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Our Company

About: Reliance Pork LLC

Reliance Pork, situated on the rolling farmland of northern Henry County, is there as a result of hopes and dreams, of the past, present and most importantly, the future. The farm is owned by Brothers Phil and Jim Howerton who represent the sixth generation of the Howerton family to farm in the area near the community of Norris.

 Norris is where their grandfather attended school above the store, where their father received his high school diploma and where Phil and Jim received their first eight years of schooling.  Today there is no store and no school.

 Reliance Coal Mine operated just a few miles farther south. It provided jobs and a way of life for many in the community.  Today it is gone, as are the jobs and most of the families who worked there.

Reliance Pork won’t bring back the Norris Store or the school, but it will provide jobs and hope for a community that has experienced neither for many years.

Our Vision

 It is with that hope that Phil and Jim developed the plans for Reliance Pork. Leaning on their lifetime of experience raising hogs at J. D. Howerton & Sons, the brothers have constructed a state of the art facility featuring crate-free and stall-free housing which meets the highest standards set for animal friendly care. 


The pigs produced at Reliance Pork will be sold at three weeks-of-age and be moved to northern Iowa where they will be fed antibiotic-free rations and provide pork meat for high-end grocery chains.

Reliance is a name thought best to encompass the project’s goals.  Since the Howerton family settled the land in 1839, they have endured wars, droughts, economic turmoil, locust, feasts and famines.  They have endured because of their reliance on family, our community and most importantly, our Creator.  Their roots run very deep here and they pray that these efforts bring renewed hope to our community.

Our Mission

To Honor God by doing an ordinary job in an extraordinary way.  We will strive to produce the highest quality pork, by caring for each other, the animals, the environment, and our community. Through our efforts we will help create a future for ourselves, our families and those around us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13


11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Reaching goals

 Reliance Pork is an independent, family owned farm which employs 25 full-time employees with benefits. The feed mill at Howerton Farms manufactures and provides the feed for Reliance Pork, increasing the demand and marketing options for corn growers in the region.  Nutrients for the soil as a byproduct from Reliance Pork will be provided to local farmers to fertilize their fields, replacing chemical fertilizers in a sustainable approach.

 Thomas Edison once said, “Most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."  Opportunity seldom comes easy. The Howerton Family invites you, our local community, to participate with us in this endeavor whether it be through sharing with a family member that there may be a job opportunity, remembering us when it comes time to market your corn, or by asking questions about what and how we do things and offering suggestions for how we may improve.

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