Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Lisa Moldan’s grandpa always said, “If you take care of the animals, they will take care of you.” That’s where Lisa learned that the pigs come first. Each decision a pig farmer makes is centered around raising healthy pigs. While Lisa’s grandpa knew a lot about taking care of animals, Lisa’s farm today looks quite a bit different.
Modern pig farming takes place inside barns where advanced technology allows farmers to automate feed, water, and climate control systems. This allows farmers to keep a close eye on the conditions the pigs are growing in and ensure they are comfortable and healthy. Farmers can also access much of their barn’s information wherever they are with their phone, tablet, or computer.
While technology is a great asset to helping farmers care for their pigs, nothing can replace the time farmers spend in the barns making sure their pigs are healthy. No matter how farmers raise their pigs, every single day, someone is checking the pigs to make sure they are healthy, have food and water, and have a comfortable environment to grow in.
In addition to the pig’s environment, farmers continue to learn and adopt new practices on how to handle pigs in the barn and while being transported to help minimize stress. Part of a farmer’s task in checking the barns everyday includes walking pens and visually observing each pig. Through experience and training, farmers can monitor and detect if problems arise in the barn and act quickly to provide the best care for their pigs.
However, pig care actually starts before the farmer even walks into the barn. Biosecurity is the first prevention step to keeping pigs healthy. Farmers use different strategies throughout the barn to keep their pigs healthy and prevent the introduction of bacteria or viruses that could cause the pigs to become ill. Things like changing clothes and boots and showering in between different farm sites helps keep pigs healthy.
Farmers work with veterinarians and nutritionists to maintain animal health at each stage of life. Not only is this good for the pigs, but it also helps ensure the pork available at the store or local butcher shop is safe and nutritious.
“I take pride in the health and the well-being of my pigs.”
“Giving the animals my best work is just the right, ethical thing to do and watching them grow and thrive is the reward of a job well done,” Lisa says. “I enjoy my work so much, we’re investing in a brand new, state-of-the-art barn where I can continue to do what I do each day: provide safe, nutritious food for families just like my own.”