During Ag Day at the Capitol, Farm Director KC Sheperd got the chance to visit with Cathy Vaughan, a pork producer from Northwest Oklahoma about the pork industry. Vaughan represented the Oklahoma Pork Council during the event, and talked to Sheperd about the critical role the pork industry plays in Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma has a really good, strong, and thriving pork industry,” Vaughan said. “We have 34,000 different jobs in the state of Oklahoma. You break that down, and that is one in 50 Oklahomans that are working in the pork industry.”
Vaughan talked about how pork producers in the state have been impacted by the drought.
“Water availability is huge for all of us right now, whether you are growing crops or you are trying to make sure you have enough water for your animals,” Vaughan said. “Out in Northwest Oklahoma, we are feeling it just as much, if not more than everybody.”
As water availability is a struggle for pork producers, Vaughan said she is grateful for the work that is being done at the Capitol to help producers circumvent some of those additional costs involving drought relief.
“In our part of the world, what we are most concerned about is wildfires,” Vaughan said. “Back in 2017, we lost some of our production from a grass fire and so it is something that sits in our heads and our hearts all the time. Pray for rain.”
The Oklahoma Pork Council benefits Oklahoma in numerous ways, Vaughan said, as hog sales generate around 960 million dollars in annual cash receipts to the state.
“That means that pork has served as the second largest agricultural entity in the state,” Vaughan said. “We are consistently in the top ten in national production from a pork standpoint.”