This month in Ag in the Classroom we discussed pork production. The Illinois pork industry contributes $1.8 billion to the economy each year. There are over 4 million hogs raised in Illinois each year and Illinois ranks fourth in the U.S. for hog production.
Students learned that pigs are highly intelligent, won’t overeat and that most stay in climate-controlled housing where there isn’t mud.
Pork is the most consumed animal protein in the world. Today’s pork producers market a leaner, healthier pork product than in previous generations. Pork is an excellent choice for a healthy diet, with protein, iron, and B vitamins. Pork is also low in fat and calories. A pig’s diet is carefully monitored for optimum health and growth.
We may love to eat crispy bacon, juicy sausage, and tender pork chops but pork has over 500 by-products as well. Many of these are in the medical field. Insulin, dressing for severe burns, and heart valves come from pigs. Other by-products include chewing gum, leather, glue, insulation, cosmetics, crayons, buttons, and floor wax. Younger students learned about fiction and non-fiction pigs and older students participated in a STEM building project.
Douglas County Ag in the Classroom is supported by Douglas County Farm Bureau, Douglas County Farm Service Agency, and Illinois Ag in the Classroom.