Special Report

Pig farmers have nothing to hide

One of the National Pork Board’s inaugural Pig Farmers of Tomorrow says the public needs to see the industry has nothing to hide.

Maddie Schafer of Goodhue, Minnesota was selected by an industry panel of judges to be one of NPB’s first three Pig Farmers of Tomorrow, and says she wants to use the opportunity to reach consumers.

Schafer tells Brownfield she recently shot a video on the importance of showering in and out of hog facilities.

“For somebody who doesn’t understand it, it comes across that we (might) have something to hide.  That these barns are closed off because what’s going on inside is something dangerous or scary.  But in the end, we do it for the safety and health of the pigs.”

She says the video is educational and uses humor to hopefully create dialogue about pork production.

“What else do you do to make sure your pigs are safe?  To make sure that they’re healthy.  Then you can get into the conversation about feed, about animal care, about all the things that we do because we really care about our animals.  That is at the center of it all.”

The National Pork Board’s Pig Farmer of Tomorrow award recognizes farm leaders between 18 and 29 who intend to make pig farming their life’s work, and are committed to raising pigs using the pork industry’s We Care ethical principles.

Brownfield interviewed Schafer Thursday at World Pork Expo in Des Moines.





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