Pork producers face tough times

Tough economic times are continuing for the hog industry, and that is translating to reductions in some parts of the United States.

However, spokesmen for two large hog producers with operations in the Boone County area say they are planning and working to weather the storm.

“We are determined to be in the market for the long term,” said Ryan Mead, who handles recruitment and community relations for Progressive Swine Technologies (PST).

Mead said PST has not cut any positions at any of its operations.

“It’s more important than ever for our facilities to operate as efficiently as possible,” said Mead. “There are constant changes in our industry. We have great people who are always striving for better efficiency. We try to make all our company investments with the long-term in mind.”

The importance of efficiency and the long-term view were echoed by Scott Burroughs, chief operating officer of Nebraska Pork Partners (NPP).

NPP has streamlined its overall operations, both in terms of hog numbers and labor force, according to Burroughs. The company recently closed a 2,200-sow facility in Boone County due to both swine health and economic concerns. However, employees of that facility have remained with the company in other capacities, he said.

“We do plan to restock that facility at some point in the future,” said Burroughs.