Summary and Implications
Niche pork markets grew rapidly in the late 1990’s and have continued to expand. There are currently at least 35 pork niche markets active in Iowa. These range from direct sales to consumers by individual farmers to organized marketing groups. Marketers consistently report more demand for pork than the existing supply of pigs that meet the niche market criteria. They also consistently report a shortage of producers and the expectation that the niche markets will continue to grow.
The lifestyle and financial opportunities offered by niche pork markets are attractive to many individuals. These individuals may have little or no experience with raising pigs. Much of the existing pig production resources are not appropriate for this audience. To address these needs, a Niche Pork Production handbook was developed in 2007. The handbook is a collection of 30 individual leaflets addressing practical issues of niche pork production. The handbook is available for download from the Iowa Pork Industry Center website: http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/publications.html.
This handbook was written to serve as an introduction to pig production with a focus on the practical issues facing niche market pig producers. Although perhaps most valuable to the novice, the information in this handbook is also useful to the more experienced pig producer considering niche pork production as well as the seasoned niche pork producer.
Iowa State University
Lammers, Peter J.; Honeyman, Mark S.; and Stender, David R.
"The Niche Pork Production Handbook,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 654, ASL R2361.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol654/iss1/110