Find out how pork producers have improved pork production in recent years
Pumpkins, hayrides, and trick-or-treating come to mind when you think of October, but this month is also National Pork Month, making it the perfect time to celebrate our nation’s thriving swine industry and learn more about pig farming.
U.S. Swine Industry Flourishes as Pork Producers Provide Healthy Options for Consumers
The U.S. is the world’s third-largest producer and consumer, as well as largest exporter of pork and pork products. In addition, pork is the most widely eaten meat in the U.S., and that’s a great thing. Pork is a nutrient-rich protein that includes B-vitamins and has three times as much thiamin as any other food. Additionally, today’s pork is lean with 16 percent less fat and 27 percent less saturated fat as compared to pork in 1991. In fact, many cuts of pork are now as lean as skinless chicken.
Along with offering top-notch products for consumers, the nation’s pork industry plays a significant role in job creation. According to the National Pork Producers Council, the U.S. pork industry supports about 550,000 jobs ranging from pork producers and meat processors, to transport and Main Street businesses.
Currently, more than 60,000 pork producers across the U.S. market over 115 million hogs each year, resulting in a total gross income of more than $20 billion. The country’s top state for pork production is Iowa, followed closely by North Carolina, where the pork industry employs more than 46,000 people and has an economic impact estimated at $9 billion.
Modern Pig Farming Industry Focused on Continuous Improvement
While continuing to feed the world and keep up with the increased demand for high quality pork products, America’s pig farmers have also made significant improvements in how they raise their swine. Our nation’s pork producers are committed to sustainable production; according to the National Pork Board, many of today’s pork producers are using less land and less water to produce a pound of pork.
Additionally, a recent study that reviewed the environmental impact of pork production, revealed hog farmers have reduced pork’s carbon footprint by 35 percent per pound of pork. Furthermore, a 2007 U.S. government report found that the U.S. pork industry contributed to only one-third of one percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Modern pig farming also includes the latest technological advancements in areas of reproduction, disease control, and electronic identification, effectively improving animal wellness while delivering benefits to consumers.