do. I’ve been dealing with SWATting like this for about six months now since I fired a certain female employee for lying. She had also been vandalizing equipment, stealing and stirring up trouble for months with other employees. When the unemployment office contacted me I explained exactly why I fired Ms. Thin Remis. (Not her real name, of course.)

  5. Carrie says:

    I’m sorry to read this Walter. Some very sad mindsets about right now.

    Hope you get everything sorted and the police catch – and the system adequately punishes – those responsible.

    Finger’s firmly crossed for you!


  6. Interesting, the comments on various web sites, Facebook, media outlets range from people who want to steal the pigs to supportive (mostly farm community). I’m surprised by how many people who are not in agriculture have such low empathy levels. Rather eye opening about people who are spending too much time on their phones. It is probably a biased sample set – people who just want to leave their graffiti on the wall rather than having anything worth saying. Thank you to all of you who offered to come help with fencing and herding pigs as well as all the kind words from many others. Also thank you to all of you who have written to WCAX and other news outlets to set the record straight. I really appreciate it.

  7. The state police have strong suspects. They aren’t talking to the media for a reason – to maximize the effectiveness of their police work. There is strong evidence that the robbers and saboteurs who have repeatedly hit my farm have hit other stores, garages and homes in the area.

    This morning I got a call from a local store owner who had just been robbed by someone he recognized from his video footage and my video footage. Hopefully the police will nail these criminals soon before they do more damage or kill someone.

  8. Our goal is to begin deliveries again the week of September 18th.

  9. BREAKING NEWS! — Wednesday, September 4th — I just got a call from the State Police and they have recovered many of my stolen tools. Not the meat but the biggest most expensive tools like welders and tool kits fom a local pawn shop in Barre, VT. VERY GOOD NEWS! They know who sold the equipment to the pawn shop and have very strong leads on the five people who were here doing the burglary as well as leads on who likely organized the burglary and sabotage. YEAH! This is progress. They are working on trying the various burglaries, thefts and sabotage together, closing in on the perps who have been SWATting my farm for the past year. I had not expected that they would catch up with the crooks so soon or that I would ever get my tools back! I’m ecstatic!

  10. More better pictures that the Vermont State Police were able to extract using their equipment from my surveillance camera recordings can be found at:

    NECN Channel 5 News

    WCAX-TV Channel 3 News

  11. I want to thank all the people who have been sending in tips to the police and to me as well as all those who have come and helped and who have offered their help and their emotional support as well.

  12. Update: about 99% of the pigs have been in on our west pastures since August 28th. Since then I’ve been working on fencing. There were a few holes that some sows had figured out they could go out and then get me to feed them bread as they came back in the main gate. Very sneaky. Pigs are smart about food and sex things. What I’m doing now is finding those holes, securing them and then adding electric inside the fencing so the pigs don’t challenge the fences. Once the fencing is done they won’t be able to go out again unless someone sabotages fencing again – something that is impossible to totally prevent. More security cameras may help at least identify the culprits if it happens again.

  13. One of the interesting things that the police said was that it obviously was an inside job, that the thieves had inside info, based on their behavior. Apparently the insider did not tell the burglars about the video cameras. Some of them are obvious. Others aren’t. And there are more than anyone but I know about. This led to the police being able to have some very good video surveillance camera recordings of the criminals who stole and are likely in cahoots with the person who vandalized and sabotaged fencing to let the pigs out.

  14. In another interesting development:
    Some guys had come to help us herd in the pigs. One of the guys, told my helper some time this week that after dark they passed by on our road and saw a jacked up Toyota pickup truck that was parked in my south field entrance where there is a gate that keeps the pigs in the south field. My worker said said that one of the guys who had come to help had told him that there were two guys tying a chain or rope from the truck bumper to the gate as if they were going to rip off the gate and let the pigs out again. The helpers slowed down to speak to the people with the Toyota and the likely vandals abandoned what they were doing, jumped in the pickup truck and roared away. I don’t know if this was the original saboteur or someone else trying to get in on the “fun”. The town and state needs to be focused on getting these sorts of people rather than threatening me. There is no way for me to stop all vandals, saboteurs and thieves. Cameras help identify them but that only helps if the government takes action against the criminals.

