Farmer John’s Hog Wild Mural ~ Vernon

If you’re one who likes to go hog wild, you may find the mural surrounding the Farmer John Brand Clougherty Meat Packing Company in Vernon, CA, just your thing.  It certainly got my attention – so much so that I whipped out my camera and took photos from one end of the mural to the other.

The mural basically depicts farm landscapes where you can see fields, trees, corn, barns, etc and of course, lots of pigs, big and small.   Some of the pigs are happy and carefree, either laying in the grass, playing in the mud or with each other, flying airplanes, sleeping in hammocks and interacting with everyone from a buxom hill billy gal to keeping a boy company while he’s fishing to pulling a wagon for a Gladiator wanna-be.

Other pigs are trotting happily following a road and “Farmer John” signs to what they think is probably OZ, but is actually a smokehouse or a greased pig contest.  A variety of other animals also grace this mural like dogs, chicks, quails, hawks, crows and probably even more that I may have missed this time around.

If you’d like to know the history of this mural, it basically goes like this.  In 1957, Barney Clougherty, then owner of Farmer John, was approached by  Les Grimes, a talented painter of scenic backgrounds for Hollywood movie sets, to decorate the outside of his building.  With Barney’s blessing, Grimes spent the next eleven years working on his “masterpiece.” Unfortunately, Grimes died in a fall from a fifty- foot scaffolding he was using to paint a portion of the sky on the mural.

After Grimes’ death, Clougherty hired Arno Jordan to finish the murals.  Arno Jordan continued the legacy by painting new murals and restoring Grimes’ originals.  To noted art dealer Ivan C. Karp, the murals are “a fundamental tract for West Coast vernacular painting.” What’s great about this mural is that it includes several gatefold plates of entire walls. Now that’s some great detail.  The plant was purchased by Hormel who intends to maintain the murals.

To see the the photos I took of the mural, go to:

To check out the mural for yourself, here’s the address below:

Farmer John
3049 E. Vernon Avenue
Vernon, CA 90058

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Comments (6) to “Farmer John’s Hog Wild Mural ~ Vernon”

  1. Awesome mural. The colors have always been my favorite. Just look at that red on that plane….the grass was made up of splatters/drips. Les took brushes dipped them in paint and then splatted the paint onto the wall. AMAZING and very time consuming.

    Love cruising by there and seeing the mural – just hate the stench of HOG. LOL

  2. Great shots. What kind of camera do you use? The colors really came out great… I love this mural and glad to see it on TACO

  3. My father worked for Barney in the 60s and 70s and i remember when this mural was being done. A nice group of folks back then. I used to play in a outside pen with the pigs a couple times a year Thanks for the memories

  4. Hi I would like to correct the information in this entry:”This entry was written by pleasurepalate and posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 7:36 AM and filed under Art, History, Tacos.”

    Myself and my company, Slagter/Art, have been doing the Farmer John Murals for the past 10 years and for some reason we never get credited for the mural work…even after having articles in the LA Times years ago when we started.
    After Arno Jordan had a heart attack and was unable to continue, Bernie Clougherty saw my murals of the San Antonio Winery on I-10 ( and called to see if I would like to continue the project. I said yes and have been painting new murals over the old and only occasionally repairing old murals.

    All of the Jordan and Grimes work was done with house paint purchased at the local hardware store so the disrepair was so great when I started in 2000 that whole murals had to be scraped away and replaced with new work which I designed myself and then my crew and I painted the murals. We now use Nova Color mural paints which have a much longer life than house paint and holds to the wall much better.

    We tried to keep the long wall on Soto Street as close to original as possible. Grimes and Jordan worked in a very flat style so we kept the same images and added more and then gave a more 3D effect to the renderings.

    Without exception more than 90% of the images you show here on your site are original new murals and images done by myself or one of my crew members not by Grimes or Jordan.

    You can see my murals and the Farmer John murals on a site where I promote my mural work.–slagter-corvallis.php

    I would really appreciate you correcting these credits as it seems everyone who researches FJ just does the referencing through the internet so it is circular and my credits never get into the updates.

    We are going to be doing some updating of the mural and some repair work on my original murals and one of the few of the Jordan/Grimes murals that is left starting in a few weeks, so drop by and meet us.

    Thank you,

    Philip Slagter for SLAGTER/ART

  5. […] Bell, and if you drive through Vernon, you will also get to see the Farmer John slaughterhouse pig murals, which I have been meaning to take a look at ever since reading about them in LA […]

  6. I like this mural! Patriotic, and very silly :)