Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eating Local

Eating local food is a slogan we hear everyday. Most of us have been doing it for a long time.
Here is a story about eating local meat (pork to be specific).

1. Female hogs or gilts are raised and bred. (They have been fed locally produced corn.)

2. They give birth. (Local farmers or their employees care for them.)

3. Young pigs (feeders) are raised by local farmers. (They are fed locally produced corn and soybean meal and also dried distillers grain which is a by-product of local ethanol plants.)

4. The hogs are fed a ration of ground corn and other nutrients. (The feed ration is prepared by local co-ops or feed mils and this provides more jobs for local people.)

5. If the livestock needs attention of a veterinarian, a locally based one is called.

6. Some of the hogs are processed at local slaughtering plants. (This provides employment for local truckers and workers in the plants.)

7. The manure produced by the hogs is applied to the farmer's fields. (This provides jobs for local crop consultants and manure pumpers. The use of manure means that farmers are not using oil based synthetic fertilizer. This manure is placed in the ground in the fall of the year so the nutrients are ready for the farmer to plant corn the next spring.)

8. The spring planting is done using the seed purchased from a local seed salesman and following the recommendations of a locally based crop consultant and the cycle starts all over again.

The story tells us that raising hogs or other livestock produces a value-added product (grain is worth more when fed to livestock. Livestock convert it into a more valuable produce and they do it locally.) All of this is what keeps our local economy ticking.

Besides that, the outcome is a MIGHTY TASTY PRODUCT. end


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