Good to be a Pig Farmer By Al Juhnke, NPPA Executive Director
As another October “Pork Month” ends, some observations about Nebraska’s pig farmers are in order. We often get caught up in the challenges our state’s agriculture community faces and fail to look at the positives. Let’s take a moment to examine the plus side of the ledger. The Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) has been around since 1961. The organization is alive and healthy. They have a great group of directors and officers leading the way. The board is diverse in production size representation, age of its members, and in gender. The guidance and vision they provide keeps our grower’s Pork Checkoff dollars working for the benefit of all. NPPA is fortunate to have such a good group in place for the benefit of its members. The staff at the NPPA office in Lincoln are a truly dedicated group of people. They come to work every day focused on their mission of serving Nebraska’s pork industry. They take their roles in the organization seriously and understand they are making a difference. Also know that this team enjoys what they do. And if you like what you are doing, it isn’t really a job at all, is it? Finally, let’s look at the most important group of people involved with the pork industry, the farmers and families that raise our animals. Because of their efforts, Nebraska has more pigs in our barns since the mid-1980’s. The diversification of our farms with the addition of livestock facilities is adding value to our locally grown crops and income to the farm family’s bottom line. Our farmers are producing a sustainable, safe, and healthy food product to not only help supply our dinner tables here at home, but also ship over twenty-five percent of what they grow to other countries helping feed the world. They take great satisfaction in what they do and the role they play in the food chain. These farmers are our neighbors, our friends, and an integral part of our rural communities. They are good stewards of the land and care deeply about what they do. The positive economic impact to our local areas and the state by our pork producers cannot be understated. The taxes they pay helps take care of our roads, fund our schools, and support law enforcement and fire departments. Our farmers and their workers are proud to be part of our communities and would choose to live no other place. Overall, we would say it is a pretty good time to be a pig farmer in Nebraska. The positives far outweigh any negatives that may come along. Our farmers want everyone to know that like the generations that came before them, they love what they do and are going to be around doing it for a long time to come. The Nebraska Pork Producers Association is a grassroots, incorporated, nonprofit organization established in 1961. NPPA was developed to promote the pork industry through the enhancement of consumer demand, producer education and research. For more information, visit NPPA’s website at www.NEpork.org.