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Kentucky observes Pork Month and agriculture segment that brought in more than $100m last year

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky is observing October as Pork Month, in honor of that segment of agriculture that brought in more than $100 million from the sale of hogs and pigs last year.

“Pork plays an important role in our state,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles.

Kentucky Pork Producers Executive Director Niki Willis and Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles

“Our farmers play an equally important role in the hard work they do to raise healthy lean meat for consumers in our state and beyond. While we celebrate Kentucky Pork Month, let’s remember the hard work our farmers do every day to raise this nutritious commodity.”

According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, pork is an important product to the national diet with the average American consuming about 50 pounds of pork per year. Pork is packed with important nutrients and minerals. In addition to protein, it also provides thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.

Kentucky pork sales make up 2.5% of total cash receipts for Kentucky agriculture. The sale of market hogs and pigs brought Kentucky farmers $128 million in 2020, up by more than $16 million the year prior.

At the end of 2020, Kentucky had approximately 460,000 total head of swine, up from 435,000 the year before. But that number is only a portion of the more than 1 million hogs and pigs Kentucky farmers sold at market last year.

With more than 1,600 operations across the state, Kentucky ranks 17th in the nation for total swine production. Though they can be found throughout the state, most of Kentucky’s hogs are raised in western Kentucky, near production of their primary food source of corn and soybeans.

”Join my family and others across the state as we celebrate Pork month,” said Benji Hudnall, Kentucky Pork Producers Association president. “I encourage Kentuckians to enjoy pork at meals this month of October. When you add pork to your plate, you’re supporting farm families like ours.”

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