Hog wild: March 1 is National Pig Day

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(Farm and Dairy file photo) Photo by Kurt Stepnitz/Michigan State University

March 1 is the day we pay homage to pigs and thank our nation’s pig farmers, and rightly so. In 2013, U.S. pork producers marketed more than 112 million hogs!

Here are some fun facts about raising pigs, Ohio’s pork production and pork cuts, from the Ohio Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board:

Raising pigs

  • sow and pigsIt takes 6 months for a pig to become full grown.
  • Piglets stay with their mothers (sows) until they weigh 10-15 pounds. At 3-4 weeks, piglets are weaned.
  • At birth, a piglet typically weighs 2 or 3 pounds.
  • At 4 weeks, a piglet weighs 15-20 pounds.
  • At 8 weeks, a piglet weighs 40-60 pounds.
  • At 6 months, when the pig is full grown, it will weigh a whopping 270-285 pounds!
  • In one day, a pig can eat as much as 7 pounds of food (ground corn and soybeans) and 3-6 gallons of water.
  • Nutritionists determine a pig’s feed, called a ration, based on its age, size and individual nutrient requirements.

Ohio pork production

  • Ohio is one of the leading pork-producing states (along with the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan).
  • Ohio’s 4th, 5th and 8th Congressional Districts are the 36th, 38th and 39th largest hog producing regions in the U.S., respectively.
  • There are about 3,500 family-owned farms that raise pigs in the Buckeye State. These farms raise enough pigs annually to feed 25 million people.
  • A lot of Ohio farmers raise their pigs in barns and use fans, misters and heaters to keep pigs comfortable in all seasons.
  • In Ohio, pork provides 8,765 jobs. Pork’s state gross product for Ohio is $542.7 million annually.
  • You can learn more about pig farming and cooking pork with these videos from the Ohio Pork Council.

raw pork chopsPork cuts

  • There are 18 pork cuts. Check them out here.
  • The meat used for bacon comes from the pig’s side. It’s cured and smoked and becomes bacon!
  • Pork should be cooked to 145 degrees.
  • The leanest cuts of pork include tenderloin, boneless top loin chop, top loin roast, center loin chop, sirloin roast and rib chop.

Last but not least: bacon

Broiled, pan fried, microwaved or baked, bacon is our favorite pork product.Watch this video from Ohio Hog Farmers to see if everyone else is in agreement.

FarmandDairy.com pork recipes

Be it pulled pork, pork chops or pork and sauerkraut, we can’t get enough. Check out some of our pork recipes:

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