The Virginia Pork Industry
The Virginia pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Virginia economy. Although the size and structure of the Virginia 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 $305.099 million in personal income, over $442.374 million in value added, and more than 6,465 jobs in the Virginia economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Virginia Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are about 265,000 hogs in Virginia. The size of the Virginia hog herd has varied over time but has trended downward from 425K head in 2000 to 265K head in 2021. As of December 2021, Virginia farms accounted for 0.4% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Virginia hog farms has increased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms raising hogs decreased from 1,533 to 1,265, but by 2017 farm numbers increased to 1,461.
Approximately 65% of Virginia hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 25 percent of Virginia’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and 10 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 $73.28 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 Virginia pork industry, producing about 325,770 market hogs in Virginia generates over $40.365 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 325K market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Virginia industry exceed $25.740M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add over $7.6M, employee compensation totals over $2.3M, and facility-related expenses add over $4.6M.
Jobs Supported by the Virginia Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Virginia pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 6,465 jobs and over $305,099 million in personal income. Virginia hog farms and pork processors directly employed 4,113 workers and paid over $165.9 million in total wages. This includes 43 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 4,063 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 1,270 jobs and over $84.3 million in personal earnings for Virginia workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 1,081 additional jobs and over $54.8 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.