Author Archive for Jim Myers

Buyer Beware Epic Nature and Ryan Kolodziej Banned

What does this mean for people looking buy Red Wattle hogs and for those that already own Red Wattles?
If you purchase a Red Wattle from Epic Nature or Ryan the registration papers can not be transferred to you. You will own a pig that can not be registered. If you are just looking for a few pigs to raise for meat you might not think registration is important. For those who want to raise Red Wattles to help preserve and enhance a once dying breed then registration of hogs with the Red Wattles Hog Association is very important. Why does registration really matter? Please read this article from the Livestock Conservancy , Why Registration Matters.
If you are not familiar with or need refreshed on the events that led up to this ban and the consequences that may effect you, the time line and the associated articles are listed below.

  1. Membership Revoked September 9, 2022
  2. Impact on Registered Breeding Stock
  3. Epic Nature Flag Program November 18, 2022


Swine AI Simplified

Some have asked about AI. Here is a brief explanation of the supplies and procedure.

Supplies you will need:

  • 2 doses semen
  • 2 catheters
  • 1 tube non-spermicidal lube
  • Slightly wet/damp clean rag (no detergents or cleaners)

First step, if you are considering AI of your sow(s) or gilt(s), is to determine when their next heat will occur. You’ll have to observe them every day looking for signs for the onset of heat. Once signs of heat begin showing try putting back pressure on the pig with the palms of your hands as if the boar were mounting. If the pig “locks up” (stands rigid) she is in standing heat. Mark that day on a calendar. Do this procedure again to determine the number of days between standing heats. This is usually between 18 and 21 days. When the heat cycle is determined AI supplies can be ordered.

Ordering of the semen and supplies is done so that they arrive the day of expected heat or 1-3 days ahead. Just call the boar stud and let them know when the pig is expected to be in heat and they can determine the best delivery date.  Semen is shipped fresh not frozen, usually. Frozen swine semen loses about 50% of it’s motility compared to about 10% in fresh semen. Fresh semen will be viable for about 9 days if handled and stored properly. Keep the container the semen arrived in closed until ready for use. Store the container in a cool place, 61-65 F, 63 F is ideal. Gently turn the container over once each day to keep fresh extender around the spermatozoa.

When the day of insemination arrives and you’ve checked that the pig is in heat take one dose of semen, one catheter, lubricant and damp clean rag to the pig. Your job is to imitate the boar so she will stand and receive the AI. This may include back pressure, nudging flanks or vulva area and messaging udders.

First remove any debris from and near the vulva with the clean wet rag (no soap or cleaners, water only). Next put a generous amount of lubricant on the end of the catheter but do not cover the opening. Insert the catheter into the vulva at a slightly upward angle so you don’t hit the urethra. Push the catheter in until you feel some resistance and a little more. This will be 6 -12 inches depending on the size of the sow. The catheter will pop into place. Give a slight tug on the catheter. You should feel resistance again and the catheter should spring back in place. With the catheter inserted break the end off of the dose of semen. Turn the end of the catheter upward and insert the tip of the dose into end of the catheter. Gently and slowly give the dose bottle a squeeze only until the semen starts flowing into the sow. From this point back pressure, nudging flanks or vulva area and messaging udders may be used to keep her stimulated. During this time, she will have contractions to suck the semen out of the bottle. As the bottle collapses you may need to remove it and reinsert it to relieve some vacuum. Squeeze the bottle to start again.

When the bottle is empty or near empty leave the catheter raised for a minute. It’s now time to remove the catheter. Gently pull the catheter out. If the bottle is almost but not quite empty that’s ok. Also, some semen may run back out of the vulva, there shouldn’t be much.

Eighteen to 24 hrs. later the second dose will be administered.

For more information email:
Visit or

RWHA: New Requirement Hog Lease-Loan Certificate

This certificate must be completed by the owner of the animal being leased/loaned and given to the person receiving the animal before any offspring of the animals can be registered. This certificate must be submitted along with the proper registration forms to Mountain Niche for any registering offspring produced of leased animals. 


With regard to the current situation with Epic Nature registered stock, I want to thank, on behalf of the BOD, everyone who has contacted the board with concerns about the integrity of the Epic Nature program. I also want to thank everyone who participated in the zoom meeting on this subject and the many members and nonmembers who contacted board members to discuss. Opinions on how to proceed were basically broke down to 3 options. Leave the stock as is, flag all Epic bred animals, or purge Epic stock from the registry. Surprisingly, we had multiple Epic stock owners who said they felt we had no choice but to flag. We looked into the numbers and there are roughly 211 animals in the registry with Epic in their 3 generation pedigree. 29 of those are boars. After extensive talks with each other on the board, talks with industry experts and finally with the Livestock Conservancy we felt the decision ultimately came down to burden of proof. This is not a court of law. This is a self-ran breed association that relies on honesty and integrity of its members. Therefore, it is ultimately the responsibility of both the association and the member in question to prove they have followed the rules. Statements of individuals, Facebook posts, comments within posts, videos and pictures tend to build serious concerns and no effort to prove otherwise leave us no choice. Therefore, the board of directors have voted unanimously to flag all Epic Nature bred animals effective immediately. The rules to follow, all agreed upon unanimously as well, to remove the flag are as follows:

