Pasture Pork 101: Comprehensive Agent Training in Pasture-based Hog production

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $62,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Todd See
North Carolina State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: swine


  • Animal Production: general animal production


    This project developed the Pasture Pork 101 program which included a series of in-service training workshops for agriculture agents. In-depth training was provided to agents in Pork Muscle Quality, Value Added Processing, Pork Marketing, Production Practices, Pasture Management and Food Safety. In addition, a "Pasture Based Pork Production Manual" was initiated providing resources to agents. Agents were trained on the use of the Pork Information Gateway ( and provided state specific resources at This program has aided small farmers in establishing production systems and markets.

    Project objectives:

    • • Provide county extension agents with advanced knowledge and skill set in pasture-based hog production, bolstering the agent’s attitude towards sustainable agriculture, ending a reluctance to provide comprehensive training to local farmers.
      • Facilitate a series of comprehensive training session for extension agents covering all aspects of pasture-based hog production enabling these agents to provide more one-on-one technical assistance.
      • Focus training on incorporation of pigs into diversified farming operations to encourage agents with both crop and livestock appointments to attend and collaborate on farmer training in their own counties.
      • Use “model farms” each located in the three distinct regions of North Carolina (Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal), giving extension agents a hands-on training appropriate for their own environment and a local contact for future county-run workshops.
      • Create a series of extension bulletins as part of a larger manual for agents to use and distribute from home offices.
      • Build on and learn from other successful SARE-funded projects.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.