October is Pork Month, and from bacon to tenderloin to chops, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. To kick off Pork Month efforts, the Missouri Pork Association hosted a lunch at the Missouri Department of Agriculture's facility in Jefferson City this week. The Missouri Pork Association treated employees, producers and agriculture industry leaders to thick-cut porkchops following Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler's presentation of Governor Nixon's official proclamation that October is Pork Month in Missouri.
Missouri's pork industry is known throughout the U.S. as a leader in quality and for producers' willingness to embrace new technologies and animal health practices. Missouri is ranked 7th nationwide for pork production, with an industry that supports nearly 25,000 jobs and contributes more than $1 billion to the state economy.
A recent announcement from the USDA Agricultural Statistics Service says that pork producers in Missouri have more to talk about in the coming month than the industry's October-specific promotional efforts. According to the report, and USDA Agricultural Statistics Service Director Gene Danekas, Missouri's number of hogs and pigs is up as of September counts. The report indicates that the number of breeding hogs is up 4.3 percent from this time last year, market hog numbers are up 1.8 percent since June and sows farrowed is steady as compared to this month in 2010. The full report is available via the USDA-NASS website, or by clicking here.
*Photos: Top - Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler presents Governor Nixon's official proclamation of October as Pork Month in Missouri to Scott Hayes of the Missouri Pork Association. Bottom - MDA staff members John Albert and Melissa Bushdiecker enjoy thick-cut pork chops for lunch courtesy of the Missouri Pork Association.