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Author: Cathy Payne


237 pages

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This narrative nonfiction history tells the story of the Guinea Hog, also known as the American Guinea Hog, from 1930 to 2019. The Guinea Hog is a small, black, hairy, sturdy, and gentle breed of hog kept in the southeastern United States before the Civil War. It has long been a part of America’s cultural history under various local names. Due to a confluence of factors, it was nearly extinct by the 1990s. In this book, you will be introduced to these wonderful animals and learn about their characteristics, various names, culinary qualities, history, and color and size variations.

This book is the first definitive history of the Guinea Hog breed. It is a comprehensive overview of the people who raised Guinea Hogs in the past and the present, told in their own words and through colorful stories. These first-person stories reveal the subjects’ deep fondness for and attachment to the amiable Guinea Hogs.  Around 2004, a group of dedicated conservation breeders, encouraged by The Livestock Conservancy, stepped forward to save the Guinea Hogs.

For this book, Cathy conducted over fifty interviews with dozens of people formerly or currently involved with the Guinea Hogs and obtained archival records from The Livestock Conservancy. When Cathy’s research brought her in contact with rare genetic bloodlines not preserved during the American Guinea Hog Association (AGHA) formation in 2006, she worked with a network of women to obtain the genetics and work with the registry to add valuable genetic diversity to the national herd.

Inside you will learn about factors that led to the near extinction of this beloved breed and the story of several breeders who organized to save the breed by organizing the American Guinea Hog Association (AGHA.) Payne includes interviews with these breeders and profiles the 12 hogs that formed the genetic foundation for the AGHA. This book documents Payne's efforts to work within the Genetic Recovery Project of the AGHA with help from a network of other women breeders to uncover missing genetics, find lost herds, and establish a database for future breeders using DNA technology to assist oral records. Finally, the author reflects on what has been learned and focuses on strategies to preserve these hogs for the future. These homestead hogs are survivors and worth preserving for future generations!

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