On the Farm - National Pork Board

On the Farm

Producing pork ethically, sustainably and responsibly is U.S. pig farmers’ commitment.

Providing safe, wholesome pork products for you and your family to enjoy starts on the farm. American pig farmers and their employees prioritize animal care, environmental stewardship, and innovative technology in caring for their animals. With so many questions about food production today, we want to help you understand more about how the pork on your table is produced. In addition to the information about modern farming found here, learn more by checking out our Rural Dictionary video series with Emmy-winning actor Eric Stonestreet where he busts common myths about pig farming.

Innovation, Technology and Pig Farming

Pig farmers use innovative ideas and technology to support animal wellbeing, pig health and business management

Whether it’s using apps to make sure pigs have enough feed, cameras to check on how the pigs are doing or real-time web platforms to track the farm’s success, embracing technology and new ways to solve problems are things that happen daily on U.S. pig farms.

Watch Eric Stonestreet (re)define the phrase “when pigs fly” to explain the technologies today’s pig farmers embrace.

Nutritious, Healthy Diets for Pigs

Balanced and customized meals give pigs the nutrition they need, when they need it

The feed pigs eat is carefully formulated by trained animal nutritionists to meet the needs of each animal’s life stage. It’s like the pigs have their own personal trainer on the farm who are focused on the resources needed for pigs to grow and be healthy.

Pig Farmers Care, A Lot

Philanthropists, volunteers, mentors, community leaders – pig farmers wear many hats

Today’s pig farmers are passionate, caring people. With over 50,000 hours logged and $5.5 million donated since 2018, you’ll find pig farmers plugged into their communities in many ways. Whether they coach 4-H and FFA teams, donate pork products to the less fortunate, or volunteer through local, state and national organizations, farmers apply their caring spirit to more than their pigs.

Safe, Clean Living Environments

Keeping pigs healthy starts
with where they live

Nobody enjoys living in a mess – pigs included. America’s pig farmers clean their barns, feeders and other equipment routinely to ensure that their pigs are healthy and living in a tidy environment. Just like the cleanliness of your kitchen, cleanliness on the farm helps protect pig health and plays a role in bringing you the safest pork in the world.

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

Farmers focus on continuous improvement in managing natural resources

Like much of the world today, environmental stewardship is extremely important to America’s pig farmers. In fact, over the past 60 years, pig farms have reduced carbon emissions by nearly 8% per pound of pork produced, in addition to reducing their environmental impact by using 76% less land, 25% less water, and 7% less energy. And pig farmers won’t stop there when it comes to sustainability.

Pig Farmers’ Guiding Principles

America’s pig farmers are guided by these six commitments in all that they do.

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Food Safety

Farmers use what we call biosecurity measures to monitor things like who comes on our farms along with additional protocols to minimize food safety threats. Farmers also work closely with veterinarians to ensure top care and use management practices like keeping animal health records that help keep pork products safe.

Third-generation pig farmer, Todd Wiley, shares why he’s passionate about food safety.

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Animal Wellbeing

Pig farmers provide the quality care needed to support healthy animals. They do this every day by, providing feed, water and an environment that promotes wellbeing, providing proper care including handling and transportation, protecting pig health and providing appropriate treatment and being certified in NPB’s premier training programs including the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA® Plus) and Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) programs, as well as the Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA).

As a pig farmer, Karla Dorale cares for her animals because it’s the right thing to do.

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Public Health

We know protecting the public doesn’t stop at food safety. Pig farmers have methods and protocols in place to manage disease, manure and air and water quality at every farm. Farmers use resources like manure in a manner that ensures protection of air and water quality while enhancing soil quality.

Minnesota pig farmer, Randy Spronk, explains how farmers use things like manure to actually help the environment.

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Environment

Safeguarding our planet’s natural resources has been a passion of pig farmers for over six decades. Whether it’s monitoring soil and manure or water quality and emissions, pig farmers will continue to do everything we can to decrease our impact on the environment, including monitoring our progress.

John Langdon pushes himself and his family to look for ways to make his farm more sustainable.

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People

Pig farms and the people behind them strive to provide safe and healthy work environments where employees are treated fairly and with respect while being offered opportunities for continuous education and training. It’s just one of the many commitments pig farmers make each and every day.

Don’t take our word for it. See why these commitments matter for each of our farmers.

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Community

As good neighbors and responsible citizens, pig farmers are dedicated to giving back and helping make our communities even stronger. Operating near and in communities allows us to engage in a number of activities, helping to better our homes and those around us.

Pig farmers are helping bring us together though community-driven initiatives like Hams Across America.