Ongoing Progress

Farmers know that earning the trust our communities, customers and the public is critical to our business. By sharing our progress improving the environment, public health, animal health, worker safety and communities around us, we can demonstrate our commitment to sustainable farming.

More than 30 years of industry-wide efforts to improve practices in all areas of farming have benefited farmers, consumers, communities and animals alike.

By the Numbers: PQA® Plus and TQA®

  • 71,000 farmers are PQA Plus certified; That represents roughly 85% of U.S. pork production. 1
  • 31,000 industry animal handlers and transporters TQA® certified; This is 98% of transporters. 2
  • 99% of PQA Plus-certified sites comply with animal welfare practices.3
  • 98% comply with barn best practices outlined in PQA Plus.4
  • 94% comply with PQA Plus food safety standards.5
  • 96% have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).6
  • 94% keep detailed medical and treatment records.7
  • 99% of caretakers know the training needed for their particular duties.8

Reduced Antibiotic Use and Biosecurity Progress

  • FDA data shows antibiotic use in pig farming operations has been reduced by one-third.9
  • 97% of pig farmers have biosecurity standard operating procedures.10


Pig Farmers Donate Food

3.2 million

3.2 million servings of food were donated in 2018 through the donation of more than 800,000 pounds of pork.

Pig Farmers Donate Time


Pig farmers contributed more than 54,000 volunteer hours.

Pig Farmers Donate Dollars

$5.5 million

Pig farmers donated $5.5 million to local causes. 11

Leaner Pork

Consumers want nutritious proteins. The pork industry has responded by adopting feeding and management practices that have made a number of pork cuts leaner. As a result, several cuts of pork are leaner than they were 20 years ago.14 Pork Checkoff also worked with the American Heart Association® to certify boneless pork sirloin roast and pork tenderloin with the Heart-Check Food certification program.15 The Heart-Check program certifies that these cuts meet specific criteria for total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium, and they contribute a beneficial nutrient.16

Eight common cuts of pork are, on average, 16% leaner than 20 years ago.

eight common cuts of pork are 16% leaner than 20 years ago

1 National Pork Board.
2 National Pork Board.
3 National Pork Board.
4 National Pork Board.
5 National Pork Board.
6 National Pork Board.
7 National Pork Board.
8 National Pork Board.
9 FDA. The 2017 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals. https://www.fda. gov/media/119332/download
10 National Pork Board.
11National Pork Board.
12 Retrospective Analysis of US Pork Production from 1960 to 2015 Using LCA. July 7, 2018.
13 Pork Checkoff, Managing Herd Health for a Safe Food Supply.
14 National Pork Board. “Know the Nutrients in Pork.” Accessed September 19, 2019.
15 American Heart Association. Making the Healthy Cut: Fish, Poultry and Lean Meats, Accessed July 28, 2019. Updated June 25, 2015.
16 American Heart Association. “One Heart. Hundreds of Heart-Healthy Options.” Accessed September 18, 2019.