Pork production in the U.S. has typically taken place on diversified "family" farming operations where the operator independently makes virtually all the critical production and marketing decisions. The decisions include the breeding stock genetics, feeding programs, health programs, the facilities used, farrowing cycles and all other key production decisions. Marketing decisions such as time of sale, weight at sale, and the choice of packer have also been made independently by individual operators. In nearly all cases, these producer level decisions were made in response to open market prices on both the input and output side of the market.
Ginder, Roger G., "Alternative Models for the Future of Pork Production" (1998). Economic Staff Paper Series. 295.