Posted Feb. 6, 2015
About 150 Iowa newspaper publishers, officials and Iowa journalism students heard a personal account of modern hog farming yesterday.
Washington hog farmer Heather Hora gave a personal account of the pork industry to the group that was in Des Moines for the annual Iowa Newspaper Association convention. Hora spoke during a networking luncheon sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association at the Iowa Hall of Pride.
“As you all know ‘sustainability’ seems to be the new hot button and although it’s hard to define what it actually means, the pork industry has spent millions to research how we can lessen our carbon footprint,” Hora said. “There are over 200 farms in Washington County that are now using solar power. Solar provides a resource that is renewable and has a very low carbon footprint. Our producers are committed to using less resources and creating a better environment for Iowa.”
Hora told the audience how she moved to Iowa from Minneapolis when she was in high school and how a city girl came to be an Iowa hog farmer with her husband, Kurt, and their three young children. She shared information about the industry, the positive impact hog farming has on Iowa’s economy, the number of jobs the industry provides and the success of exports. The newspaper group also heard about changes that have taken place in the pig farming and improvements in production practices.
“There have been so many innovations that have made our jobs easier and the quality of life of the pigs we raise better,” said Hora. “There is constant research being done in my industry from vaccines to feed efficiencies, from air quality to building design, all in an effort to make our herds healthier and to produce a quality product.”
Most people would not likely find too many similarities between the Iowa pork and newspaper industries, but Hora told the group the two mission statements aren’t that different.
“Your mission statement states that you are comprised of dedicated professionals who care, just like us,” said Hora. “It says your members are passionate about quality and success and that you take pride in making a positive difference and improving the quality of life in Iowa, just like us. We have the same goals, we just have different industries!”