The immediate past president of the National Pork Producers Council is spreading a message of optimism when it comes to agriculture.
Speaking at this year’s Illinois Pork Expo in Springfield, Ron Prestage said it is easy to become disappointed if things don’t go our way. Prestige reminds farmers the end of TPP, or the Trans Pacific Partnership, does not signal the “end of the world.”
“We’ve got to work harder and try to work with President Trump to keep market access available for United States pork. I think we can do that,” Prestage explained.
Prestage believes successful individuals need to be flexible and smart enough to change with the times. The U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world is almost a half-trillion dollars and pork is among the industries on the positive side. Pork producers actually export more out of the country than they bring in.
“That’s pretty much true of agriculture in general. We are the heroes and the ones contributing to that trade balance being favorable to the United States rather than contributing to the negative part of the trade deficit,” added Prestage.
Prestage Farms announced plans to build a new pork processing plant in Iowa about a year ago, which was a decision the family had contemplated for a few years. A plant has been permitted five miles south of Eagle Grove and construction will soon begin.
“We’ve been very impressed with the reception we’ve gotten,” Prestage said.
Prestage Farms is a family-owned business started by Ron’s parents. The family has been in the turkey and pig business since 1967. Ron was asked to join the company in 1994 due to growth opportunities.
“We built a turkey operation in South Carolina, built another swine operation in Mississippi, then in 2004, we bought some existing farms and started building new farms in Iowa.”
More information on Prestage Farms, including details on the new Iowa plant, can be found online.