VOICES—The face of food production: Families like ours

I am proud to produce quality pork for U.S. and foreign consumers. I take great pride in producing a wholesome, safe product that consumers can buy with confidence. I have had the opportunity to see food production systems all over the world and nothing compares to the U.S. From the farm to the supermarket, all partners involved are striving to have the
best product available.

Being the fifth generation to live on my farm, I have had the opportunity to improve it and pass it on to my children. Livestock has been a large part of the sustainability of this farm. I raise the corn to feed the pigs that produce the manure to fertilizer the corn—and the cycle repeats itself each season. I live here, drink the water and have raised my kids here.

I make sure the animals entrusted in my care are well cared for and comfortable. This not only makes economic sense, but goes to the core of what being a farmer still is. We care about our animals. What else would make me fix a hog waterer on a freezing Christmas Eve, go check pigs one last time at 10 p.m., or miss a family event because the pigs just didn’t quite look right today?

I hope my children will have the opportunity to play a role in the everchanging food production system. We need young people not only to be great employees, but also to take over as entrepreneurs, owning their own businesses and farms. We as producers must reconnect with consumers, who have decreasing ties to agriculture and less understanding of where their food comes from. We need to put a face on food production. We must learn to tell our own story or risk losing more of our food production to developing agricultural areas abroad.

I’d like consumers to know that we produce the most abundant and safest food supply in the world with the largest variety. Food production is not just nameless, faceless corporations. It’s still families making their living in agriculture, whether it be directly or indirectly— owners, contractors or employees, farm workers, truck drivers or meat cutters. We all provide food with pride and enjoy doing our part to feed the world.

Click here for Tapper’s pork loin chili recipe.