CARLYLE – A fifth-generation pork producer from Illinois and current president of the National Pork Producers Council doesn’t forget where his roots are.
Ken Maschhoff has been exposed to agriculture his entire life – ever since he started raising pigs as a youngster. His parents were actively involved with the Illinois Pork Producers Association and his interest grew from there.
“When I went to college, we only had I think 135 sows when my brother and I bought into the business,” Maschhoff recalled.
Before he knew it, Maschoff had 500 sows after borrowing money from his grandparents. He then bought his parents out and the business has taken off from there.
“Today, we are told The Maschhoffs is the largest privately-held pork operation in the world.”
Maschhoff acknowledges the number of great leaders in the Illinois pork industry over the years who have worked hard to get where they are at. Maschhoff believes there is no place like home after he has spent plenty of time on the road in his national role of traveling from state to state.
During the recent annual meeting of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Maschhoff reminded delegates of the themes of the National Pork Producers Council which include focusing on regulatory issues and trade. NPPC deals with labor and tax reform and is engaged in farm bill discussions.
NPPC is helping the Trump administration understand the importance of trade agreements, such as the Korean Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA. Maschhoff said farmers understand the importance of trade with Canada and Mexico.
“It’s the largest trading block in the world.”
Any fluctuation from NAFTA could jeopardize the sale of products, which would have huge consequences.
The Maschhoff family business is located near Carlyle. Maschhoff is chair of Maschhoff Family Foods and co-owner and chair of The Maschhoffs Inc. The company produces around 500,000 feeder pigs and 3.5 million market hogs per year.