You've waited all year and it's finally here. An entire month dedicated to tender, juicy, delicious pork! October is National Pork Month, so join me and the 1,500 pork farmers across Nebraska in celebrating.
"If you have eaten a slice of bacon, pork chop or pulled pork smothered in barbeque sauce, you have a connection to a pork farmer." Nebraska's pig farmers recognize that consumers have a growing interest in understanding where pork comes from and how it is produced. Now more than ever, we have access to many tools and resources to better care for our animals and meet consumer demand.
Pork is the worlds' most widely eaten meat, ahead of chicken and beef. In Nebraska we have more pigs than in the past 20 years. This growth means we are positively affecting our local economies. We are proud to add $1.14 billion of value to our gross state product. With one in four jobs coming from agriculture, we know that we play a valuable role in this area.
The pork industry is committed to managing operations in the most environmentally responsible way possible. Conservation, recycling, land management, water quality, air quality and manure management are areas of priority for pig farmers for continuous improvement. Safeguarding the environment comes naturally to Nebraska's pork producers because they understand their inherent responsibility to future generations.
COVID-19 presented a number of challenges in 2020 to our industry that we hope to never see again. Our farmers met each one with courage and determination. Through it all they succeeded in doing what they do best for their family, animals, employees and community by donating over 10,000 pounds of pork to neighbors in need through our "Pork Cares" project.
October is Pork Month and it is a time when we celebrate and remember all the hard-working farm families that are there every day of the year so we can all enjoy a safe, sustainable, affordable, and yes, a 'tasty' food we call pork!