Farm site during a blizzard Getty Images/Ian Forsyth

Doing what’s right, regardless of conditions

A dangerously cold spell in the Midwest only reinforces the extremes that hog farmers will endure to make sure that the livestock under their watch receive the best care.

It looks like we’re going to make it. After a weekend of wind-chill temperatures pushing minus-40 degrees F I’m currently seeing 15 degrees on the plus side. Tomorrow we’re supposed to see temperatures creep into the 30s.

My livestock consists of a canine and barn felines, but I was thinking of those who did have to care for the hogs this weekend, regardless of how treacherous it was to get from the house to the barn.

I also was reminded of how good today’s hog have it, if they have the luxury of being raised in environmentally controlled barns. I follow many hog producers on social media, and many were touting the comfortable conditions that their hogs were enjoying. They also stressed to their social media “followers” that regardless how frightful the weather outside is, the humans still had to endure the far-from-ideal conditions to make sure that the livestock are cared for.

White-out conditions? Doesn’t matter, you have to get to the hog unit. Attending a holiday event a couple hours away? Don’t even think about staying overnight, because the pigs will need to be tended to in the morning.

Livestock producers take the job of caretaker very responsibly. They always have, but that has become even more so as the job they do is seemingly continually under the microscope. The problem is, that microscope on livestock farmers is placed by people who wouldn’t think of venturing out of their high-rise big-city apartment on days of a Midwestern winter.

Kudos to hog producers for putting their own lives in danger to make sure the livestock under their care are comfortable. Yes, winter is just getting started, but they will continue this mission of #RealPigFarming, doing what’s right for the animals.

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