The Montana Pork Industry
The Montana pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Montana economy. Although the size and structure of the Montana 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 over $38.96 million in personal income, over $80.75 million in value added, and more than 829 jobs in the Montana economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Montana Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are about 225,000 hogs in Montana. The size of the Montana hog herd has varied over time but has trended upward from 155,000 head in 2000 to 225,000 head in 2021. As of December 2021, Montana farms accounted for 0.3% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Montana hog farms has increased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms raising hogs decreased from 708 to 406, but by 2017 farm numbers increased to 452.
Approximately 56% of Montana hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 35 percent of Montana’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and nine 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 $107.97 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 Montana pork industry, producing over 532 thousand market hogs in Montana generates over $56.246 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 over 532,781 market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Montana industry exceed $28.6M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add over $13.28M, employee compensation totals over $6.98M, and facility-related expenses add over $7.33M.
Jobs Supported by the Montana Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Montana pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 829 jobs and over $38.963 million in personal income. Montana hog farms and pork processors directly employed 306 workers and paid over $16.41 million in total wages. This includes 112 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 175 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 351 jobs and over $14.98 million in personal earnings for Montana workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 172 additional jobs and over $7.569 million 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.