Hogs travel to mountain state, provide 170,000 pounds of meat

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UNION, WV (WVNS) — Traveling all the way from South Dakota, hogs were distributed to local farmers in Monroe County on the morning of Thursday, May 14, 2020.

“We found out that many of these hogs may be slaughtered because there’s no room in the packing houses out West,” Bill Shiflet, a board member for the West Virginia Cattleman’s Association, said.

The COVID-19 Pandemic hammered the Midwest’s meat industry. The pigs are too big to be processed in a factory, weighing around 300 pounds. Now, meat is becoming harder to find.

“Be bring them in and sell them. There’s a huge demand here,” Shiflet said. “This is about our fifth load for Southern West Virginia, so that equals about 170,000 pounds of meat at a time when the stores are low on meat, so it worked out very well.”

Shiflet said even with the amount of pigs coming to the mountain state, they are not making a dent in the population out West.

Transporting them to West Virginia is not only helping farmers in the Midwest, but also providing families with a food source.

“These pigs needed to have something. A lot of them were going to be euthanized and used as fertilizer,” Shiflet said. “So, instead of that, we’re using them as protein. Hopefully it’s helping them a little bit and helping Southern West Virginia have a meat source”

The money raised through the sales of the hogs will go towards Monroe County’s Cattleman’s Association. It will provide scholarships for James Monroe High School students and youth activities.

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