At a time when budget shortfalls are making headlines across South Dakota, the state's pork industry can play a key role in spurring future economic development.
"The pork industry in South Dakota makes a significant contribution to the state's economy, and there's a real opportunity to expand the industry and that economic impact within the state," says Glenn Muller, executive director of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council.
Currently, the overall economic impact from South Dakota's swine industry – including the direct income, jobs created, taxes paid and indirect economic activity -- is estimated to be $2.1 billion.
"From manufacturing businesses like mine that employs six people, to the hog facility that employs people, to the business and industry that are affiliated with the facility, it turns an entire wheel of economic activity," says Brad Hohn, owner of MDS Manufacturing, Parkston, S.D.
There's clearly an opportunity to increase hog production in South Dakota, says Dave Uttecht, a South Dakota pork producer and nutrition and swine management consultant.
Six of the top 50 pork producing counties in the nation are within 50 miles of Sioux Falls, but they are in Iowa and Minnesota. None are in South Dakota.
"South Dakota's wide open spaces, low people density and low hog density provide an excellent opportunity for raising hogs," he says.
The ability to have hog facilities that are isolated allows for better biosecurity and ultimately healthier hogs.
Source: SDSU Animal Science Department