From Family Farm to Table: The Minnesota Pork Story

A Leader in Pork Production

  • Minnesota ranks 2nd in value and number of market pigs raised
  • Minnesota pig farmers marketed 16.6 million pigs in 2018
  • More than 3,000 pig farms in Minnesota

Pigs are Valuable

  • $6 billion in economic activity is generated each year thanks to Minnesota pork production
  • Gross income from Minnesota pig farms in 2018 was $2.3 billion
  • In addition to Minnesota pig farmers, raising pigs creates an additional 44,000 jobs like construction, trucking, feed milling, accounting, food processing, etc.
  • In 2013, Minnesota pigs ate 147 million bushels of corn and 53 million bushels of soybeans, most of which was grown in Minnesota
  • The nutrients found in swine manure are used as natural fertilizers for Minnesota crop production and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers
    • Research finds that organic compounds in pig manure:
      • Provide yield advantages for corn when compared to using synthetic, commercial fertilizers
      • Help build and maintain soil structure which aids soils’ ability to hold water
      • Improves soil aeration
      • Reduces soil erosion

Pork’s Sustainable Future

Over the past 50 years, U.S. pig farmers have made great strides in sustainability.

 

How Pig Farmers Reduced Their Carbon Footprint

  • Better genetics
  • New technologies
  • Fewer sows giving birth outside
  • Advances in understanding nutritional needs of pigs
  • Climate-controlled barns specifically designed for pig care and protection
  • Improved on-farm practices to conserve and manage resources
  • Precision manure application and advancements in manure storage have enhanced the benefits of the nutrient cycle

 

Animal Care Top Priority

Farmers are committed to the care of their animals throughout every stage of the pig’s life.

  • Pigs are fed high-quality diets that meet their nutritional needs.
  • Farmers work with veterinarians to make decisions on providing pigs antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics are used only when it benefits the health and well-being of the pig.
  • All health care products used on pig farms are Food and Drug Administration approved.

Hormone Free Pork

Hormones are not approved for use in pigs raised for meat. Therefore all the pork you buy at the store is without added hormones. All pork contains natural hormones that are found in the pig’s body.

Certification Programs for Pig Farmers and Pig Transporters

  • Individuals who provide daily care to pigs and those who transport live pigs take part in Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA Plus®) and Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®) trainings.
  • PQA Plus® and TQA trainings® teach best practices for managing pigs, the proper use of health products and techniques to assure pig well-being.
  • The PQA Plus® program offers a process for third party, on-farm evaluation of pig health, barn conditions and record keeping procedures.