  15. I just got a call yesterday from the Vermont State Police. They know with virtual certainty most of the bad actors in the drama we’ve been going through. They’re still working on some connections between the events here and other places. The trooper also sent me a PDF listing the equipment they have been able to recover from the Barre, VT pawn shop where the burglars sold much of my stuff. The meat of course is irrecoverable and the police officer said they know of at least two more pieces of equipment that were sold at the pawn shop which they’re working on recovering. They’re very hopeful about nailing down the entire ring of saboteurs and burglars.

  16. Jeff Marchand says:

    Hi Walter, Ive been away from your website for some time and I came back to check in on you and I see this. What a shame that this has happened to you. I hope the police catch the buggers who did this too you and you get back everything you lost and insurance will cover any the police cant find.

    All the best and chin up.

  17. Today I met with the USDA, VT state game warden and Vermont state veterinarian who came out to my farm to check on the progress with fencing and getting the pigs back in after the sabotage.

    At this point I think I’ve got about 100% of the pigs in. For the past three days I’ve seen the same faces coming in the innorator – sows who have figured out holes in the roughly 3,500′ of physical fencing on the inner area of the farm on the west side of the road, the home farm area. I then tighten those holes and they look for other holes to tell me about… My primary focus right now is getting the electric fencing reestablished – once that is done they won’t push the physical fences. Last year my son and I had taken down the outer 1.5 mile long perimeter fence on the west side of the farm – usually that outer perimeter would redirect pigs back in. We had taken it down as part of the process of changing over from polywire after about ten years of use to high tensile wire which will last more like 40 years.

    The government officials were pleased with everything and told me to continue to improve the fences and get in the stragglers. I gave them permission to setup game cameras outside our primary farming area on my land (I farm about 70 acres of my 1,000 acre forest land) and to setup live traps for the pigs further out around the one mile mark in case any are that far. They’ll let me know what they find. I haven’t seen any signs of any pigs going that far.

    Right after we got done meeting two television reporters showed up and another messaged me later. I think that someone driving by had tipped off the media. This is what I gave them:

    I am the farmer. It is unfortunate that the media, town and state chooses to sensationalize the story. I asked that they please spread the real problem – someone sabotaged my fencing. Here’s the reality:

    1. Someone sabotaged our fencing in order to cause trouble for our farm. This is the second time it has been done about a year apart. Second time was likely a copycat since they knew about the first incidence. I know who did both the first and second sabotage. I’ve been keeping pigs on pasture here for about 18 years, almost 19 years, and haven’t had a problem before someone sabotaged fencing.

    2. 99% of the pigs were quickly returned to fenced pastures. I have about 70 sows. About 50 of the late gestating and nursing sows were in the two pastures where the fencing was sabotaged – there were also about 200 piglets. Piglets don’t count – they follow the sows.

    3. Virtually all of the pigs stayed right here on our farm – they were not all over town contrary to the town clerk’s claims and stories in the media. Two sows went to a neighbors and did a very small amount of rooting in their grass. This is an isolated valley and a long ways from anyone else.

    4. It was never a public hazard. The town clerk vastly exaggerated to claim that. Pigs did not block walkers or cars. The dirt road, which I own, is one lane and infrequently traveled. The media coverage made the traffic during the day go up from about 1 car an hour to about 25 cars an hours. Shame on the yahoos who interfered by screaming at us and the pigs.

    5. The state, town and neighbors actively hindered us rather than helping us. Shame on them. All of them could have been more helpful. The state police were helpful.

    6. We were also burglarized before and after the event. We have been SWATted by an ex-employee for months. Shots have been fired in front of my house as well, likely by the same person. I have filed multiple police reports for months with the Vermont state police and they have recovered my property from said ex-employees home as well as my stolen equipment from a local pawn shop. These are open ongoing cases which hopefully they will tie to the fence saboteur.

