Celebrating pork producers

Dawn Rye | Writer

October is National Pork Month, and pork producers play a significant role in feeding the world. This month their hard work and dedication is highlighted on the high-quality products they provide to consumers. 

Centerville pork producer Craig Andersen said he has been around pork his entire life. Anderson owns and operates a finishing barn of 2400 head, with his son Tyler owning 2400 head finishing operation across the road. At this stage in production, the pigs will spend around 16 weeks in the finishing barn, reaching a final weight of 280 pounds. 

The most significant innovation on the Andersen finishing farms has been that they used to finish pigs outside on cement in Cargill hutches. Now, the pigs are indoors with ventilation and controlled temperatures. The manure is in a bottomless cement pit and uses manure as crop fertilizer applied in fall and spring. 

With years of experience, Andersen noted that owning a finishing barn helps keep their barns diversified to help even out the workload through the year and even out the economic aspect of farming. 

“This is our version of not keeping all of our eggs in one basket,” commented Andersen. 

He continued, “I think that future pork producers should find a mentor. Someone that they can talk to that they trust and respect. If they find someone that’s been there and done that, the advice that they receive might be the most important part of their education in pork production.”

His family believes that highlighting pork producers and pork production helps show the importance of farming. The spotlight shows different aspects of farming and each pork producer helps encourage one another. 

He explained that crop production helps build livestock production, which helps the elevators and ethanol plants, leading to feeding production for all kinds of livestock production. Furthermore, in turn, this helps strengthen our rural communities. Livestock can help bring the next generation back to our farms to keep the area vibrant.

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