By Kevin Waetke, Vice President, Strategic Communications, National Pork Board

Technology changes are part of everyday life. But nowhere are technology changes more prominent in the past few years than in the pork industry.

Pig farming has changed dramatically in the last few decades, and both the pig and pig farmer benefit through improved employee and food safety, animal well-being and a reduced environmental impact.

“My grandfather raised a lot of pigs outside and I did too as a young person. We were always challenged by weather patterns – from keeping pigs cool during hot summer months or warm and comfortable in the extreme cold,” says Divernon, Illinois, pig farmer Nic Anderson. “As farmers, we are there to protect our animals and keep them as comfortable as possible.”

Many of the improvements in animal welfare have come through new technology. Though the “Smart Home” has become all the rage with consumers in the last few years, pig farmers like Anderson and Richards, Missouri, farmer Everett Forkner, have been using technology to turn their pig barns into “Smart Barns.” That has occurred years before Amazon’s Alexa started flipping light switches and controlling thermostats.

Learn more about Smart Barns at

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