    7. We have surveillance video records of the perps which we have turned over to the police and they have leads on many of the five suspects who are in the videos. Thank you to everyone who has sent in reports to me and to the state police (Troopers Nadeau & Miriam, Middlesex Barracks, 802-229-9191 if you have more tips on catching these criminals).

    8. As of 9/11 I believe that 100% of the pigs are back in because for the past three days I’ve been putting the same several sows in each morning. They find holes in the fences, go out and come back in. I patch those holes. They look for another hole. Very helpful they are. Until I finish repairing the electric they can do that as it is impossible / impractical to make miles of fence actually 100% tight in managed rotational pasture situations. Electric fencing solves that and that is what I’m working on now. Since I’m seeing the same faces coming back I think there are not any other pigs out. Pigs don’t tend to wander very far.

    9. This is not confinement. These are not pens. These are pastures which vary in size from a quarter acre to 10 acres in area. This is managed rotational grazing, not confinement as has erroneously been reported by the media.

    10. The pigs NEVER threatened any people or cars. The pigs are wary of people and retreat. They know me and come to my voice but they run away from other people. I’ve raised these sows since they were piglets themselves so we know each other well.

    11. The pigs did not do thousands of dollars of damages as erroneously claimed by the town official and neighbor. A couple of sows went as far as a distant neighbor (1/2 mile away) and did a very minor amount of rooting in their field and lawn. The two sows were looking for the Japanese beetle grubs that are under the grasses. Virtually all the pigs stayed on my farm and right in the center of my farm.

    12. These pigs will not go feral. Wrong genetics. On top of that our remote valley has very deep (14′) snows in the winter and it gets very cold here. The pigs would die in the winter without the support structure I give them. Fears of feralization are over sensationalized.

    13. To round up the pigs we have herded them, used our livestock working dogs, used bread trails and setup innorators (one way gates the pigs can come in but not go out). I know how to herd pigs very well. It is much like herding sheep, cattle, goats. They flow along with a calm, gentle herding approach. Screaming and beeping horns as has been done by some yahoos in cars while I was herding does not help – shame on those people.

    14. I met with the USDA and Vermont State officials the morning of 9/11 and they were pleased with what I have done and agreed to give me another week to continue working on the electric and fences. Then they’ll reevaluate again. They are going to setup monitoring cameras to see if any pigs are outside the 70 acre farm area I expect them to be in and live traps further out at about a mile to see if the pigs are found that far away.

    15. Contrary to some of the media reports and comments on said reports I’m not some lazy know nothing slob of a farmer. I’m actually one of the leading experts worldwide in pastured pig raising and I have published over 2,500 articles on my blog and answered tens of thousands of questions on various forums about pastured pig raising. I know what I’m doing. My pigs got out because someone sabotaged me very intentionally: once in August of 2018 and again a different person copycatted that in August of 2019. I know who it is in both cases and the police are working on tying in the ex-employee, second case, with the other crimes that I’ve reported to them since April which I believe she is also responsible for as well as the two burglaries one of which the property was recovered from her house. At this point the police have a lot of video surveillance footage, fingerprints, pawn shop records and other information from people that is beginning to tie it all together. They have very strong suspect in the cases. Hopefully those people will get put in prison.

    These are facts.

    The thing that bothers me the most about our government’s reaction, and how the media has covered this story is:

    You don’t charge a rape victim with prostitution.
    You don’t charge a hit & run victim with vandalizing the car bumper.
    You don’t charge a burglary victim with littering if their property is dumped.
    You don’t charge a car dealership if someone steals one of their cars and crashes it.

    Well this is the same. They shouldn’t be charging the victim, me, with all these crimes and fines and threats of killing my animals and threats of my having to pay the costs. Threats of fines won’t stop the real criminals from sabotaging and robbing me. I did not create this situation. These criminals have cost me tens of thousands of dollars already in lost sales for my farm. I’ve been working full time, that’s 12 to 14 hours a day 7 days a week, to put things to right and fix the problems the bad people created. The fed’s, state’s and town’s priority should be to help the victim, me, and go after the perps.

