Raising the Bacon: Pork's Powerful Impact on Economy and Communities
October marks the celebration of pork month – a moment to appreciate a product of immense nutritional value that nourishes families across the U.S. and around the world.
After enduring a prolonged period of industry-related stress, producers should take a moment and consider the positive influence they have as contributors to their families and communities. Amidst the fast pace of daily life, the reach of pork producers extends far and wide. You work with neighbors who are growers, employees, veterinarians, nutritionists, feed mills, grain farmers, insurance companies, attorneys, suppliers and lenders, to name a few. As October unfolds, some producers might be wondering if they can continue to weather the financial storm until more profitable times. Take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the pork industry and your role within it.
By the Numbers
Today, the U.S. is home to approximately 66,000 hog farms. In 2022, these farms collectively marketed around 125.3 million hogs, with an average price of $71.13 live weight. The sales of these market hogs alone generated a direct economic impact of over $25 billion. When factoring in sales of wean pigs, feeder pigs and sows, this figure is slightly higher. In the past, it has been suggested that a dollar generated within a community would result in a multiplier effect of turning over seven times. More recent analyses for the agriculture industry indicate a multiplier of just over 2 times.* Regardless of the precise multiplier, the economic impact of the U.S. hog industry remains substantial and helps keep rural communities in America vibrant.
Notably, the construction of finishing barns played a pivotal role in offering young beginning farmers an entry point into this industry. The financing of these barns for young farmers was the best young beginning farmer program I have experienced at Compeer. Today, these individuals have expanded their land base and hog operations through their accumulated experience and earnings over the years. Contrary to common perceptions, a staggering 96% of hog farms in the U.S. are family-owned farms.**
In addition, the U.S. pork industry has contributed to the creation and sustenance of over 600,000 jobs, and has injected more than $57 billion into the nation’s value-add GDP, as indicated by an economic study conducted by the NPPC.
While the numbers themselves are impressive, the intangible contributions of fostering community growth and being a responsible neighbor underscore the industry’s significance to the nation and agriculture. Take a moment this October, between harvest and running your hog business, to acknowledge the positive impact you bring to your community – a contribution to be proud of. Stay safe this harvest, and when you find the time, update your cash flow projections to share with your lender. Remember, this industry operates in cycles, and more prosperous times will return once again.
For more insights from Steve and the Swine Team, visit Compeer.com
* Source: IMPLAN Pro, May 2007
** Source: National Pork Producers Council