Episode #53: Welfare + Sustainability from Farmer to Packer

In this episode of SwineTime, Dr. Spencer Wayne welcomes Dr. Cara Haden, Director of Animal Welfare at PIPESTONE, and Dr. Carissa Odland, Director of Sustainability for Wholestone Farms, a producer-owned packer enterprise. The episode explores perspectives on welfare and sustainability in the swine industry.

Dr. Haden discusses her role in promoting animal welfare at PIPESTONE, focusing on caregiver training, welfare culture, investigating concerns, and communication.

Dr. Odland elaborates on Wholestone Farms’ holistic approach to sustainability, which emphasizes six pillars: animal welfare, environment, employee practices, food safety, consumer choice, and community involvement. The conversation delves into the challenges and trade-offs, especially concerning Prop 12, which aims to improve animal welfare but presents issues like increased fighting and higher mortality.

The discussion touches on transparency, consumer awareness, and the role of social media in building trust between producers and consumers. Our host inquires about consumer trends, with Dr. Haden noting a growing public concern for food sources but acknowledging budget constraints influencing purchasing decisions. Dr. Odland adds that consumers are becoming more interested in transparency and attribute programs but acknowledges the challenge of balancing trade-offs.

The episode provides insights into the complex dynamics of animal welfare, sustainability, and consumer preferences in the swine industry.

PIPESTONE’s mission is “Helping Farmers Today Create the Farms of Tomorrow.” The SwineTime podcast was created for pig farmers and individual pork producers around the country. Hosted by Dr. Wayne, the podcast contains pork industry news, advancements in animal care and how to enhance your productivity.

Monthly podcasts are available on Spotify, Google Music, iTunes, and on Pipestone.com.