Effective 10/18/22

• All animals currently bred and owned by Epic Nature, Ryan and DeAnn Kolodziej are not permitted to be transferred.
• All RWHA registered animals with Epic Nature pedigrees for the first 3 generations currently owned by RWHA members are enrolled into an Epic Nature Flag Program.
*Epic to Epic is Generation zero
*Epic to Non-Epic is Generation 1
*Epic on only one side of grandparents is Generation 2
• Flag program will be for 5 generations with the 6th generation registered with no flag.
• No flag-to-flag breeding will be accepted including any other current or future flagged animals.
• Epic Nature bred flagged boars will be allowed to be used as sires for one year to allow locating and purchase of a non-flagged boar.
Epic bred boars will remain in the registry and only produce flagged registerable offspring until October 17, 2023. After that time, no new registrations with Epic Nature bred boars (Generation Zero) as sires will be accepted.
• Pictures of the top, head, and each side will be submitted for all applicants at 5 month of age or older to be approved by a committee of one, non-voting board member and 3 voting, non-board members. No registrations will be allowed until pictures are approved.

Elections November 2022

I wanted to update everyone on elections. We had 3 people volunteer for the open positions and Walt Wickham will again be our Vice President and Jim Myers and Keith Clinker both volunteered for the one year at large positions. As we do not have write ins, these 3 will start their terms on November 1st. We appreciate their efforts and willingness to serve on the board.

by Marc Howe

Epic Nature Membership Revocation Impacts on Registered Breeding Stock

Good Afternoon RWHA Members and Friends,
There have been questions asked by current members owning registered Epic Nature breeding stock regarding the impact on their herd in regard to the current revocation of membership and registry abilities of Ryan and DeAnn Kolodziej of Epic Nature Farm. To help clarify and answer future questions please read the following information.
“Effective immediately, no stock can be registered by either Ryan Kolodziej or DeAnn Kasubski-Kolodziej of Epic Nature Farm, LLC, through the RWHA. All stock registered prior to this notice, will be grandfathered, but no future stock or offspring stock of any animals registered to Epic Nature Farm, LLC, owned by Ryan Kolodziej and DeAnn Kasubski- Kolodziej will be allowed to be registered moving forward as (a) non-member(s) since membership has received a lifetime banning.”
This excerpt from the published RWHA Membership email and posting is stating that ONLY future stock and offspring stock of animals OWNED/BRED BY RYAN AND DEANN KOLODZIEJ OF EPIC NATURE CANNOT be registered with the RWHA.
This DOES NOT affect the stock owned and bought by members previously. Meaning if you are a current member who owns registered stock that was bred and sold to you by Epic Nature, your stock is still registered, can still produce registerable offspring, and the stock can be sold and/transferred by you. There are no restrictions against the owned stock bred and sold by Epic Nature to memebers and non-members before yesterdays date, September 28, 2022.
If you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to the RWHA Board of Directors.
The RWHA Board of Directors

Bylaws Approved

The results of the bylaws vote is in. The new bylaws were approved by 76% of the members who voted. The new bylaws will be posted on the RWHA website and go into affect immediately. A big thank you goes out to everyone who voted.
May be an image of text that says 'Updated Bylaws Approval PLURALITY Yes- lapprove the updated bylaws No- reject the updated bylaws 35 votes 76.09% 11 votes 23.91% .-a approve updated bylaws wins with 76.09% of the vote. 46 votes tallied and abstentions'

RWHA Membership of Epic Nature Farm, LLC, Revoked September 9, 2022

Good Evening RWHA Members,
The Board of Directors would like to inform all RWHA Members that moving forward Epic Nature Farm, LLC, owned and operated by Ryan Kolodziej and DeAnn Kaszubski-Kolodziej, will no longer be affiliated with the Red Wattle Hog Association. This decision was finalized after a complaint hearing was held on September 7, 2022, where the RWHA Board of Directors and Epic Nature Farm, LLC, were in attendance.
After the complaint hearing, the Board of Directors held a closed meeting on September 9, 2022, to evaluate and vote on the matters of which were discussed during the complaint hearing. It was found by the BOD that two of the three complaints submitted against the accused parties were valid and no evidence was presented by the accused parties to disprove the allegations.
Effective immediately, no stock can be registered by either Ryan Kolodziej or DeAnn Kasubski-Kolodziej of Epic Nature Farm, LLC, through the RWHA. All stock registered prior to this notice, will be grandfathered, but no future stock or offspring stock of any animals registered to Epic Nature Farm, LLC, owned by Ryan Kolodziej and DeAnn Kasubski- Kolodziej will be allowed to be registered moving forward as (a) non-member(s) since membership has received a lifetime banning.
As the RWHA BOD, we would like to state that we do not condone nor endorse any of the behaviors presented by Ryan Kolodziej and supported by DeAnn Kaszubski-Kolodziej of Epic Nature. Therefore, without any expression of remorse shown by them, we feel as though it is for the betterment of the breed and this association that we moved forward abiding by the RWHA Bylaws to ensure a member friendly and respected community for all involved.
This association was created and still exists upon integrity and ethic for the Red Wattle breed and for the dedicated members that comprise the RWHA.
If you have any questions, please contact us at, or contact a member of the Board of Directors.
The RWHA Board of Directors