Have a burning question about pork? Let us help.
Below is a list of questions Kansas pork farmers hear the most. These questions cover anything from cooking pork to how pigs are raised. Still have questions? Ask us now!
Special thanks to the farmers and farmer organizations that helped us answer these quesitons, the Pork Checkoff for use of video and written content, and bestfoodfacts.org for connecting us with food and farming experts nationwide.
I purchased pork at the grocery store. How do I cook it?
There are many ways to prepare your favorite pork cut. Pork can be braised, stewed, roasted, grilled, baked, barbecued and even sauteed!
Here is a list of pork cuts and preferred cooking methods.
- Braising - Chop, cubed or sliced pork, tenderloin and shoulder.
- Stewing - Ground, cubed or sliced.
- Roasting - Loin roast, crown roast, fresh pork leg, shoulder, tenderloin, spareribs and back ribs.
- Grilling - Chop, tenderloin, country-style ribs, spareribs, back ribs, shoulder and ground pork.
- Baking - Chop, country-style ribs, ground pork and sausage.
- Barbecuing - Back ribs, country-style ribs, shoulder and spare ribs.
- Sauteing - Cutlet, chop, tenderloin, ground pork, and cubed or sliced.
How do I find local pig farms?
Kansas is home to about 1500 pig farms. Of those the more than 99% are family owned. About 98% of our farms use modern farming practices. About 2% of our farms are breed specific, free range, in partially enclosed structures, raised to organic standards, or are raised to other niche specifications.
In 2010, Kansas farmers sold 3,106,104 market hogs, feeder pigs and seedstock with a gross market value of $456,745,734. These hogs produced over 500,000,000 pounds of pork which helps feed millions of people in the U.S. and abroad through exports.
If you would like to locate and purchase pork from a Kansas pork farmer, try searching our niche producers here.
What does the inside of a modern pig barn look like?
Kansas is home to about 1500 pig farms. Of those, the more than 99% are family owned. About 98% of our farms use modern farming practices. About 2% raise pigs using outside pens and with varying combinations of both inside and outside living.
Many Kansas farmers have raised pigs for generations and some farmers feel that raising pigs in modern barns helps them care for their pigs. To see inside a modern barn click here.
What is a safe cooking temperature for pork?
Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. Because pork can often be overcooked, checking the internal temperature often will help prevent dry pork. Cook pork until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time, and is a little pink inside.
A digital, instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen. When inserted into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds. Instant-read thermometers are not meant to be left in the meat during cooking. If you wish to invest a bit more, continuous-read digital thermometers are another option. Designed to be left in the meat during the entire duration of cooking, they often include a probe that is placed in the meat. The probe is connected via cord to the thermometer unit, which can be placed on a countertop near the stove.
What are the cuts of pork?
Kansas pork farmers know thier pork and they want you to know yours too! Click here for a PDF of the pork cuts chart.
What do pigs eat?
Most pigs eat a diet of corn, soybeans, vitamins and minerals. Much of the corn and soybeans fed on Kansas farms will be grown by the farmer or by members of the local community, enriching the local farming community.
Are there hormones in pork?
Hormones are not ever allowed in raising hogs. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones."
To learn more about the federal regulations prohibiting the use of hormones in pork click here.
What is the economic impact of Kansas pig farms?
Pork farmers make Kansas better
- There are about 1,000 hog farms in Kansas. Of these operations, 150 produce over 99% of the state’s pigs.
- Kansas is the number 10 state in hog and pig inventory producing about 2.8 percent of the nation’s total.
- In 2015, Kansas producers sold 3,298,673 market hogs, feeder pigs and seedstock with a gross market value of $494,289,775. These hogs produced over 600,000,000 pounds of pork which helps feed millions of people in the U.S. and abroad through exports.
Pork industry important to Kansas economy
Kansas pork farms consume over 30 million bushels of grain. Primarily, these operations utilize Kansas-grown grain sorghum and corn. At January 2016 prices, the pork industry will spend over $90,000,000 on grain sorghum and corn this year.
Kansas pork farms also consume the equivalent of over eight million bushels of soybeans through soybean products. At January 2016 prices, the pork industry will spend over $64,000,000 on soybean meal this year.
Kansas pork farmers support suppliers of goods and services to their businesses. A short list of vendors includes:
- Feed suppliers - grain and nutritional supplements.
- Construction - includes new building and maintenance.
- Labor - as with any business, growth means increased labor needs.
- Supplies - pork producers utilize Main Street businesses for a vast array of items ranging from veterinary supplies to office supplies.
- Equipment - pork producers utilize specialty equipment for many tasks including nutrient management.
- Utilities - gas, propane and electric.
- Trucking - producers utilize trucking to bring grain to the farm as well as hauling hogs to market.
- Services - pork producers utilize many services along Main Street including financial, medical, accounting, legal, engineering, and veterinary.