RICE - The Rice Chamber of Commerce took time to discuss pork production in Minnesota during its meeting today.

The discussion covered how the industry impacts the rural economy, the use of science and technology to raise healthier pigs, and how pork production has changed dramatically over the last fifty years.

Minnesota is second in the nation when it comes to pork production, behind only Iowa. Last year Minnesota pig farmers marketed 14 million hogs. Minnesota is a great state for pigs thanks to its high corn and soybean production that provides grain for swine rations.

In Benton County, farmers sold 54,050 market hogs in 2012. The gross income generated from the sale of Benton County hogs was $9.06 million.

 

Dr. Nathan Winkelman, a veterinarian with Swine Services Unlimited, says today's pork is also much more lean and healthy:

The presentation also discussed how pig production has become much more sustainable compared to 50 years ago. Pig farmers now use 41 percent less water, and 78 percent less land to produce one pound of pork.