Friday, August 2, 2013

Pig Out at the Missouri State Fair


It's state fair time again! 

The Missouri Pork Association is serving up some tasty goodness on August 13th and Team Bacon Blogger will be there with bells on.

Come to the fair and say "HI" to all the Pork Proud folks serving up grub, including us.

You can find a schedule of events for the Missouri State Fair HERE.

 Hope to see you at the fair.




It's good, wholesome, cheap fun! Plus, CHICKS DIG IT!
 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sustainable Ag and Food Myths Busted

Sustainability

This is a powerful word that is creating buzz all across the ag world and among consumers, corporations, farmers, families, everyone, everywhere. I watched a video--just today, in fact--that claims to have all the answers but do they really?

Food MythBusters, which is a "campaign to provide videos and resources debunking the yarns Big Ag players spin about our food system," created a video that, in my book, invokes more questions than answers. The video states that the story of "Big Ag" (I'd love a definition on what "Big Ag" really is because I think we fall into that category but we aren't that big in comparison, we are also family owned but we contract too--define please) is "full of holes" but I found a few "holes" of my own. 

So, lets break it down piece by piece:
  1. "[Farmers] Stop practices that keep soil healthy" -- If we don't keep the soil healthy then we would not be able to continue to produce year after year. This statement implies that farmers are irresponsible and uncaring, which is illogical. Comparable to a mechanic that refuses to service vehicles. He won't be in business for very long! Crop rotation is mentioned in the video and is a great way to keep soil healthy. Every farmer in this area, including us, rotates our crops. Usually between corn, soybeans, wheat, and sometimes a cover crop like cereal rice or rye. So, are we really stopping the practices that keep soil healthy or are consumers just confused about farming because they've been removed from it for so long?
  2. "Livestock, that use to be raised on the farm, get crammed into polluting factories"-- Our livestock are still raised on the farm. We use barns and modern technology to raise them but they are
    still on the farm. We live down the road from one of our barns and my sis-in-law and parents-in-law live next door to our other barns. How is this not on the farm? Furthermore, if we were polluting then we would only hurt ourselves. Not only would we be violating our government issued permits (hefty fees for doing so) but it is our water and our land that would be polluted. Would you pollute your own water? Additionally, if we were a factory then we would have better pay and more benefits. I've seen what the factory workers in town make, heck of a lot more than my husband and they don't even do a fraction of the hard labor. Maybe we should all just work in a factory...Nah!
  3. "These farmers now buy expensive inputs" -- Hate to state the obvious but inputs have always been expensive and farmers have purchased them for decades. Inputs, expensive or otherwise, are nothing new. However, the good news is that while farmers still use chemical inputs we use a lot less. Like, 223 million pounds less! Wait! It gets better. Despite using hundreds of millions of pounds less in chemicals we are producing more in yields. Maybe Obama and Congress should take a few hints from farmers on how to use less while getting more to get our economy back on track. Farmer for President! So, are we buying more inputs?
  4. "Got to use more drugs [on livestock]" -- Again, antibiotics are not new to the world of farming and the use of antibiotics is not even related to the size of a farm. Farmers that have 10 animals or 10,000 animals all use antibiotics to keep their animals healthy. Unless they are certified organic, then the animals just get chicken soup and wait to die. I'm joking, dark but still a joke! I know some organic farmers and they are wonderful people. Seriously, another interesting fact is that in an IFT report a panel of experts estimate that 96% of antibiotic resistance is actually from human use, not animal use. So, is the "more drugs" an issue of one singular group or do we need to look at the bigger picture and discuss the use of drugs across the board, primarily with human use?
  5. "Got to use more chemical fertilizer [on crops]" -- I will again state what I said in #3: Like,223million pounds less! Not only are we using less chemicals of every kind but our farm, our neighbors (plural, all of them with pigs), along with friends and family that all raise pigs in barns use less chemicals than ever before because we have the power of poop. I know for a fact that hog farmers use all that poo in their lagoons and, more commonly, their deep pits to fertilize their crops the way grandpappy use to. Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poop-on? Why, yes. Yes we do.
  6. "Corporate ag is good for some folks...not the typical farm family" -- Who is the "typical" farm family? We could be considered under the label "corporate ag"because we contract our pigs through a larger company, as many do. Our family's farm began with less than 100 acres and a husband and wife with three kids attempting to fulfill their dream. Since then, it has grown over the last couple decades to several hundred acres, several thousand hogs, and employs all three children plus spouses and then some. The same is true for several other pig farmers we know. So, how are we not the "typical" farm family? And, if we aren't then who the heck is?
 The bottom line is that I want you to watch the video. I want you to make your own judgment call. But more than anything, I want everyone to understand that farming is just like skinning cats--not the gross, bloody, scratches up and down your arms kind of way, more like there's more than one way to do it kind of way. It is an idiom. I'm not really skinning cats. You people are gross.