    Something that you, dear readers, can do is to spread the word about the real facts. Leave comments on the news stories you’ve seen. Write the town of Orange at , Vermont state and other officials letting them know how you value the information I have provided for free for decades about pastured pig raising. Be police, keep to facts, set the record straight, encourage them to go after the real criminals.

    Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    Orange, VT

  18. As of 9/12 the whole north home field is electrified to 8.4KV. It has been officially tested by four persistent perimeter penetrating porcine provocateurs pronouncing it properly powered. I also touched it and found it convincing.

    Not sure how much you know about pasture fencing. Fence energizers are high voltage, low amperage and rated in joules. They produce a spike of voltage that lasts a very short amount of time measured in milliseconds (1/1,000th of a second) spaced about one second apart. The fence power energizer runs at 10KV (10,000 volts) unloaded. 2KV is sufficient deterrent. Even 600 volts is pretty convincing. About 3.5KV is my goal. 8.4KV is extremely good – Basically an almost perfect fence. Typically after a rain storm that will get dragged down some by weeds but still sufficient. The north field fencing is mostly high tensile fencing in that area which tends to run hotter than polywire which has more resistance and leaks more.

  19. Jocelyn says:

    Oh Walter I’m so sorry to hear about this. I’ve always admired how you raise your pigs, and what a wonderful resource for both delicious pork and knowledge you are. Hope things are looking up.

  20. David Sutton says:

    I value the immense amount of information you’ve provided. Absolutely the best and most intelligently articulated agricultural blog out there. Hoping the local media wise up. They should be extolling you for the internet fame you’ve brought their region.

  21. Today I finished the south field fence. That was much longer than the north field. The south field is about 93% high tensile three wire with a little polywire along the north west corner. It is running at 5.9KV. Two sows tested it and said it works. Many others just stood looking at it for a couple of minutes and turned away, deciding perhaps that caution is the better part of valor. We have communicated. I know of two sows who are outside the fence, one in the upper pasture and one in the north field. They’ll come in tomorrow. They came to the fence and wanted to come in but I was not able to convince them to cross the line when I held it up for them nor when I stepped it down for them. Being old sows they know very well what fences do.

  22. Today USDA Wildlife Services David, Corey, Fred along with Vermont’s head veterinarian Dr. Haas helped me load and move some pigs that had been live caught down the road. I want to thank them for their help. I also got in two more big pigs earlier. There are three known still out. Gradually we’re making headway after having our fences sabotaged. I had hoped to begin butchery again today but it looks like Friday.

  23. Charlie says:

    Wrong genetics?? I have to disagree with that statement. Any hog can go feral, they’re one of the most adaptable species on earth. Given that you have raised hogs outside for nearly twenty years throughout the harsh winters of Vermont, your pigs have a better chance of surviving than most pigs.
    A lot of us were born at night but not last night. Good luck in getting them back to the farm.

    • Given that I’ve been doing the breeding of these lines for the past 18 years I know a lot more about the genetics than you. I also know our local climate. The first winter will kill them. They survive winter only because I provide a support system. Without that they die. We have three very active local coyote-wolf packs, cougars and bear who would help with that.

  24. Rechecked the fences today – running at 6.5KV south field and 9.7KV north field. The all four of the sows and the barrow that came in yesterday along with their piglets were all still in. I did not see anyone out while I was working outside.

  25. Peter says:

    Sorry to read of this, if I was in your area and one of you neighbors I would have lent a hand! I am of course interested to see the cops have a plethora of evidence yet have not made arrests. Makes me wonder of course (and unfortunately). Hope this latest test passes quickly and you and your family can move forward with your usual aplomb.

