The Wisconsin Pork Industry
The Wisconsin pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Wisconsin economy. Although the size and structure of the Wisconsin 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 $616.522 million in personal income, over $854.555 million in value added, and more than 10,997 jobs in the Wisconsin economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Wisconsin Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are about 370,000 hogs in Wisconsin. The size of the Wisconsin hog herd has varied over time but has trended downward from 610K head in 2000 to 370K head in 2021. As of December 2021, Wisconsin farms accounted for 0.5% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Wisconsin hog farms has decreased slightly in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms decreased from 3,974 to 2,270, and by 2017 Wisconsin had 2,198 farms raising hogs.
Approximately 40% of Wisconsin hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 22 percent of Wisconsin’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and 38 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 $187.5 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 Wisconsin pork industry, producing about 942,615 market hogs in Wisconsin generates over $128.444 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 942K market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Wisconsin industry exceed $70.85M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add over $27.7M, employee compensation totals over $13.1M, and facility-related expenses add over $16.6M.
Jobs Supported by the Wisconsin Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Wisconsin pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 10,997 jobs and over $616.522 million in personal income. Wisconsin hog farms and pork processors directly employed 5,681 workers and paid over $312.9 million in total wages. This includes 243 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 5,396 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 2,616 jobs and over $169.9 million in personal earnings for Wisconsin workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 2,700 additional jobs and over $133.6 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.