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The Dirt: Bring Home the Bacon
The Dirt: Bring Home the Bacon

If you’re showing pigs this year at the fair, bring a pen and sign your John Hancock on the line. China’s global decision to ban Ractopamine in market hogs is trickling all the way down to our county and independent fairs, and ODA wants ALL youth exhibitors to have a fair shake at bringing home the bacon. That means all youth exhibitors will sign a document saying their animal has never been exposed to this feed additive. And that is a very good thing!

Ractopamine, which increases lean muscle and growth in pigs, is completely legal and safe for consumption. Says who, you might ask? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the top authority on such matters. This new requirement has nothing to do with health and safety and everything to do with trade, as packers are responding to China’s message and have banned purchasing pigs that have been fed Ractopamine. Regardless, we want every 4-Her to be prepared. No one wants the hard work of these kids to go unnoticed or for money to be left on the table. Leveling the playing field for everyone is how that’s done. And that’s the point of the affidavit.

When we talk about how important our 4-H shows and fair exhibitions are in raising the next generation of responsible food producers here in Ohio – and beyond – this is what we’re talking about. Being aware of consumer preferences and market trends, and then adjusting responsible food production practices. We know our youth exhibitors and our fairs are among the best of the best. And they are definitely up to the task.