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Mature Preneurs Talk with Diana Todd-Banks

Aug 26, 2019

Cathy said after retiring and somewhat spontaneously the couple showed a brilliant example of taking the bull by the horns purchasing some land with a house on it in rural northeast Georgia in the southeastern United States with the intention to grow their own food. But there was a catch! Neither had any farming experience, which meant there was a lot to learn.  What they did in their first year set the basis for deciding to focus on rare heritage livestock breeds. Cathy chose two breeds well adapted to the southern US climate - American Guinea Hogs and Gulf Coast Native sheep. As well they raised two American breeds of meat rabbits and sold meat, wool, and breeding stock.

For Cathy, history and related stories are a favourite topic of hers, which is why she wanted to learn more about Guinea Hogs. She explored several websites that referenced The Livestock Conservancy, a group, that tracks 180 endangered livestock breeds in the United States. The Conservancy had published a two-page breed profile. Cathy wanted more than that she became so fascinated with the breed Cathy says she wanted to read a whole book about Guinea Hogs. There wasn’t one so she decided that if she wanted to read that book, she had better write it first! As with so much in life today, there is so much history that’s lost when an ‘old timer’ passes on particularly in rural areas. This thought taught her a lesson that is necessary at times so Cathy began interviewing old-timers who remembered the hogs before they almost became extinct around 1995. That led her on a twisting winding journey, which resulted in her first book being published in March of 2019 Saving the Guinea Hogs.

Cathy now promotes Guinea Hogs and other heritage livestock, writes about them, and educates the public on the importance of biodiversity in farming to protect our food systems.

To learn more and also about her book go to: