FRANKFORT – Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles celebrated Kentucky’s swine industry by proclaiming October as Pork Month in Kentucky. 

“Pork plays an important role in our state,” Quarles said. “Our farmers play an equally important role in the hard work they do to raise healthy lean meat for consumers in our state and beyond. While we celebrate Kentucky Pork Month, let’s remember the hard work our farmers do every day to raise this nutritious commodity.”

Pork is an important product to the national diet with the average American consuming about 50 pounds of pork per year. Pork is packed with important nutrients and minerals. In addition to protein, it also provides thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.

Kentucky pork sales make up 2.5% of total cash receipts for Kentucky agriculture. The sale of market hogs and pigs brought Kentucky farmers $128 million in 2020, up by more than $16 million the year prior.

“Join my family and others across the state as we celebrate Pork month,” said Benji Hudnall, Kentucky Pork Producers Association President. “I encourage Kentuckians to enjoy pork at meals this month of October. When you add pork to your plate, you’re supporting farm families like ours.”

With more than 1,600 swine operations across the commonwealth, Kentucky ranks 17th in the nation for total swine production. Though they can be found throughout the state, most of Kentucky’s hogs are raised in western Kentucky, near production of their primary food source of corn and soybeans.

At the end of 2020, Kentucky had approximately 460,000 total head of swine, up from 435,000 the year before. But that number is only a portion of the more than 1 million hogs and pigs Kentucky farmers sold at market last year.

Pork is eaten by more people than any other meat in the world, so Kentucky farmers are producing what consumers around the world want, a news release from the Department of Agriculture said.