Iowa Pig Farmers Central to State Economy, Food Assistance Programs 

( AgriTalk )

Doing the right thing at the right time, it’s what farmers do best. 

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has donated $25,000 to Iowa’s food banks to help store and transport pork products from the USDA. Abundant supplies due to a slowdown of trade and export discussions have spurred this program designed to help pig farmers impacted by unfair trade practices. 

On AgriTalk with host Chip Flory on Tuesday, Gregg Hora, IPPA president, said this donation will help food banks lessen their costs because warehousing frozen or fresh pork products is very difficult and expensive.

“As Linda Gorko, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association who coordinates activities for the Iowa Hunger Coalition told us yesterday, this $25,000 that they desperately need to help with the warehousing and distribution actually provides another 33,000 meals to hungry Iowans because it helps offset some of their other program costs,” Hora said. “Talk about a wonderful partnership.”

Flory agreed that this program is an excellent opportunity to help people understand how to cook pork, as well as take advantage of a protein that is a really good value in the meat case right now.

Strong Iowa Pork Industry, Strong Iowa Economy
In Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ speech earlier this week, she discussed the state’s economic condition and the importance of bringing new jobs across the state of Iowa. Hora said the pork industry is an important part of this.

“The governor pointed a very positive arrow right at the Iowa pork industry being an important cog in the Iowa economy,” Flory said.

Iowa is the largest pork-producing state in the U.S. In addition, the state has many harvest facilities around the state. The new Prestage Foods plant is expected to open around the first week of March, Hora said. 

“They are planning to harvest 10,000 pigs a day – that means 65 semi loads of pigs coming in every day. And of that, the Prestage family stated that they'll have about 35 to 40 of those loads of their own pigs, which means we have nearly 30 loads of pigs coming from other Iowa producers,” he said.

In addition, this creates more market competition among the processors which results in better prices for Iowa pig farmers. It also results in more jobs and greater economic development.

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