Watch the video and let me know what you think. Unlike Food MythBusters, comments are always open and welcome.
 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Snide-ness and Factory Farming: Now open for dialogue

Today I read a comment on one of the BaconCam's YouTube videos that sparked my interest. So, thank you Spikutus for your comment.

Factory Farming Exposed:  Truth about animal handling


Their comment was:

What a snide attitude the narrator has! As if because those bad things don't happen on HER farm, they don't happen anywhere. Who is the one who has to wake up?

I realize that this doesn't seem like a friendly comment that I'd want to point out but there is a great point to be made here, plus a good conversation.

When I narrated this video I was apprehensive about actually posting it. The narration is, as Spikutus points out, snide and much more abrasive than my usual demeanor. I was worried that it would be taken the wrong way or that people would get upset by it or that I would look like a jerk because of it. However, I put on my big-girl panties and made a conscious decision to let my abrasive side show despite the discomfort it gives me (abrasive sides tend to be scratchy, itchy, and they chafe terribly).

The fact is, I had a point to make.

The snide-ness, as I like to call it, was in rebut to all those so-called "abuse" videos with the same exact attitude or snide-ness. In the videos that I have seen the message is clear: This abuse happens here so it must happen on every farm! This is the message I wish to refute most adamantly. Therefore, I took the same attitude, which is so prevalent in the "abuse" videos and spun it the other way.

That was my  point and obviously it hit target.

I know animal abuse exists. I am not refuting that. It saddens me, upsets me, and down right pisses me off that people abuse their animals. However, the same emotional outcome applies to people that want to lump every farmer in one big abusive basket because we choose barns for our farms. That may be my new bumper sticker, by the way.

On a side note, it sickens me to watch those abuse videos that actually show abuse especially when the person filming does absolutely nothing to stop it. Does that not make them every bit as guilty? Well, in my book it makes them worse. It makes them a hypocrite of the worst kind. But I digress.

I'm glad this person commented on the video because the point of everything--the blog, the BaconCam, the social media outlets--is to open the lines of communication. To start dialogues that actually lead somewhere besides an argument. If we can understand both sides of the fence we can make changes, we can better our farming practices, or we can just agree to disagree--at least we are talking and not fighting.

So, as the title states, we are officially Open For Dialogue!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Masked Farmer--Friend or Foe?

Recently, it was brought to my attention that I had not explained the reasoning behind the masked man in many of my photos. This question has come up in the past and we've answered it but I believe it is time to approach it on a broader scope...via blog.

So, who is that masked man in the pig barn? Why does he wear that stylish mask? Any guesses?


Well, I'm sure there is a lot of speculation out there as to why my dear husband, Aaron, is always masked in nearly all his pictures in the barn. Many speculate that it has something to do with the poop/gases produced by the pigs. So, is that the answer? We'll deal with that a little lower in this post.

So, why does he wear it?
Is it the toxic fumes?
Is the the unbearable smell?
Is it the health hazards these barns pose?
Fumes, smells, hazards, oh my!

Let's take a look at some other pictures and see if we can't sort this out...


This is Kristy--Aaron's sister--and yes she is carrying a pig. She likes to play ma ma hen with the pigs. She also happens to be mask-less.



This curly haired cutie is our niece....also mask-less.


These two may look familiar. They belong to Team Bacon Blogger and as you can see....mask-less. I don't wear a mask either but I rarely take pictures of myself. It just feels weird and wrong to tell myself to say cheese.


Wait! I found one. Here's a picture of Aaron sans that fabulous mask. Even he doesn't wear it all the time. 

