Russ Kremer is a diversified family farmer and manager of Heritage Foods, a national processor, marketer and distributor of natural and organic protein products. His farming enterprises include humanely and sustainably raised hogs and cattle as well as chemical free vegetables, crops, hay, and timber. He was the founding president of Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative, a farmer owned and controlled network of nearly 100 farmers of compassionately raised swine. He also co-founded Green Energy Management, LLC (GEM), a solutions oriented developer of sustainable energy systems. GEM is dedicated to the production and marketing of regional alternative bio-fuels from local feedstocks such as animal fats, oilseed crops and forest products.

Kremer previously managed Osage Ag Concerns, a business that converted organic wastes into bio-fuels, fertilizer and livestock feeds. Kremer was president of the Missouri Farmers Union for ten years and served on the Executive committee of the National Farmers Union. As an advocate for rural America, Kremer has testified before Congressional committees several times: helping shape policy related to food safety, market access, beginning farmers, farm credit and telecommunications.

Kremer is a cooperative business developer and organized and directed the Family Farm Opportunity Center for six years. Under his direction, the Center assisted the development of various community based, value added, cooperative projects such as broadband communications; cooperative distribution; sustainable production, processing and marketing of livestock; organic dairy and vegetable processing; goat processing, wind energy and biomass recovery. In 2005, Kremer received the National Cooperative Development Award. Kremer was the first recipient of the St. Louis Local Food Hero award that was presented during National Food Day in October, 2011.

Kremer serves on USDA’s 21st Century Agriculture Advisory Committee and has served as a board member of Cooperation Works, a national network of cooperative developers. Kremer has served on the board of directors of the National Campaign of Sustainable Agriculture. He is an advisory board member of the University of Missouri Sustainable Farm and Food Systems Program and a board member of the Missouri River Community Network. A former director of the Westphalia Young Farmers Association, Kremer has served on the agricultural advisory committee for five different Missouri governors. In May, 2006, he was one of four United States delegates at the World Farmers Congress in Seoul, Korea. In 2009, Kremer helped establish and was elected chairman of Farm to Family Naturally, a unique farmer-owned market and grocery store in St. Louis that features local and natural products.

Kremer is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Missouri with degrees in Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Education. His work in sustainable energy, agriculture and natural food production has been featured on the CBS Morning Show, ABC Nightline, Newsweek, Alternative Energy Magazine, New York Times, Gourmet Magazine and various Associated Press articles. He was also featured in the movie documentary Fresh, (2009), showcasing successful models of new, sustainable food and energy systems.

I've had a passion for raising hogs the right way since I was five years old. I live it every single day. And I can't imagine a more rewarding vocation.