October is Pork Month
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Pork Month: A salute to Iowa's pork producers -
Many consumers around the U.S. and the world enjoy pork and Iowa pork producers play a significant role in feeding the domestic and international demand for the world's most widely consumed meat.
Iowa is not only the top pork producing state in the country, it also leads the U.S. in pork exports. Iowa's pork producers are committed to raising hogs responsibly and are dedicated to producing a healthy, nutritious product.
October is National Pork Month and producers use this time to celebrate their success, promote pork and remind consumers everywhere that pork is a great product and they work hard to make it safe, healthy and available.
Pork is a healthy addition to a balanced diet. A recent USDA study found that six common cuts of fresh pork are leaner today than they were 15 years ago -- about 16 percent lower in total fat and 27 percent lower in saturated fat, on average. In fact, pork tenderloin is now as lean as a skinless chicken breast, containing only 2.98 grams of fat per three-ounce serving. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin is an excellent source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorous and niacin.
Also, a recent PurdueUniversity study found that a higher protein intake preserves lean mass and satiety with weight loss in pre-obese and obese women. A reduced-calorie diet with a higher amount of protein helped overweight women retain more lean body mass while losing weight compared to women who consumed the same amount of calories, but ate less protein.
Pork producers have long known their obligation to build and maintain the trust of consumers and customers in their products and practices and now they want the public to know what those obligations are.
In March, delegates to the National Pork Forum in St. Louis affirmed six ethical principles of pork production to promote confidence in what producers do and how they do it. The guiding principles of pork production are part of a program announced in June called "We Care."
When raising hogs, producers are obligated to produce safe food, protect and promote animal well-being, safeguard natural resources in all practices, ensure all practices protect public health, provide a safe and consistent work environment, and to contribute to a better quality of life in their community.
The ethical principles help define the pork industry and its core values and producers hope consumers will think of the industry in a positive light. The vision is simple. The industry wants the public to view it as a self-regulated industry that earns the trust of others.
Pork production has evolved over the past several decades with the introduction of new, highly sophisticated farming techniques. Producers follow stringent production guidelines and regulations. New technology has allowed farmers to produce hogs more efficiently and more cost-effectively. This is especially critical to meeting today's global demand for quality, low-cost pork.
Strong domestic and foreign demand for pork has prompted family farmers and independent producers to grow their business in order to stay competitive in the market. This has resulted in larger numbers of hogs being raised by individual producers.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association, along with the Pork Checkoff, works in many areas to support pork producers. The association works with producers on promotional activities, invests in new and continuing research, provides consumer information, and helps promote environmental stewardship. IPPA also conducts considerable training and education for pork producers and helps administer national Checkoff-funded programs such as Pork Quality Assurance Plus® and the Transport Quality Assurance™ program.
Pork Month is a special time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of Iowa's pork producers, who take great pride in producing food for you and the world. Please join us in saluting producers for their efforts.
Cherokee County impact of the hog industry -
The livestock industry is a very important component of the economy of Cherokee County. Hog production is especially important as a value-added industry that utilizes the feedgrain production of the region. Twenty-seven percent of the corn and 23 percent of the soybeans produced in Cherokee County are fed to hogs in the county. According to the 1997 census, there are 244 farms with hogs in Cherokee County.
The total number of hogs marketed in Cherokee County is 390,657 animals. On any given date, there are 222,808 hogs in the county. These hog numbers translate into about $42 million of economic impact from hog production.
Total employment associated with the hog industry including meatpacking and all secondary off-farm employment is estimated at 1,266 jobs. Overall, an estimated 281 jobs are directly associated with hog production and another 127 jobs are indirectly linked to other agricultural sectors.
The total income associated with the Cherokee County hog industry is distributed in a pattern similar to the employment impacts. Total income, including wage and salary and proprietor's income generated by the local hog industry is an estimated $4 million. By combining total income with all net economic activity related to the county's hog industry, the total economic contribution is an estimated $40 million.
Study underscores hog farming's positive impact on Iowa -
CLIVE - A 10-year study recently completed by Iowa State University confirms what many farmers already know to be true: that farm families raising hogs in modern barns have a positive social and economic benefit on their neighborhoods and communities.
Dr. Steve Sapp, ISU professor of sociology, and recent ISU graduate student Daniel Sundblad examined 99 Iowa communities -- one in each county -- and used both subjective and objective indicators to determine quality of life. Towns were selected if their population was below 10,000 residents, was not adjacent to a large city and relied mainly on agriculture for jobs and income.