    • I would have appreciated it. Several guys from about two hours away came several days to help. Some of my neighbors were shit heads. You will almost never hear me swear but that is what they are – Just three of them. Others were fine. None of them helped. The town actively spread misinformation and actively hindered my ability to resolve the issue making it take weeks longer than it should have. The Vermont state police do have suspects and are working on tying the links together with additional people.

      • Peter says:

        I like to think I am a helpful person. :-) I live just about across the street from our local community pool and occasionally I do find myself over there for a couple hours on some Saturday or Sunday whacking away at the overgrown landscaping that no one else cares about. Not exactly the same as patrolling the fence line in VT but distantly similar!

        And I would note, my wife’s family and my dad’s side of my family are all farm people (upper Montgomery County, MD and outside of Buffalo, respectively) so I get it. I can still remember as a kid going around the fence line with my dad when we would go to my grandparents just to see how things were holding up, and all the signs my grandpa laboriously put up to mark the boundaries.

  26. Over on another post Raymond asked: “What is this doing to your business? How are you surviving?

    I answered:
    Basically it shut us down. No deliveries to stores for six weeks now. City Market in Burlington dropped us because they didn’t want to be associated with the bad publicity about the pigs being out. Other stores and restaurants have been far more supportive.

    The experience is like being raped and then being blamed for prostitution. Apparently I was wearing too skimpy a red dress… at least that is how three of my neighbors, the town, state and most of the media have portrayed it. Blame the victim.

    I did not want my pigs out of their pastures but an ex-employee purposefully sabotaged our fencing cutting the poly wires in many places. I also found one high tensile wire that was cut, a critical one. Not broken but cut which takes seriously good tools to do and knowledge to know which one to cut. Not something you can do with scissors or a knife. That one puzzles me but it all happened at the same time about August 11th.

    As of today, Saturday, September 21st, I have restored all the fencing in the south field and north home field. Innorators are setup and operating north, south, east and west. All of the pigs I know about are inside these electrified securely fenced pastures once again.

    The police have very strong evidence and leads on the culprits of the theft in early August, the sabotage and the burglarly in late August. They have recovered 17 of my stolen tools from a local pawn shop. The police have video, finger prints, DNA and are working on tying in the ring of thieves and saboteurs with other local robberies and burglaries. Store owners in neighboring towns have even better video footage of the same vehicles with the license plates showing. Hopefully all of these people will have their birthdays taken away and have to live in small rooms with big roommates.

    I’ve been without income for six weeks. I have a friend who is a real angel who has helped carry me through this financially while I had no income.

    Monday morning, 9/23, I’ll start cutting again under USDA inspection and once again begin weekly deliveries.

    The town’s threats of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines are absurd. My response is I’ll need to develop large portions of my land to pay that as well as to recover from the debt I’m incurring and lost income from this period. I’m thinking the section of land next to the nasty neighbors is perfect to be developed as many tiny lots for low income housing after I clear cut it to sell the timber. I figure I can put in about 100 housing lots there, pre-fabs, mobile homes, that sort of thing. 1/10th of an acre lots will be big enough yet still small enough to keep it affordable. Of course, there will be lots of children in such a development. Being low income housing they won’t contribute much of anything to the town’s budget. I already have interest from people who want to buy in there. I’m thinking owner financed to keep it extra affordable. I talked with a state of Vermont permitting specialist and other people in the Vermont tax department to begin the process. I have the necessary paperwork already. One interesting detail is that if those housing lots are ag-related on-farm worker housing there actually isn’t any real estate tax at all. That will unfortunately cost the town a lot of money in lost taxes and in the increased educational spending but it was the town’s actions that drove me to this. I have spent over 30 years trying to preserve the land from development but apparently the town and nasty neighbor’s don’t appreciate that agricultural land benefits them.

