Supports pork industry

To the editor:

I am proud to have worked in pork production for many years in Calhoun and Webster counties. While our industry is seeing positive signals for growth recently, I have also noticed a narrative being pushed about the negatives of hog farming throughout our state.

The fact is hog farming alone represents $7.5 billion in total economic activity in Iowa. As our state struggles to grow revenues and puzzles over ways to reinvigorate our rural communities, I contend that growth in our livestock industry is a great place to start.

Consumers around the world enjoy and benefit from Iowa raised pork products. We have a tremendous competitive advantage for producing pork here that begins with our world-class agricultural infrastructure. We have great access to the feed our pigs need, and transportation and processing network to get our products to market. If we want to grow our rural economies, and return good wages and benefits to our communities, investing in our livestock productions is a path forward.

We have a great opportunity for growth in the hog industry right now. Modern finisher farms and sow units are being built with advanced odor mitigation technology, and thoughtful manure management plans are required. We know it’s possible to be good neighbors and stewards of the land, while also growing investment in rural Iowa.

Locally, an Iowa based company, Iowa Select Farms, is seeking to construct several new facilities in our county that will have a positive economic impact. These operations provide good jobs with benefits, and support businesses across the supply chain in our area from trucking to custom power washing. These are the types of projects that provide an economic shot in the arm our area needs.

I am proud to work with those in the Iowa pork industry over the years, and I am looking forward to seeing it continue to move forward.

Brad Black

Rockwell City