As the hot air balloons lifted off signifying the start of the 158th Indiana State Fair, the Indiana Pork Producers were kicking off their traditional ham breakfast, also an early Friday morning event. And this year pork producers were celebrating not only the pork production friendly state of Indiana, but a strong economic state for the industry.
“Of course feed prices have come down which has helped the pork farmers, not so much the grain farmers, and then hog prices have been extraordinarily high due to our health challenges we’ve had in the industry,” said Kirk Thornburg of Richmond, the president of Indiana Pork. “The PED virus has eliminated some pigs from the system that typically we’d marketing this time of year, so it’s created somewhat of shortage and that’s helped support prices as well.”
There is plenty of delicious pork available during the fair, and they are also the sponsor of the day Wednesday.
“On August 6th it is pork day at the Indiana State Fair. We’re going to have our trailer here from National Pork Board to help promote that event.”
Thornburg told HAT that sampling Indiana pork is a tradition for many who attend the state fair each year.
“A lot of people have grown up at least eating one meal at the pork tent when they’re at the fair and they like to come back and get the same products when they were kids.”
Through an Indiana department of agriculture grant Indiana pork will donate to Indiana food banks every time a customer orders the meal upgrade to their entrée purchase at any of the 3 state fair pork tents.
“We’re going to donate one meal of pork product to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry,” he said. “Our goal this year is to sell 30,000 of those meals.”
Thirty thousand meals for Indiana’s hungry translates into 7,500 pounds of pork.