DeKalb students to hear why farmers need science to grow healthier food

SMITHVILLE – How are farmers using science and technology to grow healthier food? What’s the impact on our food, animal care and the environment? Students at DeKalb County High School will get those questions answered Wednesday, April 23, as Phyllis Ferguson of the Tennessee Pork Producers Association will address culinary and horticulture students starting at 7:45 a.m.

Titled “Modern Animal Agriculture & Pork Production,” Ferguson’s speech will highlight how ongoing advancements in agricultural science are helping farmers raise better food while using fewer natural resources than ever before.

“Farmers who raise pigs have been able to make great progress in animal health, food safety and protecting the environment,” Ferguson said. “And farmers know they must always keep learning and working to get better at what they do.”

There are 68,000 pork producers in the United States. The industry generates more than a half million jobs and produces more than $21 billion in personal income each year.

Those farmers now use 41 percent less water and 78 percent less land to raise pigs than they did 50 years ago.

“Modern barns, a focus on nutrition and animal care mean pigs live healthier lives than ever before,” Ferguson said. “And, healthy pigs mean healthy food. For example, pork tenderloin today is as lean as a skinless chicken breast and is certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food.

“I’d like to thank DeKalb County High School for giving me an opportunity to share with these students what farmers are doing to make sure safe and healthy food gets to the dinner table today and in the future.”

DeKalb County High School is located at 1130 Broad St., Smithville. The program will continue through 2:45 p.m.

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