Yesterday our family spent the afternoon in Blaine at the USA Cup Soccer tournament visiting with parents and kids and talking to them about being pig farmers. It was a busy afternoon with lots of questions, which is a good thing since every question they asked us meant 1 pound of ground pork was donated to Second Harvest Heartland.

Most questions were pretty basic like how many babies does a sow have? (on average 10-12). How heavy are pigs when they are marketed? (275 lbs) and how old? (5 1/2 to 6 months). Many kids want to know why pigs roll in the mud. Easy, they don’t sweat so they need something like mud ,water or air blowing over them to help them stay cool. The soccer players really understood that one.

The golden moment was when you were able to strike up a really meaninful conversation with an adult and give them a few bits of information to help them understand what we do and more importantly, why we do it. Just over half of the population in MN doesn’t know a farmer and in the absence of that first hand knowledge, many people resort to misconceptions or old wives tales as truth.

It’s hard not to feel outnumbered, that no matter how much we try, we’ll never stay ahead of the “bad press” that’s out there. Yet, for a few hours yesterday, we were able to talk about being a pig farmer and help some city people get to know a farmer.