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.
Pork exports were phenomenal last year, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast the same for this year. However, the bears are not so easily convinced. They were watching pork prices fall in China (our largest export market).
NORTHVILLE, S.D. — Dick and Janell Meyer, who farm in the Northville, S.D., area, want a state law that says if a wild animal — deer — is destroying their property they can shoot it. State officials say that’s impractical.
The amount of corn consumed by the ethanol industry combined with continued demand from overseas has cattle and hog farmers worried that if corn production drops due to drought or another natural disaster, the cost of feed could skyrocket, leaving them little choice but to reduce the size of their herds. A smaller supply could, in turn, mean higher meat prices and less selection at the grocery store.
WASHINGTON — The Agriculture Department on Nov. 3 sent a modified version of its proposed changes to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review, and on Nov. 4 Food & Water Watch, a consumer group, and the National Farmers Union sent out conflicting reactions to USDA’s approach.
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