Funded by USDA's National Research Initiative, the study's goal was to seek a better understanding of key factors regarding the effects of large-scale agriculture on the quality of life in the small, rural Iowa communities.
Measurements included total household income, income inequality, poverty, infant mortality and crime rates. Respondents also were surveyed about their attitudes toward community members and government and neighborhood services. The study also gauged people's involvement in their community and the extent of "good neighboring."
Sapp says the study's findings suggest a modest favorable effect of large-scale agriculture on quality of life in the 99 Iowa communities.
The research team went a step further by also analyzing the direct impact of hog production on local communities.
Titled "Pork Production and the Quality of Neighboring in Rural Iowa: A Report to the Iowa Pork Producers Association," the study included such variables as trustworthiness, fairness, caring, citizenship, environmental trends, stewardship and expertise involving co-existing relationships between small-town residents and large-scale pork producers.
Sapp says they found that the greater the scale of hog production in the county, the higher quality of life ratings from the community. For example, residents tended to rate their government services and community services higher with increases in the scale of agriculture in their county.
"Farmers have known for a long time that modern livestock production contributes not only economic advantages to the surrounding area, but also social benefits," said Iowa Pork Producers Association President John Weber, a producer from Dysart. "This study demonstrated that communities can become more vibrant with the presence of livestock in the area."
After living in Iowa for nearly 25 years, Sapp says the study's results reaffirmed what he anticipated would be a close connection between agriculture and quality of life in small, rural communities.
"I was expecting that there would be an overall favorable effect, and that is what we found," Sapp says.
He hopes to obtain funding to repeat the study in 2014 and continue to learn more about trends in the relationship between agriculture and rural communities' quality of life.
Pork producers from Cherokee received Good Farm Neighbor Award
In January Iowa Secratary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced that the Pingel Family, who farm in Cherokee and Buena Vista Counties in Northwest Iowa, were the winners of the "Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award."
Northey presented the award to the Pingel family at the Iowa Pork Producers Association's Winter Pork Picnic during the Iowa Pork Congress.
"The Pingel family has multiple generations working on the farm, and they all are committed to taking care of the land and taking care of their neighbors," Northey said. "They go above and beyond in their care of their animals, their land and their neighbors."
The Pingel Family has been farming in eastern Cherokee and western Buena Vista counties since the 1870s. Throughout their time on the farm, they have had diversified crop and livestock production. They currently raise 10,000 hogs a year.
Blaine Perry, a neighbor of the Pingels, nominated the family for the award. "They have literally lived down the road from me my whole life. Community service for them is a family affair. They are innovators in their farming practices as well, being instrumental in a local sow co-op, ethanol plant, and most recently a state-of-the-art feed mill. I'm glad to see this family operation receive this award. It is well deserved," Perry said in nominating the family. Family head Myron Pingel is now retired and lives in Cherokee with his wife Joyce, but he still takes an active interest in the family farm operation. Youngest son Paul now lives on the farm with his wife Karrie and their children, and he was joined in the farm operation by older brother Wayne a couple of years ago. Wayne and his wife Kerisa and their children live in Cherokee. Family members are all active members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia; Myron Pingel and his son Paul have both served on the Aurelia school board, and Paul's brother Wayne recently became a member of the Cherokee City Council. They have also supported the local ISU Extension service and 4-H groups, and been involved with the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who care for their farms, neighbors and the environment. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster (Des Moines) who helped create the award.
Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor for the award should write a letter or e-mail explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation. Applications may be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or emailed to Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov
Pictured, left to right,are Wayne, Myron and Paul Pingel at the family farm.
(Photo by Mike Leckband)
Giving a taste of the county to everyone -
The Cherokee County Pork Producers are made up of area farmers whose mission is to promote the sale and production of pork. You'll find the group out grilling at many area functions.
The group has over a hundred members who are mostly Cherokee County farmers. Also the CCPP has around 90 associate members, made up of Cherokee county businesses and individuals who are in some way involved with pork.
The group is active in many of the area annual events like the Fourth of July BBQ held in the Fareway parking lot, Ag-days, the Ag-Show, the Cherokee County Fair, and Cherokee Depot during the Rodeo just to name a few. The CCPP also grilled at many, many fundraisers this year.
Some of the special events that the CCPP has been involved in with in recent years were the Opening Ceremony at the Bacon Aquatic Center, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser.