    • Gus says:

      This sounds like extortion to me. Can’t build farm labor housing unless you have farm labors, which I believe are very limited on you farm. I don’t believe Butcher shop employs are farm labors. I also suspect developing your property in this way means it will have to come out of current use and trigger a large fee to remove it from the program.
      It also doesn’t make sense to think 100 low income lots and homes next to your farm would be in any way marketable. Where will they shop, expenses if going to Barre or Bradford for any needs. Many people don’t want to live next door to a 250 pig farm or a processing plant.
      Having owned livestock for over 35 yrs including pigs and piglets, which occasionally get out, mine come back soon after. . Maybe you should evaluate your animal husbandry methodology to see if there is a reason your pigs didn’t return.
      As the saying goes “ good fences make good neighbors”.

      • This past year I had ten employees. Having free housing was a huge appeal to them. I’ve already begun work with the current use, the tax department and the state permitting specialist who all say it is a very viable project.

        The reason for doing a small area is that minimizes what comes out of the Current Use program. This project is not with the goal of creating vast suburban lawns but of providing good housing and homes to people who are otherwise being priced out of the local market which is demanding $1,200 a month for rentals.

        Apparently you didn’t catch the little detail that the fences were sabotaged. I’ve had very good fences for pigs for over 18 years and other livestock for 30 years. My animal husbandry and fencing abilities are excellent. The issue here has nothing to do with fencing ability nor animal husbandry. If you think you can prevent people from sabotaging your fences then you’re dreaming in la-la land. Good luck there.

        You are also using the word ‘extortion’ incorrectly. Since you think you know more than you do about everything else I’ll leave it to you to self-educate on that…

      • CR says:

        Gus, As the saying goes… “Don’t poke the grizzly bear”

        You are going to get what you deserve:)

  27. I just finished with the inspector. We are back under inspection and can start processing again. Yeah! First thing I have to do is fill some orders from frozen stock that go to customers who take frozen so they can be delivered today. We’ll start cutting fresh this afternoon or tomorrow.

  28. David Sutton says:

    Congrats on being back in business! I read your fiendish and pissed-off housing/slum threat with some amusement, but immediately thought of how probably threatening to you would be a population center of low income folk–with low income kids–just next door. Hope the perps get legally processed soon!

  29. I just got in that last sow who was being so hesitant about coming in. This morning she had been sleeping right near the gate. She clearly wanted to join the herd and today finally did after coaxing with much bread, apples and pears. Over the past week she went from not being willing to be within 100′ of me to coming right up to me this morning and touching. I think she had gotten hit by employees which made her people shy. When she was part of a large group one didn’t notice her but once she was alone the behavior became evident and retrainable. Patience, calm and treats do wonders.

    I have not seen any signs of other pigs out for a while now. I just got a note from VT/USDA/Wildlife Services which says they’re not seeing any pigs out too in person nor on their many game cameras so it sounds like all the pigs are back in.

    All fences continue to look good. I clipped brush more along fences. North fences are reading about 8KV to 9KV. South about 6KV to 7KV.

    I also got all the pigs out of the cottage area which I fenced off yesterday. Up until now they’ve had free run of the inner perimeter fenced area which includes where my cottage is, where the whey tanks are, etc. Until this morning there had been one sow left who was refusing to cross the new cottage fence line. I placed wood and other things over the wires on the ground and turned it off and then tempted her across with bread. That worked. She also brought her piglets out with her so the cottage area is now pig free. Some had been sleeping outside my bedroom window – they snore. :) Piglets could get in around the cottage but don’t seem to be doing so. There isn’t a lot that is interesting here and the dogs also push them outward.

    My next fencing task is along the whey pipes and tanks so the pigs will leave those alone which will make feeding whey easier. They get rather excited when the whey truck shows up which can make it challenging for him to drive up the mountain and when unloading the whey into the big tanks as well as them wanting to “help” with filling the troughs.

    Last fencing to bring things back up to par is I’ll be re-fencing the divisions to the south field so I can get the pigs off of the driveway. Then the whey driver will be able to once again deliver on his own without needing me to open gates for him.

  30. George McAloon says:

    I hadn’t visited your site in a while. I am sorry to hear about the nonsense you have had to put up with from elected officials who couldn’t find their behinds with both hands. Sarcastically replies to those twits abound in my head, because I know a lot of farmers that would want their livestock roaming all over for the fun of it. Keep up the awesome commentary and your hard work!

