Iowa remembers 50th anniversary of Japan hog liftDES MOINES, Iowa — This week marks the 50th anniversary of a project to replenish Japan’s hog population while promoting U.S. grain.
DES MOINES, Iowa — This week marks the 50th anniversary of a project to replenish Japan’s hog population while promoting U.S. grain.
The Iowa hog lift of 1959 followed a typhoon that devastated Japan’s hog farms. A U.S. airman from Iowa suggested airlifting hogs from his home state to Japan and the project gained steam.
A Boone corn farmer saw the gesture as a way to introduce U.S. grain to Japan and help build a global market for Iowa grain.
Iowa farmers donated 36 hogs and the Department of Agriculture agreed to ship 60,000 bushels of grain from government stocks.
Only 35 of the hogs survived the trip and today most of Japan’s hogs are linked genetically to those Iowa hogs, and Japan now imports more than 16 million metric tons of U.S. feed grains each year.