U.S. farmers realize the importance of being good neighbors and active, responsible citizens in their communities. For many farmers, this extends beyond the town in which they live. Pig farmers have historically been very generous with their time, money — and pork — when it comes to helping the greater community. Here are some examples from recent years.

Donations of pork and pork gift certificates

  • In 2016, the Pork Checkoff is encouraged pig farmers to pay-it-forward with a new holiday campaign called Hams Across America. Farmers often deliver gifts or donations of ham to friends and neighbors during the holiday season and this program was a chance to tell that story. In 2016, the Pork Checkoff shared stories of more than 32,629 hams and pork products donated by pig farmers to their family, friends, employees and local communities! Hams Across America will continue its program here in November of 2017.
  • Reicks View Farms has been providing items and pork coupons to local elementary schools near their farms for their BackPack Programs. This program provides children in need with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food over the weekend. To date, they have provided over 1,000 backpacks for children at nine schools in their local communities.
  • Several state pork organizations donate pork and pork gift certificates to their local and state food pantries. Illinois Pork has continued a state-wide program that combats hunger called “Pork Power” that donates thousands of pounds of pork to local food pantries.
  • A local county pork organization donated pork gift certificates to anyone who came into a local medical clinic to have a mammogram done during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Disaster relief efforts

  • One county pork organization donated all of the proceeds that their food tent made at the local county fair to pig famers on the other side of the state who had lost their pig barns in a major flood. Similar monetary and pork donations have come from other natural disaster cases such as wildfires, tornadoes, drought, hurricanes, etc.

Educational activities and pork scholarships

  • A state pork organization sponsored a middle school science team to represent their state in the National Olympiad Tournament.
  • Several county and state pork organizations support their local schools by donating agriculture curriculum for the teachers. Some even followed up by grilling a pork burger lunch for the students after these “Ag Days.”
  • Many county and state pork organizations sponsor several scholarships to students who have just graduated from high school and wish to pursue a degree in Agriculture. There are also scholarships for graduate students and internship opportunities.

Community dinners and grilling events

  • A county pork organization grilled a pork burger lunch for the local police department and county emergency responders. This was a way to show that farmers appreciate and support these organizations.
  • One county pork organization donated and grilled Windsor Chops for local veterans right before they left on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C.
  • Other charitable organizations that have had local pork groups/pig farmers grill for their events are: The Red Cross, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Second Harvest Heartland, etc.