The point of all this is to show that while some may want you to believe that there are toxic fumes, rancid odors, and health hazards associated with these barns the facts remain that it just ain't so

Aaron, God love him, is a pig farmer. A pig farmer that spends every single day around pigs. Those pigs eat--a lot--which means the feeders are always full of feed. So, Aaron the pig farmer, is around pigs and feed every single day. Unfortunately, poor Aaron happens to be allergic to pig dander and feed dust.

That's it. That's the big reveal. Allergies.

That poor man happens to be allergic to nearly every air born allergen you can imagine. We had him tested once and he reacted to every pin prick except one. Can you guess what that one was?

Pig hair! 

It was quite the joke on the farm. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between pig hair and pig dander--bad news for Aaron. He just can't win.

On a more serious note, lets deal with that previously mentioned speculation.

It is common knowledge that as microbes digest and breakdown poop it releases methane gases. Without getting too technical (because that stuff is way over my head) it goes without saying that there must be methane gases in those pits. 

True story. There are gases down in those pits.

So, what do we do about it?????

First, there are pit fans that keep fresh air in the barns and pit gases out.

Second, the gases stay trapped in the manure and is only released if the pits are agitated which we only do twice a year when we pump out the pits. We also take every safety precaution when doing this to prevent any accidents or dangerous conditions.

Third, (and this is the coolest) there are very cool and innovative additives that we can (and do) put in our pits that minimize the gases, improves the value of the fertilizer, and even eliminates the smell! We started using this additive in one of our barns to test its usefulness and were amazed by the results. 

The smell is the first thing you notice. Animals in general stink. I don't care if you have a dog, cat, cow, bunny, or pig--they stink. But it isn't anything so terrible to make it unbearable. However, minutes after the additive was put in the smell...GONE!

The additive also ate all the solids in the pits, which is a very good thing especially come pump time. Three years later, without adding anymore into the pits, still no solids and when we pump out the manure the pit walls are clean.

Basically, what all this boils down to is knowing what you do and doing RIGHT

Aaron is a pig farmer that is allergic to pigs and dust. So, he wears a mask.

Pigs produce a lot of poop, which has nothing to do with the mask but it is the first place people's minds go. However, that poop is essential to our farming operation as a fertilizer in our fields.

 

Finally, every business produces its own challenges. The key is to identify those challenges and meet them head-on. Through proper management and knowing every aspect of our business, our challenge is turned into a renewable, essential, natural resource that is actually better for the soil than any man-made chemical. 

I encourage anyone who has any concerns, questions, or confusion about farming to ask questions. Ask here in the comments section. Ask a farmer on Facebook or Twitter. Ask a local farmer down the road. 

Just ask!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tragedy Strikes, Farmers Come Together

Bold headline, I know, but when tragedy strikes farmers, neighbors, and other rural community members really do come together--at least they did this weekend.

I had a different post lined up for this weekend. I wanted to introduce my Show-Me Ag Matters project but that can wait. Instead, I wanted to tell a little story. A story about a man, a barn, some neighbors, and a whole lot of pigs.

As many of you are aware, we had a snow storm. Actually, most of the Midwest had a snow storm. This storm dropped a good bit of snow and in our area we got anywhere from 9 inches to more than a foot of snow with drifts 3 to 5 feet deep. This is where the tragedy began.

Snow is heavy, wet snow is heavier and I think you know where I'm going with this. Yes, that's the place this is heading--a roof collapsed.

One of our neighbor's roof collapsed on his pig barn. Unfortunately, it was full of pigs.
No, these are not the actual images of our neighbor's barn but this is very similar to what the damage looks like.

Fret not, there is good news in this story and a happy ending.

Fortunately, because this farmer was quick to act, friends, family, neighbors, and fellow farmers were able to rapidly come together. They were also able to save nearly every pig in the barn. As soon as the tragedy happened phones were ringing, trucks were moving, and people were coming together to save those pigs. Grown men were on hands and knees crawling under the collapsed roof trying desperately to get to the trapped pigs and run out as many as they possibly could.

It was a lucky thing that we recently emptied one of our sites and had room to fit all of our neighbor's pigs. However, there was a downside. This particular site has three barns sitting on it, two 1200-head barns and one 2400-head barn, our 2400-head barn was down for repairs. We needed to replace all the gate posts before pigs could come in. But a group of guys came over and got every single one of those gate posts (there were several!) replaced while another group took care of unloading the pigs in the smaller barns. It was a great show of organization and hustle.

