An Iowa State University program that’s been working to create niche markets for pork producers has won a grant to continue. Program coordinator Rich Pirog says they’re trying to help producers reap more of the benefits from the sale of their pork. He says not all the producers can do direct marketing of their products and want to be part of a “value chain,” a group that’s working to supply certain markets. Pirog says the need to continue researching the things that impact the sale of specialized pork products.They need to find more information about what consumers are really looking for in specialized pork products. Pirog says the end goal may involve more than just money for the producer.He says it may involve producers having more ownership in the whole process, or working with a processor that really cares about the supplier of the product. He says they also need to find out if the niche markets really do provide more benefits for producers.He says they know they’re appealing, but they need to study of the producers truly get a fair return. Pirog says they’ve received a 560-thousand dollar grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to continue their work on the program.
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