CHICAGO - Hog farmers are six times more likely than the general population to carry an infectious bacteria that can cause skin and respiratory problems and resists treatment from multiple drugs, according to a new U.S. research study.
State investigators have concluded that a huge fire that killed more than 12,000 pigs and hogs at a southern Minnesota swine farm was accidental and caused by excessive heat from gas-fueled pressure washers, according to KEYC-TV in Mankato.
Wrenshall, Minn., hog farmer Matt Weik can talk passionately about the marbling of his pork, its dark red color and its ability to melt in your mouth given certain treatments.
And then later, he’s sitting in a cozy hay-filled pen with a sow and her piglets, stroking the mother and delicately checking on the babies. It sort of proves the theory: you can have your bacon, but you should scratch it, too.
Raising pigs is no hog heaven in The Peace Garden State.
“It’s a pretty labor intensive industry raising pigs, between all of the daily chores, feeding, managing the barns and taking care of the breeding stocks that have to be done,” said Charlotte Meier, Regent.
Meier has served as state executive for the North Dakota Pork Council.
Randy Spronk likes to say that “hog production is in my genes.” Spronk, whose ancestors raised hogs in the Netherlands and who today is a pork producer in Edgerton, Minn., has been elected president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council. He becomes the organization’s president next spring.
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