Luck aside, it could not have been done without the help of extraordinary people willing to drop everything and come to aide a farmer and a friend in need. Because these wonderful people came together so quickly they were able to save nearly every pig in the entire barn. The pigs were hungry and thirsty when they came to our barns (due to the feed and water lines busting from the collapse) but otherwise happy and healthy--running, jumping, and inspecting the new facility.

I want to thank those farmers, friends, and neighbors for caring and dropping everything to help.

I want to thank our neighbor for acting so quickly and proving that farmers--no matter the size of their operation--care about their animals.

I want to thank all parties involved for doing the right thing even when they think no one is looking, even when they think no one will ever know of the good deed done. Because guess what guys, I just told on you. But I think in this instance, it's okay to tattle.

Great job getting those pigs out, guys. Now, everyone reading his, go thank a farmer!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Farming


Even in the winter months with the ground frozen and nothing growing farmers are still farming. There is a surprising consensuses that farmers get the winter months off but oh the contrary is true. No, we aren't in the fields but there is much, much more to farming than just cruising in the tractors. There is plenty to do on the farm to keep farmers and ranchers busy year round and then some.


Today in Missouri (and the entire mid-west) we are under a winter weather advisory. In fact, the radio just announced a state of emergency because the sky is layering the ground with an inch of snow every hour and the wind she is a blowing causing whiteout conditions.
 
Luckily, Aaron crammed the trucks in the shed and got the tractor and blade ready last night in preparation for today. There is a very good reason why farmers are obsessed with the weather and I am grateful for it, especially today.

But what about the livestock? Sure, we have tractors for pushing snow complete with cabs, heat, and air-ride seats but how are our pigs faring in this frosty weather?


Good news! Not only do we have heated cab tractors but we also have heated barns specially made for the pigs. You won't find frosty snouts and frozen hooves on our farm; instead, you'll find warm pigs with plenty of food and water. We didn't even have to break the ice for them to drink!



These huge furnaces are throughout the barn and work just like a furnace in a house. When the temperature drops the furnace kicks on until the barn reaches the toasty temperature we designate in the computer. We also have brooder heaters for the little pigs but once they are big enough to generate their own heat we take these brooders down. We also have a generator, which Aaron checked on this morning, in case the power goes out.


Despite whiteout conditions, 40-mile-per-hour winds, and freezing temperatures farmers and ranchers are out checking on their herds--both indoor and outdoor. No matter where the herd is raised--climate controlled barns, pastures, or hoop houses--farmers still have to brave the weather to get to their animals every single day. 

 What are you doing on this snowy day?

Off the subject: Is it normal to have thunder and lightening during a snow storm or am I the only one that finds that odd?

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day Meaty Monday

In honor of President's Day I decided to take a look at what our former presidents ate, particularly, what meats they favored. I stumbled upon The Food Timeline, where our journey begins.

So, what meat did our first president George Washington enjoy? What about Honest Abe? Did JFK have a taste for a particular morsel of meaty goodness? How about Ronald Reagan?

Here's the run down of just a few:
  • George Washington had simple tastes when it came to food. He liked his meals hardy but plain. However, Washington seemed to favor fish above all other meats.
  • Abraham Lincoln had the appetite of a farm boy, especially, when it came to bacon. He'd fit right in around here!
  • James Garfield reportedly loved milk and squirrel soup but hated oatmeal. Well, each to their own.
  • FDR, while he served hot dogs to the Queen of England, loved rabbit for his Sunday supper but he also enjoyed creamed chipped beef, bacon, sausage, and other traditionally American dishes.
  • JFK was more upscale and swanky then many of his predecessors. He enjoyed a French cuisine often ordering a bowl of vichyssoise and chicken in champagne sauce. No squirrel for the Kennedy's. 
  • The Reagan's were definitely bread eaters but Ronald Reagan loved roast beef.
Hungry for a second helping?

