The Colorado Pork Industry
The Colorado pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Colorado economy. Although the size and structure of the Colorado pork industry has changed over time, current levels of production continue to support jobs and generate earnings in the state economy. In 2021, the sales generated from hog marketings and pork processing supported a total economic contribution of $58.2 million in personal income, $123.0 million in value added, and more than 1,116 jobs in the Colorado economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Colorado Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are more than 600,000 hogs in Colorado. The size of the Colorado hog herd has varied over time but has trended downward from 840,000 head in 2000 to 620,000 head in 2021. As of December 2021, Colorado farms accounted for 0.8% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Colorado hog farms has increased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms raising hogs dropped from 1,335 to 1,001, but by 2017 farm numbers increased to 1,227.
Approximately 94% of Colorado hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. Three percent of Colorado’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and three percent are on farms with less than 2,000 head.
Hog Production Costs and Returns
In 2021, hog sales (including market hogs, sows, and feeder pigs) totaled $162.18 million. In addition to these farm-level effects, the pork industry supports other industries by purchasing inputs, supplies, and services. Based on long-run prices and aggregated production budgets for the Colorado pork industry, producing 832,547 market hogs in Colorado generates over $65.24 million in feed, labor, equipment, and other production-related expenditures.
Hog Production by the Numbers
number of farms with hogs
hogs marketed annually
cash receipts from hog sales
Feed is the largest single expenditure category in pork production. With 832,547 market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Colorado industry exceed $30.4M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add $16.6M, employee compensation totals $9.4M, and facility-related expenses add $8.8M.
Jobs Supported by the Colorado Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Colorado pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 1,116 jobs and $58.22M in personal income. Colorado hog farms and pork processors directly employed 498 workers and paid $24.37M in total wages. This includes 147 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 327 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 424 jobs and $21.0M in personal earnings for Colorado workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 244 additional jobs and $12.85M in personal income earned. Many of these jobs were within the agriculture and manufacturing industries, as well as industries like trucking, finance, insurance, real estate, trade, and other service sectors.