Illinois Bacon Day to celebrate pork, shed light on industry challenges

Consumers are challenged to #BringHomeTheBacon, by adding bacon or other pork products to the grocery cart every time they shop.

May 1, 2023

2 Min Read
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On Wednesday, the Illinois Pork Producers Association will be at the Illinois State Capitol to celebrate the commemoration of Senate Join Resolution 22 sponsored by Senator Tom Bennett (R-53). The resolution designates May 3 as "Illinois Bacon Day."

"Our Illinois pig farmers need to be commended for the safe and nutritious pork that they work hard to raise 365 days a year," says Bennett. "I am proud to represent our livestock industry in the 53rd district and to give my colleagues in the general assembly an opportunity to learn more about this viable industry as we celebrate one of my favorite pork products: bacon."

Illinois pig farmers, IPPA staff and FFA state officers will be handing out BLT sandwiches to legislators at the capitol on Wednesday and discussing the role that pork production plays in Illinois, the fourth largest pork producing state in the United States.

Recent studies show that the average American eats about 18 pounds of bacon each year, and Illinois pork producers keep up with that demand by producing over six billion slices of bacon, annually. They are committed to providing consumers with the highest quality protein available and the pork industry supports over 57,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $13.8 billion to the economy.

Illinois Bacon Day is a day for celebration, however, it is also a day to bring attention to the important hurdles that Illinois pork producers are facing today. 

Currently, input prices for corn and soy are high and the return that farmers are receiving for producing safe and nutritious protein is incredibly low. There is also a huge disparity between what retailers are making from the sales of pork products compared to what producers are making. While cattle farmers are earning 45% of the retail dollars for beef, pig farmers are receiving only 20% of the retail dollars for pork. IPPA warns at some point, the high input costs combined with a massive difference in prices could cause pork producers to get out of business.

"IPPA is laser-focused on addressing labor shortages on hog farms and producer profitability. We recognize that many stakeholders participating in Illinois Bacon Day don't represent rural districts," says Chad Leman, IPPA President. "That is why we are seizing this opportunity to educate them about our industry and discuss the issues currently facing pig farmers. Our hog farmers have been faced with negative margins now for six consecutive months. These lack of profitability issues will eventually come full circle and negatively affect our state's economy."

To help support farmers, IPPA is challenging consumers to #BringHomeTheBacon, by adding bacon or any pork products to their grocery carts every time they shop.

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