Fallacy: Consumers' demands are driving the
trend toward large-scale corporate hog production.
Fact: Corporate profits are
the motivation for industrial hog production. Corporate hog
producers are concerned about consumers only as a market for
their products - profits come before preferences of consumers.
Fallacy: Contract hog production
is the only means by which family hog farmers can gain the
access to the capital, management, technology, and markets
they will need to survive.
Fact: Family hog farmers can
survive and prosper by taking advantage of their unique assets
- their willingness to work, their commitment to farming,
and their skills in animal husbandry and business management.
Fallacy: Rural communities
in agricultural areas will benefit from large-scale
corporate hog operations.
Fact: Rural people must learn
to rely on their own resources - their land, local
investment, and local people - to sustain their communities
over the long run.
Fallacy: Large-scale corporate
hog operations will benefit society in general.
Fact: Corporate greed is not
magically transformed into societal good, no matter
what economists might lead us to believe.
Presented at Sustainable Hog Farming Summit, sponsored
by Water Keepers Alliance, White Plains, NY, held at New Bern,
NC, January 11, 2001.
The full presentation can be found at
Thanks to Hogwatch Manitoba for this summary.
About John Ikerd: John is emeritus professor
of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri, where
he was active from 1988 to his retirement in 2000. He coordinated
the state’s Extension programs in sustainable agriculture.
He championed on-farm research and critical evaluation of
the impacts of farming systems on farm families and rural
communities. Dr. Ikerd has spoken passionately and often to
many groups since his retirement to improve understanding
of, and support for, a “new agriculture” that
brings life socially, economically and spiritually to rural