Here's a favorite food list from The Favorite Foods of Presidents Past:
  • Barack Obama: Fran’s Smoked Salt Caramels (buttery caramels coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt).
  • George W. Bush: Homemade ‘cheeseburger pizzas’ composed of a cheeseburger on top of a margherita pizza.
  • Bill Clinton: JalapeƱo cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles, and onions.
  • George Bush: Pork rinds.
  • Ronald Reagan: Jelly beans.
  • Richard Nixon: Cottage cheese and ketchup.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson: Like Warren Buffet, he had a daily hamburger fix.
  • John F. Kennedy: Boston clam chowder and ice cream with hot fudge.
  • Dwight Eisenhower: Beef stew.
  • Harry S. Truman: His mama’s fried chicken and custard pie; his wife’s chocolate cake, as well as chicken and dumplings.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Grilled cheese sandwich, scrambled eggs, fish chowder, hot dogs, and fruitcake.
  • Warren G. Harding: Men’s-only dinners featuring saurkraut and knockwurst.
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Fried chicken smothered in white gravy.
  • Abraham Lincoln: His mother’s gingerbread.
  • Andrew Jackson: Cheddar cheese. A 1,400-pound wheel of it.
  • Thomas Jefferson: Expensive red wine.
  • John Adams: New England cheese, bacon, white potatoes, and cider.
  • Georgia Washington: Nuts, so much so that he had dental issues from cracking them with his teeth so much.
It is interesting to see that each president's tastes are as different as our own. Some people swear by pork or poultry, others are all beef all the time. Yet others prefer to just veg out with no meat in sight. The amazing thing is that we each have that choice to make. Just as every president has certain preferences, ideas, and agendas so too does every person.

As a society we need to be understanding of our differences and respectful of individual choices.

That's enough insight for one day. Enjoy President's Day, everybody!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pork Proud 31 Bags

Who could have imagined that 31 Bags would join the Pork Proud bandwagon? Check out my new porktastic gear!


My new camera/gear bag complete with the cutest little pig coin purse I've ever seen.

 Too cute...
Now, if only I could afford a new camera and laptop I'd be set. Oh well. Baby steps, baby steps.

So, whataya think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

101 in 1001...Oh, boy!

While this was first created by the Day Zero Project I first saw this challenge on a lovely blog that I follow (and think you should follow it too) called CrystalCattle. A quick thank you to her for the inspiration.

So, what is this Day Zero Project? Here is the rundown:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

We are working up a list and could use some help! Suggestions would be helpful! Please suggest something, anything.

This is what we've come up with so far:

Team Bacon Blogger Goals:
  1. Finish School with my BA in Eng/Lit
  2. Finish creating my agriculture education newsletters
  3. Make my newsletters into PDF's available on the blog
  4. Post on the blog 6 days a week (without fail) for 3 months
  5. Write/Rewrite 9 Show-Me Ag Matters Easy Readers
  6. Write 6 There's a Farm in my Food books
  7. Publish/Self-publish Show-Me Ag Matters Easy Readers
  8. Speak to at least 5 schools about agriculture
  9. Become part of Operation Main Street
  10. Participate in 10 AgChats (actually tweet)
  11. Volunteer for AgChat
  12. Get more involved with USFRA
  13. Create Swine Swag
  14. Offer Swine Swag for sale on blog and donate portion to at least 3 different Ag Foundations
  15. Make 5 more YouTube videos for BaconCam
  16. Update web appearance 
  17. Attend a blogger conference 
  18. Meet one online peep in person
  19. Blog a series on building hog barns
  20. Tour a packing plant and blog about it
  21. Tour a rendering plant (with nose plugs) and blog about it
  22. Blog a series on our new drag line equipment
  23. Triple the likes on The Bacon Blogger's Facebook page
  24. Start a "New Appliance" savings fund
  25. Go to church once a month for 6 months
  26. Become a room mom
  27. Buy a new camera (Nikon D3200)
  28. Buy a new computer (Lenovo Yoga)
  29. Send 10 Thank You cards for random acts of kindness and appreciation
  30. Workout 3 times a week for 3 months solid
  31. Get a manicure (I've never had one)
  32. Fly to New Hampshire for the commencement ceremony
  33. Actually post pics to my Flickr account (if I can remember how to sign into it)
  34. Update linked in at least twice a month
  35. Send cards to friends and family on every holiday (that I choose to recognize) for 1 year
  36. Spend 2 hours a week during winter months just throwing the ball for Miss Mina
  37. Pin 50 thinks to Pinterest (they have to be things I actually like, random pinning does not count)
  38. Read 4 fun books (fiction only, no association with school or work)
  39. Build a garden shelter
  40. Attempt a winter garden 
  41. Try 10 new recipes 
  42. Buy a myself a gun (Taurus Slim 9)
  43. Get my conceal and carry
  44. Take my mom-in-law on an Amtrak train
  45. Focus on picture portfolio at least 3 times during every season
  46. Chaperone every one of Kylee's high school dances
  47. Buy a NICE pair of boots
  48. Finish the paint and trim work upstairs
  49. Get a 4-wheeler for sprayer use
  50. Win the Missouri Lottery (I told him it was a long shot but he doesn't care)
  51. Buy a loader for the tractor
  52. Replace back deck
  53. Build a shop
  54. Buy a NICE pair of boots (Aaron disagrees but he needs a new pair)
  55. Start anniversary tattoos again
  56. Finish landscaping the yard
  57. Finish disk 1 of Rosetta Stone
  58. Start disk 2 of Rosetta Stone 
  59. Buy an RV 
  60. Make another list after this one
  61. Complete at least 60% of this list
  62. Schedule a date night once a quarter (no kids, no computers, no distractions, just us)
  63.  Stand on the Gettysburg field at night during the anniversary
  64. Never miss a track meet
  65. Take the kids to see the ocean
  66. 24 hours with family and NO technology of any kind
  67. Update family photos
  68. Actually hang up the family photos this time
  69. Teach Waylon to swim
  70. Take kids on a movie date night
  71. Take kids bowling
  72. Visit 3 new states (layovers don't count)
  73. Build a new dog house for Miss Mina
  74. Let Kylee make supper one night for the family
  75. Make sure Waylon gets in shooting practice 3 times a week during the summer
  76. Buy Kylee a car (turns 15 this year!)
  77. Invite someone (friend or family) over for supper (we don't have company...ever and Kylee's friends don't count)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Farm Welcomes New Arrivals

