OK Pork Council's Roy Lee Lindsey Talks the Latest Pork Industry News Affecting Producers in OklaFri, 10 Feb 2017 16:10:56 CST
This weekend, Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, joins Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays on his weekly In the Field segment, talking all the latest happenings in the pork industry nationally and here at home. They took a moment, too, to speak off-camera about the record year for pork exports in 2016, which Lindsey says has taken the industry totally by surprise.
“I think when we started ’16 we were really concerned about would we get to previous year’s exports, much less would we exceed them and possibly get to a record,” he said. “And so to close out the year with record exports was a tremendous boon for us. I don’t think anyone expected that.”
A good thing they performed so well, too, he explains because had the US not sold as much as it did last year, with all the pigs and product coming down the pipeline we would have had a concerning economic situation on our hands.
The bar has been raised now though, and with two processing plants coming online this summer with more scheduled to go live next year, the pork industry must now ramp up its efforts to export even more product in the coming years. Lindsey says he predicts at full steam, an additional ten percent could potentially be added to our total current capacity.
As the processing side evolves, so too is the production side of the business. Lindsey says hog farmers here in Oklahoma are changing up the way they manage their operations. He says there is now a shift in the state, turning finishing facilities into sow barns. And as it is cheaper to move baby pigs North to the corn than it is vice versa, he says that trend is starting to form as well.
Lindsey also responded to a recent incident where animal rights activist group Mercy For Animals released secretly filmed footage from a Caddo County hog farm. He says after working undercover for a month at the farm, all the perpetrator could show were pigs being castrated, sows in stalls and more baby pigs being moved down a hallway at one time than probably should have been.
“There were no examples of animal abuse,” Lindsey asserted. “Even Temple Grandin looked at the video a said, ‘I don’t see anything here that says this is abusive.
“I think that’s very telling that after 30 days on a farm, what they’ve got is a picture of sows in stalls. If we were really doing things that were abusive to animals, they would have had it on video and they would have shared it with someone.”
Wrapping up the interview, Lindsey also highlights that the Oklahoma Pork Congress is coming up later this month, February 24th. He encourages members of the pork community to attend for a full day of activities, speakers and lots of important information. Click here to learn more about the 2017 Oklahoma Pork Conference.
Listen to Ron Hays’ complete interview with Roy Lee Lindsey about the latest news from the pork sector here in Oklahoma and across the nation, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below. Also, be sure to catch Lindsey’s appearance as Hays’ guest this Saturday at 6:40 a.m. on KWTV News 9 in the Oklahoma City area, on our weekly In the Field segment.
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