Results of a recent Pork Checkoff survey among 266 producers confirmed what many people already knew—that America’s pig farmers are generous with their time and resources, helping others by performing acts of charity, contributing to emergency relief efforts, offering educational experiences and lending expertise.
Here are some of the survey findings:
Ninety-six percent of pig farmers are actively involved in charitable, community-minded organizations.
Farmers are in tune to what is going on in their communities and what some of these organizations need because most of us are members of these community groups, too! From volunteering to grill at the county fair, providing lunch for Lion’s Club fundraisers and church bazaars, we are there to help.
Fifty-two percent of producers provided support beyond time, product or monetary contributions, including educational opportunities, in-kind donations and scholarships.
Many states recognize the importance to create educational programs and scholarships for the youth in their communities. Pig farmers believe in the next generation of farmers and want to provide them every opportunity to learn more about the pork industry.
In Ohio, the Schwab family, who farms near Oxford, open their barn doors to host swine clinics for 4-H groups. They also give classroom presentations to local schools in their consumer science classes where they end the educations sessions with a cooking demonstration. The Schwab’s sponsor trophies, banners and money for their county swine show.
Seventy-six percent of respondents said they support their communities primarily because they care about the health and welfare of their neighbors.
Pig farmers take pride in farming the right way, caring for the environment and their livestock, and being good neighbors, because it’s the right thing to do. Every individual throughout the pork supply chain has a role in building and maintaining trust in the industry. At the end of the day, pig farmers are drinking the same water, breathing the same air, and enjoying the same freedoms as their neighbors. Nutritious and safe products.
Their businesses contribute to the wealth and successes of their communities.
In a 2016 study commissioned by the Iowa Pork Producers Association shows the state’s pork industry continues to be a key contributor to the rural and state economy. The study looked at what the construction and operations effects of a new, 2,400-head wean-to-finish hog barn in Iowa would be on the local and state economy. Employment, labor income, value added and sales are all common measures of economic activity. An Iowa hog farm relies on roughly 30 percent of its needs from local businesses. Construction of a new hog farm requires purchases of steel, concrete and equipment. Once completed, the farm purchases feed, veterinary care and other professional services, and several more inputs to produce hogs for sale. One new barn would generate 14.6 jobs, provide more than $869,000 in labor income; $1.1 million in value added and $2.3 million in sales, according to the study.
The U.S. pork industry supports over 550,000 jobs, according to the National Pork Producers Council. An estimated $22.3 billion of personal income is supported by the pork industry, adding $39 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)