The Tennessee Pork Industry
The Tennessee pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Tennessee economy. Although the size and structure of the Tennessee 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 $338.486 million in personal income, over $464.380 million in value added, and more than 5,728 jobs in the Tennessee economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Tennessee Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are about 305,000 hogs in Tennessee. The size of the Tennessee hog herd has varied over time but has trended upward from 230,000 head in 2000 to 305,000 head in 2021. As of December 2021, Tennessee farms accounted for 0.4% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Tennessee hog farms has increased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms raising hogs decreased from 2,532 to 1,297, but by 2017 farm numbers increased to 1,898.
Approximately 57% of Tennessee hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 26 percent of Tennessee’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and 17 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 $121.5 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 Tennessee pork industry, producing over 648,163 market hogs in Tennessee generates over $90.381 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 648K market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Tennessee industry exceed $50.424M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add over $19.7M, employee compensation totals over $9.08M, and facility-related expenses add over $11.1M.
Jobs Supported by the Tennessee Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Tennessee pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 5,728 jobs and over $338.486 million in personal income. Tennessee hog farms and pork processors directly employed 2,965 workers and paid over $183.9 million in total wages. This includes 151 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 2,788 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 1,408 jobs and over $80.4 million in personal earnings for Tennessee workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 1,355 additional jobs and over $74 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.