Sustainable Pig Farming

America’s pig farmers care deeply about the environment, because we rely on the soil, water and air for our livelihoods. We also raise our families on our land, feed them the food we produce and pass our farms to our children – the next generation of pig farmers. Some may say we rent the land from our children and future generations of pig farmers.

For more than five decades we’ve been committed to sustainable pig farming and continuous improvement, and that commitment is stronger than ever. As an industry, we are guided by six principles embodied in our We Care commitment: Food Safety, Animal Well-being, Environment, Public Health, Our People and Community.

Through our commitment to these principles, we are evolving and improving practices across our supply chain to deliver proven progress toward the safest, highest-quality pork supply in the world.

As pig farmers, we will build trust in and increase the value of U.S. pork by doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet. We know sustainability and continuous improvement goes beyond our barn doors, and we will continue to create advancements that help us care for our farms and communities.

Sustainability Research Alliance

Research is integral to understanding the impact of pig farming and improving and implementing sustainability practices. The National Pork Board recently joined the United Soybean Board, National Corn Growers Association and Environmental Defense Fund to form the Sustainability Research Alliance, a program that shares research, coordinates new research and communicates results with each organization’s members.

Our Environmental Footprint

Today’s pig farmers are leaders in understanding their carbon, water and land footprints. The National Pork Board developed the Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator to give farmers a tool to estimate the amount of land and water used and greenhouse gases released from their production site.1

In addition, pig farmers increasingly use wind turbines, methane digesters and solar panels to power their farms. The practices allow farmers the potential to become carbon neutral, and even carbon negative, by providing renewable energy back to power grids.

Sustainability Initiatives

In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, pig farmers also work toward:

  • Improving soil health and sustainably reusing manure
  • Improving water quality
  • Reducing emissions
View All of Our Practices

2 Retrospective Analysis of US Pork Production from 1960 to 2015 Using LCA. https://www.pork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/16-214-THOMA-final-rpt.pdf. July 7, 2018.
3 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2016.