Tag Archives: pig

DES MOINES,– America’s pig farmers continue to practice many of the principles of Earth Day, which is April 22, every day on their farms, and in many cases, have done so for generations. This fact is underscored by the results of a recent study from the University of Arkansas, which confirmed that today’s pork is more earth-friendly than ever thanks to great progress in multiple key sustainability metrics over more than five decades.

According to the new study, A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015the inputs needed to produce a pound of pork in the United States have become more environmentally friendly over time. Specifically, 75.9% less land is needed, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint (see infographic.)

To save as much water as today’s pig farms do over their predecessors of 50-plus years ago, the average American would have to take 90 fewer showers per year. Likewise, to understand the energy savings accomplished by pig farmers during the study period, a typical household would need to eliminate the use of a refrigerator altogether.

“The study confirms that U.S. pig farmers like me have been making progress in our ongoing commitment to do what’s best for people, pigs and the planet, which is at the heart of the industry’s We CareSM initiative,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “It’s encouraging to see this level of progress in environmental stewardship over the years. It also is helpful to have a benchmark to measure additional improvements.”

Unlike some earlier studies, the new Pork Checkoff-funded study used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment approach and the best available methodology along with a field-to-farm gate approach. This meant including material and energy flows associated with the full supply chain, beginning with extraction of raw materials through production of live, market-weight pigs, including marketed sows.

“As it has for decades, the U.S. pork industry will continue to make strides in overall efficiency, which is the major driver behind improving sustainability across all metrics,” Rommereim said.

This may come in terms of nutrition, genetics, health management, crop management and overall technology adoption. The ongoing trend is clearly seen in the Arkansas study. Feed conversion (pounds of feed needed for pound of pork gained) started at 4.5 in 1960 and ended at 2.8 in 2015 – a 38% improvement even while market hog weights went from 200 pounds to 281 pounds.

“Celebrating Earth Month in April provides an opportunity to not only recognize the environmental sustainability advancements of pig farming in the last five decades, but also to explore new ways to build on this progress going forward,” Rommereim said. “We look forward to the challenge of improving our current metrics of sustainability because it’s right for consumers, farmers, animals and the planet.”

Marshall, MN — April 1, 2019 — Ralco announced today the promotion of Dr. Russell Fent to Director of Swine Technical Group. In his new role, Dr. Fent will lead the swine technical team and the expansion of Ralco’s swine research efforts in support of EnMAX®, Ralco’s innovative swine nutrition program. EnMAX is rapidly gaining favor in today’s economic conditions for its ability to save producers money while maximizing gain.

“Over the years I have watched Dr. Fent develop as a leader and advance his technical abilities as well as create lasting relationships within our sales force and customer base,” said Dr. Jim Hedges who inspired the creation of EnMAX and the development of Ralco’s swine team, including the hire of Dr. Fent over 14 years ago.

Dr. Fent joined Ralco in 2005 after obtaining a doctorate in Swine Nutrition at the University of Missouri. Russell obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degrees from Oklahoma State University. Since joining Ralco, Dr. Fent has been involved in a wide range of research projects, protocols, and product development initiatives to further advance Ralco’s EnMAX swine program. “Dr. Fent’s knowledge and experience will help drive Ralco’s swine program forward and bring the best solutions forward for our producers,” said Dr. Hedges.

As Dr. Fent transitions to his new role, Dr. Hedges will continue with Ralco as Chief Technical Advisor to support customers and the swine team and will serve Russell as a trusted mentor. Ralco President and CEO Brian Knochenmus said, “This is an exciting time for Ralco as we transition a new leader into our swine program. Since 2004, swine nutrition has been a pillar of our company with Dr. Hedges being a large part of its creation and development. Jim brought revolutionary concepts to swine nutrition and he isn’t done yet. In his new role he will be able to continue investing in people, managing relationships with our suppliers, and taking great care of customers. Dr. Hedges’ investment in Dr. Fent and the rest of the swine team will ensure that his legacy thrives, and I am confident Dr. Fent is going to take our swine program to the next level.”

In the coming months, Ralco is also looking to further expand the swine team as part of their continued growth and to further leverage their state-of-the-art research facilities to advance the EnMAX program for the benefit of swine producers.

Ralco is a third-generation family-owned multinational company with distribution in more than 20 countries. Ralco is a leading global supplier of livestock nutrition, animal health products and crop enhancement technologies that support large segments of the livestock, poultry, aquaculture and crop production industries. https://ralcoagriculture.com/