October is Pork Month: Iowa’s Farmers “Bring Home the Bacon”

10-01-2015 in Communications Internship

By: Haley Banwart, CSIF Communications Intern

Demonstrate your pork pride in recognition of National Pork Month! Iowa is the top pork producer and exporter in the nation. The state’s pork industry has a significant impact on consumers, farmers and the agricultural economy.

One-third of the pork produced in the U.S. is raised on over 6,000 Iowa farms. At any given time throughout the year the state is home to over 20 million hogs. Each market hog represents 371 servings of pork families can bring home to the table.

Altogether, the pork industry generates around $7.5 billion to Iowa’s agricultural economy. Additionally, the Iowa pork industry provides a variety of job opportunities and directly employs over 40,000 residents.

It is no coincidence Iowa hog farmers are leaders in the nation. As a Corn Belt state, Iowa provides an ideal setting to successfully raise pork in a synchronized production cycle. With an abundant feed supply and access to grain, hogs are efficiently fed to their market weight. Iowa farmers can then utilize hog manure as a natural crop fertilizer and return lost nutrients to their fields.

Recycling nutrients in this way is a valuable tool for Iowa’s farmers. While nine to ten bushels of corn are required for hogs to reach market weight, it takes approximately 10 pigs to provide nutrients to one acre of Iowa land on a semi-annual basis.

Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world. From grilled pork chops to crispy bacon, pork serves as an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. For the best health results, it is recommended to select lean cuts and trim excess fat.

A majority of Iowa pork is produced on family farms with operations being managed by third and fourth generation farmers. One of the most exciting aspects of Iowa’s pork industry is that it has allowed many young farmers to return home and begin their own operations. These opportunities support the existence of rural communities and the unique lifestyle farming has to offer.

Visit www.iowapork.org for more information about Iowa’s pork industry.

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