The Indiana-China Pork Connection

One pork operation finds good news in 2008.

Published on: Apr 14, 2008

Solid corn and soybean prices and slumping hog prices are spelling trouble big-time for Indiana pork producers. While other pork producers across the country are in the same boat, it doesn't make it any easier to compare income vs. expenses on the hog budget sheet right now.

Despite rocky items for the pork industry one Indiana hog company is moving forward. Whiteshire Hamroc LLC, a Noble County swine genetics company, just announced a joint venture with Tangrenshen, an integrated pork company in Huhnan Province, China.

Whiteshire Hamroc is the largest purebred genetic producer in the USA and will supply pigs to the Chinese company. Pigs headed to the Far East will include highly-tested Yorkshires, Landrace and Durocs.

This is no small project. The Chinese pork company will introduce 1,000 females from Whiteshire Hamroc's Nucleus herd into their system. They will become the base for what the Chinese businessmen hope will become an operation that produces 10 million market pigs per year.

For technology buffs, there's an interesting angle to the arrangement. This is far from a 'sell them and leave' arrangement. Instead, Whiteshire Hamroc with continue working with the company, and be involved in monitoring and assessing daily production activities. How can that happen when the two businesses are literally a world apart? Enter the power of the Internet. The system will allow the Indiana pork company to provide genetic analysis and recommended matings for the company all the way off in China.

Whiteshire-Hamroc was featured in the March issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. Check it out online in 'Magazines online' at www.indianaprairiefarmer.com. One of the highlights from that article includes discussion of Whiteshire Hamroc's arrangement to supply pigs for medical research here in the U.S. It may sound like a novel business, but Mike Lemmon of Whiteshire Hamroc says it could be an important use, both financially and in terms of the advantages and advancements research with these animals could bring to modern medicine that will eventually result in improved treatments of various conditions for humans.

As for the business deal in China, the Chinese company just didn't call one day and offer to buy hogs. Instead, it reports that it analyzed breeding stock and production systems in China, Canada, Europe and other areas in the U.S. before settling on working with the Indiana-based company. In news releases issued by the company, Tangrenshen considers Whiteshire Hamroc as its partner in helping it develop new and effective technologies for Chinese pork production.