A study from the Iowa Pork Producers Association shows the hog industry contributes significantly to Iowa’s economy, in addition to keeping many small towns alive.

Association president Mike Paustian, of Walcott, says they wanted to show policymakers how important pork production is to everyone’s bottom line in the state. “This was an effort that IPPA did to try to actually put some real numbers to it,” Paustian says. “When you start to do that, you see that the pork industry in Iowa is a big economic driver and it’s certainly something for producers to be very proud of.”

With more than 5,400 pig farms statewide, the study shows pork industry sectors generated nearly $41 billion in sales, with production accounting for 34% of the total or almost $14 billion in sales from pork operations. “Pork farmers are greatly contributing to these rural economies and helping smaller towns stay vibrant and helping people find jobs who want to live in small-town Iowa,” Paustian says. “That’s great that that allows people to live that lifestyle that so many of us are in love with.”

Paustian says the study shows Iowa’s pork industry created over 147,000 jobs. “It’s nice to reflect on where our industry has gotten to and what it does as far as providing safe and affordable food for folks,” he says, “but also providing a lot of jobs.” Paustian says the analysis indicates a new pig barn sources about 35%  of inputs locally. That’s because a new barn’s construction requires purchases including steel, concrete, and equipment.

There are almost 25-million hogs in Iowa, which accounts for about 32-percent of the entire U-S hog inventory.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)