It is always exciting when we get a new batch of pigs to raise. You never know quite what you are going to get. I imagine it is like how teachers feel at the beginning of each school year. It is fun to see the new little arrivals walk into their new home and check it out. We let them roam the alley way for a minute before we escort them to their new room in an effort to reduce stress. We don't like to rush the babies. 

This go-round we are excited to be receiving weaner pigs.

So, what's a weaner pig?

It's a pig in a bun...duh!

But seriously, a weaner pig is a piglet freshly weaned from his/her momma. They are just little guys and gals. They are also very, very cute!

 From the truck they go directly into the building, down a short hallway, and into the barn where they will grow...and grow...and grow...and grow until market weight.
 
 We just sit back and let the pigs naturally flow in and check out their new environment. We don't want to rush them or stress them. Relaxed movement, that's the key when they are still so young.

More and more file in and roam around the alley way. They sniff, snort, and get acquainted.
 Once they've had a chance to get use to the barn we move them into their very own pig pen where they get to know their roommates.
 We get to know them too.
 As you can see, they are very curious...especially when you give them something to chew on like your rubber boots, pant legs, or a nice soft leather glove...with your finger still in it. They're cute but they bite! That's okay, though, we're use to it.
Aaron's a sucker for a baby pig, especially the ones with a bit of color to them. What is funnier than seeing a manly farmer walk around holding and petting a baby pig is listening to the baby talk coming out of his mouth. But you didn't hear that from me!

This group of snouts will be with us for the next six months or so and we will raise them to a fat and sassy 280-300 pounds, approximately. It is a fun adventure and rewarding to know that these guys and gals will go on to feed thousands and thousands of people--including my family.

What would you like to know about pig farming or farmers in general?



Monday, February 4, 2013

Meaty Monday: How pork stacks up

Welcome to our new segment, Meaty Monday. Every Monday we will share something meaty with our Pork Proud peeps.

So, have you ever wondered how pork stacks up to the other meats? Well, wonder no more! A pork comparison chart will lay it all out for you so you can see exactly where pork stands, nutritionally speaking. 
Whether you are dieting, watching your cholesterol, or dearly hanging on to the last shreds of hope that you may actually go through with that forgotten New Year's resolution this chart will hopefully help.
I am somewhat partial to pork myself but I am no stranger to the meaty goodness of chicken. I also enjoy a nice cut of beef on rare occasions (no pun intended). But if you are looking for a scrumptious, lean meat that is sure to please everyone around the dinner table then look no further than that lean mean meaty machine that is oh so porklicious. 
Did I mention that I may be bias?   

