Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Raising Pigs: Because "We Care"

October 29, 2013Farmers and Ranchers, Pork

Imagine a world where there are no farmers. Where would your food come from? It isn’t by magic that the food on the dinner plate appears. It is due to the passion of the people in the industry that grows it. Many people all over the world have passion for all kinds of things from art to music to helping others. Farmers and chefs are no different. Their passion has a great deal to do with you, your health and the food you eat.

“I care about Nebraska pork,” said pig farmer Terry O’Neel. Terry started farming with his wife Diane, shortly after they were married. They started their farm from scratch and have been growing pigs for over 20 years.

"I enjoy raising pigs. They’re fun to be around,” O’Neel said. “I enjoy going to the pens with them and caring for them. It’s a good occupation to be in. Caring about the pork the consumer eats all begins with caring about the safety and health of the pig it comes from. No one knows this better than Nebraska’s farmers.”

Jan Miller, a fellow pig farmer agrees.“Pig safety has improved tremendously. Maintaining the pig’s health is extremely important. It’s all about keeping the environment clean for the pigs. Pig farmer Scott Spilker also mentioned that part of caring for the animal entails keeping in close contact with a trusted veterinarian.

While farmers and veterinarians are all important pieces of the puzzle of how food gets from the farm to the fork, chefs and those in the culinary industry also play a huge part. Chef Glen Wheeler of Spencer’s, a restaurant in Omaha, says he has always loved working with food. Wheeler takes pride in how he handles and prepares pork for consumers.

“Our pork is safely handled in the restaurant. We make sure to use clean utensils and keep the pork at the correct temperature,” Wheeler said.

Cookbook author and Chef Judy Gilliard often features pork in her repertoire of radio shows, cooking classes and presentations. “Always, even as a young culinary student, I’ve loved the versatility of pork. It’s lean, healthy and economical.” From farmers, to veterinarians, to chefs – the passion people in the industry have for the jobs they do insures that healthily and nutritious food arrives to your dinner table.

O’Neel said, “Raising quality pigs, along with other Nebraska farmers is our passion, because we care!”