If there is one thing that is certain is that nothing stays the same in farming. As farmers, we are continually finding new and better ways to care for our animals, crops and environment. So what does the future of raising pigs look like? Well, before we look to the future, let’s look back and examine the changes during the past 50 years in pig farming.
With the history of great accomplishments by pig farmers, where do they go from here?
World Demand for Pork
The most consumed protein in the world is pork. As foreign developing countries build their economies, the first thing citizens do is add protein to their diets. Pork is a perfect solution for increasing protein in those countries.
Here are the trends that are predicted:
- The majority of people will be living in cities.
- Better medical care will lead to a higher life expectancy.
- Average purchasing power per person will increase by 35%
- India and China together will have a middle class consisting of 1.2 billion people more than now.
So . . .
The bottom line is we need to produce more with fewer resources and increased sustainability. We have a hungry world to feed. The good news is today’s pig farmers are up to the challenge. They can meet the world’s needs through new and innovative practices.
Antibiotic resistance is a significant and complex problem. America’s pig farmers understand that. The future of pig farming will focus on ways to be more sustainable in regards to antibiotic usage. One way pig farmers can be more sustainable is to research and develop innovative ideas on ways to care for pigs that will result in using fewer antibiotics. As a pig farmer, I would love to reduce or in some cases, eliminate antibiotic usage.
How will that be accomplished? By looking at more ways to prevent health problems and research antibiotic alternatives. Antibiotic alternatives may consist of using probiotics, essential oils, enzymes, polyphenols and new feed products. I truly believe this is an exciting time to be a pig farmer because of the possibilities that lie before us.
Consumers and pig farmers alike consider animal welfare important. But unfortunately, both groups may have different views on what is best for animal welfare. Pig farmers will continue finding better ways to care for their animals –just like they have been doing for years. But perhaps more important is communicating and engaging with consumers on how they care for animals. Also, helping them understand that a pig’s health is top priority for those who care for them.
Future of Raising Pigs
When I look back and see how far we have come in caring for our pigs, I have no doubt that we will continue on that same road with continually improving animal care methods. I am looking forward to the future and what is has to offer consumers, pig farmers and their animals.
October is Pork Month
In recognition of October being Pork Month, I would like to share with you a pork recipe that is a family favorite. I love this recipe because it is so easy and simple. There are many times I am looking for a quick and easy pork dish that doesn’t require a lot of prep time. It’s also great for working moms because you let the crock pot do all the work. It freezes well so you can enjoy sandwiches when you have little time to prepare a meal. Just unthaw and warm it up. And as a farmer, I really love pulled pork because they make great tasting sandwiches we can eat in the field. Enjoy!
This post is a sponsored by U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. All opinions and writing are my own.