 
Serving Sizes and Nutritional Profiles of Lean Meats
3-ounce cooked serving:
Calories
Total Fat
(g)
Saturated
Fat (g)
Cholesterol
(mg)
LEAN CHICKEN
Skinless chicken breast*
139
3.1
0.9
73
Skinless chicken leg*
162
7.1
2.0
80
Skinless chicken thigh*
177
9.3
2.6
81
LEAN CUTS OF PORK
Pork Tenderloin*
120
3.0 
1.0
62
Pork boneless top loin chop**
173
5.2
1.8
61 
Pork top loin roast*
147
5.3 
1.6 
68
Pork center loin chop**
153
6.2
1.8
72 
Pork sirloin roast*
173  
8.0
2.4
76
Pork rib chop** 
158
7.1 
2.2 
56 
LEAN CUTS OF BEEF
Beef eye of round *
141
4.0
1.5
59
Beef top round***
169
4.3
1.5
76
Beef tip round*
149
5.0
1.8
69
Beef top sirloin**
162
8
2.2
76
Beef top loin**
168
7.1
2.7
65
Beef tenderloin**
175
8.1
3.0
71
FISH (*dry heat,**moist heat)
Cod*
89
0.7
0.1
40
Flounder*
99
1.3
0.3
58
Halibut*
119
2.5
0.4
35
Orange Roughy*
75
0.8
0.0
22
Salmon*
175
11.0
2.1
54
Shrimp**
84
0.9
0.2
166
* Roasted,  ** Broiled,   *** Braised
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database Release 18 or the 2006 Revised USDA Nutrient Data Set for Fresh Pork.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pork Proud Bacon Blogger

The Bacon Blogger has always been Pork Proud but this time we are making it official.

Introducing our new site PorkProud.com!!

We are very excited about the changes coming for Team Bacon Blogger and hope you will all join us through our transformation. Last year was a hectic year. We went to San Francisco with U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance to learn more about the questions consumers are asking and how to better answer those questions. We also had the amazing opportunity to speak to some fantastic food bloggers at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland during the PorkCheckoff sponsored breakfast.  All this while working on the farm, working in town, going to school, and taking on a second job. I'm exhausted just thinking about last year! Oh well, we enjoyed all the experiences and I think the hectic schedule was in preparation  for exciting things to come.

Along with working more with these fine organizations the farm is expanding and that will bring some interesting (and hopefully educational) posts in the near future. I want my readers to see the family farm grow and experience the excitement (and perhaps the stress) of a growing business along with us.

I am also fortunate enough to be freelancing for a prestigious agriculture based magazine. More on that later...

Things are looking up for Team Bacon Blogger. The fact that I was able to leave my in-town-9-to-5 behind to pursue my dream is satisfying enough but to know the farm is growing along with the blog, well, that's just amazing!

I can't wait to see what the future holds for Team Bacon Blogger!

What would you like to see on the blog this year? Do you have any questions or concerns about farming you'd like us to address?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Introducing the new Faces of Farming & Ranching


A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the new Faces of Farming & Ranching!!!! Here at Bacon Blogger HQ we are so excited for all four of these wonderful farmers and ranchers. They will do a fine job representing agriculture and everything that goes with it.

A big congrats to a friend of the blog CHRIS CHINN!!! A fellow Missouri pork producer. We are very proud of Chris and couldn't think of a better face to represent the pork industry. Way to go, Chris!

Meet the new Faces of Farming and Ranching:

Chris and her husband Kevin are 5th generation farmers - farming with his parents and brother. They raise hogs, cattle, hay and row crops.
P & S Farms is owned jointly by Bo, his wife Missy, and his parents. They grow 2,300 acres of row crops (corn, wheat and soybeans). They also have six swine finishing floors.
Katie and her husband Andy (7th generation farmer) raise corn, soybeans and seed corn.
Will and his father own/operate a dairy farm in Lamar County, Alabama. The dairy has been in continuous operation since Will’s grandfather established it on his parents' farm in the early 1950s.