Plus the CCPP hosts an annual golf outing and in January the group hosts an annual banquet. Both events are open to members and their spouses.
October is national pork month. As part of the national promotion the CCPP has gotten together with KCHE to give away pork certificates to callers who correctly answer trivia question on the air.
From May to October, the CCPP has been in such demand that the group had to get a truck to help them with all the grilling events.
In January, the CCPP will be having a membership drive. Membership is offered to anyone who works with pork. According to the Iowa Pork Producers Association the livestock industry is a very important component of the economy of Cherokee County. Hog production is especially important as a value-added industry that uses the feed grain production of the region.
Twenty-seven percent of the corn and 23 percent of the soybeans produced in Cherokee County are fed to hogs in the county. According to the 1997 census, there are 244 farms with hogs in Cherokee County. There are 390,657 hogs marketed in Cherokee County annually.
On any given date, there are 222,808 hogs in the county. These hog numbers translate into about $42 million of economic impact from hog production. Total employment associated with the hog industry, including meatpacking and all secondary off-farm employment is estimated at 1,266 jobs.
Overall, an estimated 281 jobs are directly associated with hog production and another 127 jobs are indirectly linked to other agricultural sectors.
The total income associated with the Cherokee County hog industry is distributed in a pattern similar to the employment impacts. Total income, including wage and salary and proprietor's income generated by the local hog industry is an estimated $4 million.
By combining total income with all net economic activity related to the county's hog industry, the total economic contribution is an estimated $40 million.
If you would like to have the CCPP at one of your functions just contact any of the CCPP board members.
The Fareway parking lot in Cherokee is one of the many spots around Cherokee that was permeated with the mouth-watering aroma of some great grilling this year, as the Cherokee County Pork Producers cranked up their cookers on behalf of many fundraisers. Pork burgers, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks proved to be an enticement for those wanting to enjoy a good meal for great causes. Among the Pork Producers turning in exemplary grilling duties during this event were, left to right, Simon Fuller, Rod Parker, and Larry Gerdes.
"Hoot-n Holler" Baby Back Pork Ribs -
baby back pork ribs ((about 1 1/2-pounds per rack)) 2 racks
prepared mesquite-flavored marinade one 12-oz jar
bay leaves three
onion (peeled) one medium
prepared barbecue sauce ((mild or spicy)) 1 cup
brown sugar 1/2 cup
In a large stockpot, place both racks of ribs; add enough water to cover ribs. Add marinade, bay leaves and onion. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. (This will create foam on top.) Reduce to medium-low heat; simmer 45 minutes or until ribs are just tender. Remove ribs from cooking liquid; drain on rimmed baking sheet. Heat grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees F.). Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce and brown sugar. Brush over both sides of ribs. Place ribs on grill, bone side down, close lid. Grill for 7 minutes, turn and grill 7 minutes more.
Serves 6 to 8
Your guests will be sure to give a holler for these ribs from Beverly Miller of Amarillo, TX that won first place at the Amarillo Tri-State Fair.
"Holy Mole" Stuffed Loin -
boneless pork loin
2 1/2 - 3 pound
mole* sauce ((Dona Maria™ Mole recommended))
prepared taco seasoning mix
1/2 1.25-oz package
3 14-inch pieces
Slice pork loin lengthwise about 1 inch from the outside edge, then cut again lengthwise every inch toward the center to flatten out the pork loin. (It will be uneven.)
In medium bowl, stir together mole sauce and honey until smooth. Spread over the center section of the pork loin. Roll up pork (like a jelly roll); tie it with cotton string in three places to hold together.
"Happy" Pork Chops -
pork blade steaks ((1/2-3/4-inch thick), seasoned with salt and pepper)
corn oil (OR olive oil)
white onion (chopped)
plum tomatoes (chopped)
jalapeno chiles (minced )
beer (or water)
chicken broth (or water)
fresh cilantro (chopped)
Heat oil in large skillet; add pork. Sear pork on both sides on medium-high heat just until brown, about 1 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and cover loosely with foil.
Add garlic and onions to skillet. Cook and stir until tender, about 2 minutes, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add rice, stirring constantly until rice just begins to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, jalapeño chiles, beer and broth or water. Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
Place pork on top of rice; cover. Simmer 8 or 9 minutes until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Chicken broth or water may be substituted for the beer in this recipe. If using water only, additional salt and pepper may be needed
A traditional Mexican recipe, with ingredients common in everyone's pantry. Serve with corn tortillas.