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28 Apr 2013 - Let’s All Salute Pork Producers

Farmers and ranchers are always looking for ways to tell their story to non-farm consumers. So, this week I salute the pork producers for putting together a graphic, well-illustrated poster pointing out the many changes and improvements in pork production in this country over the last 50 years. It is impressive!

Let me share the highlights:

-To meet a growing consumer demand, U.S. farmers have nearly doubled pork production in the last 50 years.

In 1959 farmers produced 12.1-billion lbs. of pork; in 2009 farmers produced 22.8-billion lbs. of pork.

That is impressive enough, but then hear this...Compared with 50 years ago, farmers are using 78% less land, 41% less water and have a 35% smaller carbon footprint.

Now, I am the first to admit I don’t understand the ‘carbon footprint’, but I know there are people concerned about it and consumers, particularly, seem to be concerned. That is a one-third reduction in the size of the pork industry’s ‘carbon footprint’.

The poster also portrays that over the past five decades, America’s pig farmers have made dramatic improvements in how they raise pigs: Enhanced protection from harsh weather and predators, better genetics and animal care, and improved diets to better match animals’ needs.

Then, the conclusion, an Earth-Friendly Choice.. A 2007 U.S. government report found that U. S. Pork contributed only one-third of 1% of greenhouse gas emissions. To order the poster, go to pork.org and click on the link to the Pork Store.

One other note, too, for which I congratulate pork producers. . .the use of ‘check-off’ dollars from 2005 through 2009. In that five years, $24,447,000.00 in checkoff funds (that’s money invested by producers, no government funds) were spent on research, with $10,500,000.00 spent on swine health and $2,100,000.00 spent on animal welfare. Once again, this says to me that pork producers are truly concerned about the health of the animals and their humane treatment.

Again, pork producers of America, I salute you for your care and efficiency in feeding us.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.