Baconeers, meet your next Face of Farming & Ranching: Lauren Schwab. You and the rest of the country elected her to represent the agriculture industry in 2017 and to help keep bacon available and affordable for everyone. We could not be more excited.
We got a chance to talk to Lauren recently about what she plans to do for the pork industry (including and, especially, our favorite crispy delicacy) throughout 2017. So, whip up some bacon and learn about what this future star wants to do for you.
Why did you want to become the next Face of Farming & Ranching?
I wanted to become the next Face of Farming and Ranching to share the story of family farming with new audiences across the country. My dad is a first-generation farmer and I am fortunate to have grown up on a family farm learning how to take care of animals and how raising pigs provides protein sources for people all around the world. I have come to realize very few people get that opportunity. I want to show the face of the farmer and instill confidence and trust in people so when they go to the grocery store, they feel good about purchasing pork and any product produced by a U.S. farmer and rancher.
What happens now that you’ve won?
I get the opportunity to travel and speak with audiences about how their bacon is raised! I will speak about how we use technology on the farm to give the best comfort to our sows and pigs. We have 1,200 sows and wean about 30,000 pigs each year. That requires a lot of hands on labor, so we utilize technology in the pig barn to help us. From automatic water and feeding systems to heaters and fans, everything is used to keep our pigs comfortable. It is important for consumers to realize how important technology is in ensuring the healthiest animals, and, in turn, providing tasty, safe, healthy, and affordable bacon and pork products.
What do you plan to do to help promote bacon and the rest of the pork industry?
I plan to focus my talks on animal care and technology. Farmers work with veterinarians and go through a Pork Quality Assurance program to make sure they are certified in strict animal care guidelines. All of this goes into producing a quality pork product, including bacon! Pork is much leaner and healthier for us today due to superior genetics, animal care, and nutrition. I know I have an important responsibility as a farmer and I look forward to showcasing how much all bacon farmers care about their animals and producing pork for people, including themselves and their own families.
How can people get in touch with you?
People can get in touch with me through my Facebook page, Farm Girl With Curls, or email me. I will continue to share my journey and experiences online and post what I do in the barn caring for my pigs.
How can people continue to support you?
They can continue to support my family and I by eating tasty pork and bacon! I would appreciate people sharing the good word about what farmers do. They can like and share posts on my Facebook page and visit Pork Be Inspired for recipes and Food Dialogues for more information about the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
Is there anything else you want to say before we let you get back to your actual job?
Thanks so much for your support. Farming is my family’s livelihood and a job I don’t take lightly. It is important to me to care for pigs each day and know I am a part of something greater: feeding the world. Take any opportunity you have to thank a farmer and share the good word of what they do. Real farmers care about their land, animals, families, and you. So please fork more pork and if you ate today, thank a farmer!