  31. In good news, I got a call from the Vermont Attorney General’s office. They told me that they have arrested three of the people in the sabotage and burglary at our farm and they have leads on the rest of the ring, possibly eight people. They have recovered 17 of my tools that were stolen. All the meat is gone, of course. They are arraigning the people in court today. So progress.

  32. Jeremy says:

    Just got caught up on all this. What a nightmare. I’m glad things are slowly resolving and hope your community is slowly separating the facts from the lies. May the culprits get what they deserve.

  33. Just now I got a phone call from the courts letting me know that two of the burglars were arraigned and will go on trial in November and that the third is being put in a diversion program (pled guilty I think this means).

    They have no-contact/restraining orders against them to stay away from me and my farm.

    The prosecutors are also going to try and tie all this together with the ex-employee who has been SWATting me since April of this year after I fired her for lying and she had also been doing vandalism, showing up drunk/high, purposefully creating drama and other things as well as simply not doing her work. I strongly believe, based on evidence I have and shared with the States Attorney’s Office, that the ex-employee is behind the burglary too.

    In addition to her SWATting, conspiracy and other things she had stolen a pig in August, just before the sabotage, and interrupted the pig’s medical treatment which subsequently caused the pig to die. That’s criminal animal abuse on her part. The state police recovered the pig from her home so they know she had it and I even got security footage of her stealing the pig in addition to there being many witnesses. Hopefully she’ll get what she deserves, a long stay in prison.

  34. Bob says:

    Too bad lawbreakers don’t obey laws, including orders such as a restraining order. I just love when laws are layered on top of laws. Throw her behind, behind bars! Good luck, I hope she never bothers you again.

    • Yeah, I know, that was my thinking too when the State’s Attorney’s Office told me that but hey, they’re making an effort to protect me and I appreciate that. It does mean that if they violate it they go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

  35. George W Crossman says:

    If you want to learn how quickly New Englanders can turn on each other, read “Oliver Wiswell” by Kenneth Roberts.

    • Hmm… I’m not sure this rises to the level of the American Revolution although, I have considered seceding from Vermont. Given that Vermont has a secessionist movement to secede from the USA that would make it a double secession. After I secede I will publish my plans for nuclear weapons so that the USA government will pay me billions of dollars not to put the plans into production. As we have seen, this works very well for milking the federal tit by foreign despots. Now I just need to become a despot…

  36. Melissa Meryweather says:

    Walter, you are what is good in this country. Im not a writer. But your kindness and thoughtfulness is remarkable. You are deserving of that friend that financially supported your operation during this trying time. Kudos to that friend. Most people dont understand the strained finances of farming.

    Animals dont stray far from home base. If they do, imo, something spooked them.

    Keep your chin up!

  37. Violet J Willis says:

    Lawyer up . . that is my advise . . and I saw how the local media portrayed you and it was so damn wrong . . . you have been raising these pigs and doing what you do since I first started following your farm . . and this is the first time your livestock has been outside of the perimeter . . and the town clerk is against you??? that is really, really weird . . your kids were homeschooled and the town did not have to pay for them to have an education . . . even weirder yet . . as a selectwoman in my own town . . I would have supported you . . . and have would have tried to help you get your pigs back in . . and done everything I could to find out what the hell happened to your fences and would have backed you up when you said your fences were compromised . . . lawyer up . . . and sue your town . . this is so wrong . . .I mean so damn wrong . . .Give your wife and your kids my best . . . you are doing great things and that is why the powers that be are going against you . . . just remember the bigger you get the larger the target . . . I learned that early on . . . and we now do everything outside of the government and don’t hire anyone unless we can do what we do ourselves. I think your USDA inspector should have been your advocate from day one …since he was not . . . you have evidence that your set up is now a trigger to the Power’s that Be . . . get a good lawyer . . . Walter . . I am totally serious about this . . .

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