About Me

Brigitte Franzen, Author

We never know where life will take us.

Growing up, I always hoped that my life would not be boring. Maybe I should have been careful what I wished for. It was an amazing journey, and a most unlikely one.

I am grateful for the way it all turned out, and for the human and four-legged friends I met along the way. There were always enough helpers who believed in me that I could continue, one day at a time, and one step at a time. Looking back, I can understand why people sometimes asked what possessed me to even try. It was the biggest challenge I could find at the time.

My memoir “Have Pigs, Will Travel” invites you to come along for the ride. I hope you will join me.


I like critters of all sorts: dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and, of course, pigs. At various points in my life, I owned or was owned by an assortment of each of them.

Over the years, I supported a number of animal rescue groups, adopted rescue dogs and cats, and served as a foster parent for a rescue cat and her litter, turning them from hissing little ferals into Velcro cats that followed me around the house.

When my original plan of becoming a large animal veterinarian fell through, I majored in animal science/animal husbandry at the University of Göttingen in West Germany, where I earned a master’s degree. An internship on a Midwestern family livestock farm led to a job offer and subsequent move to the United States in 1980, eventually establishing my own hog farm, mentoring international interns and earning industry awards.

Not quite 20 years later, market changes beyond our control forced a large number of us farmers to give up livestock production, ending a way of life for farm families where animals typically had a good life while they were growing up.

After a midlife career change, I worked as an investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner. Farmers are still “my people”, so I was happy whenever I could combine both skills and assist with estate planning or conduct business seminars for farm women and consumers from all walks of life.

Nowadays, I enjoy spending time with Leo, the 14 lb white-and-orange rescue cat who runs the household. Resistance is futile, life is easier if we do things Leo’s way.

Leo, multitasking. He is keeping the ottoman from levitating while sending a message of “Feed Me” to his human servant.