Minnesota Producer Explains On Farm Sustainability Report Benchmarking Benefits

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Sustainability for America’s pork producers is about doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet by following the industry’s We Care® ethical principles. Cody Toothaker is the feed mill and agronomy manager for Hugoson Pork in southern Minnesota. His operation utilizes the On-Farm Sustainability Reports, which he says gave them the opportunity to evaluate how they farm.

“It gets us a little more in line with what’s being researched and what’s done in the universities, and also looking at the sustainability thing, how we are using our resources, can we get more out of them, and can we preserve them for future generations as well? That was kind of how we looked at it, how we could definitely see the value in it.”

The results of all on-farm reports will be made anonymous and pulled into an aggregate of state and national reports to help the pork industry learn and share the industry’s sustainability story. Toothaker says the continuous improvement plan was a good benchmark, and he can look at Minnesota’s statewide report to compare.

“What’s nice about it is they can individualize each farm where you’re at and how you’re doing in your area and then put that kind of on a standard measure, and then pull that all together and make one report. it’s nice to be able to pull it from region to region or you can just pull not just Minnesota but the whole Midwest together and see how we’re doing as a region.”

Toothaker highly recommends other pork producers request their customized On-Farm Sustainability Reports on porkcheckoff.org.

“From where we are at, it was a free thing to do. Why wouldn’t you benchmark yourself against where everybody else is at, and it just gives you the drive and the competitiveness to want to improve on what you’re doing. We want to be the best, and we also want to keep what’s there for our next generation because that’s what’s important to us.”

Again, visit porkcheckoff.org to learn more.