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Meet the 2023 Hog Farmer Appreciation Celebration Chefs

Niman Ranch’s 25th Hog Farmer Appreciation Celebration took place in Des Moines, Iowa August 25-27, 2023. This annual celebration brings together the Niman Ranch community—chefs, distributors, partners and friends— to recount stories, learn and share incredible meals, all featuring Niman Ranch’s award-winning pork prepared by some of the country’s most celebrated chefs.

It’s no small task to prepare a multi-course meal for 600 guests. So why do chefs join us each year in Iowa to cook at this event?

Chef Andrew Hunter, Niman Ranch’s executive chef and the lead organizer of the 600-person gala dinner, explains that chefs are always eager to participate in this event because they love the Niman Ranch product, respect how Niman Ranch operates with integrity and credibility and, most important, appreciate the farmers. The dinner gives chefs a chance to cook for and thank the farmers directly.

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The impact of the number of sow functional teats on piglet colostrum intake - Dr. Mark Knauer

Video: The impact of the number of sow functional teats on piglet colostrum intake - Dr. Mark Knauer

As the swine industry continues to evolve, the focus on optimizing sow productivity is becoming more crucial. Recent research spearheaded by Dr. Mark Knauer, a Swine Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University, offers insightful perspectives in this regard. Dr. Knauer's research indicates that while pig geneticists have made successful strides in increasing litter size and the number of functional teeth in sows, the increase in functional teeth has not kept up with litter size. This disparity highlights a significant issue: the larger the litter size, the less colostrum per piglet is available for intake. The crucial role of colostrum for a piglet's health and survival underscores the significance of this problem.