Teaching 5th Graders About Pig Farming
May 22, 2012 by USFRA
Pork producer Lori Stevermer recently blogged about visiting a classroom to share her experiences as a pig farmer. While culturally diverse, most of the children were unfamiliar with pig farming and asked Lori many questions: How much do they weigh at birth? How big are they at market? How can you eat the pigs you raise? While it seems that younger generations are losing their connection to the food they eat and may not think about where it was grown or how it was raised, Lori hoped to change that. She wrote, “Our goal was to leave a little nugget of information for those kids so that the next time someone talks about pigs and farming they remember what we said and make a positive connection.”
They took turns coming to the smart board and circling on a picture of a pig where their favorite cuts of pork came from. You could see them start to make the connection – bacon, everyone’s favorite, comes from pigs and these people raise those pigs. They wanted to know how much pigs ate and how did we decide how much to feed the sows and oh by the way, why do you call them sows? Yes, we even go the delicate question of how can you eat the pigs you raise. As I explain to them how lucky I am because I have the opportunity to grow my own food, I also wanted them to understand that I know I raise pork for people like them and I want them to have safe and healthy pork too.
Lori is a pork producer and an author for Pork Power,a group of Minnesota’s pork producers who like to share their experiences as pig farmers, parents and athletes. The Minnesota Pork Board has been a sponsor at Grandma’s Marathon and the Boston Marathon and with their help we hope to increase the awareness of pork as a lean protein choice to the exercise and health conscious individuals who not only run marathons, but run the everyday race of life.