MANKATO (LEARFIELD) – Hog farms, and their impact on the state’s economy, were the basis of a recent study from the University of Minnesota extension. Megan Roberts, an extension educator who worked on the project says the average hog farm generates more than $1.5 million in economic activity, activity that is often the life-blood of rural Minnesota.

“For rural communities we really wanted them to think about how to have discussions about how to support agriculture in a community,” said Roberts. “And to recognize that agriculture contributes to rural communities.”

Roberts says the study made it clear that not all farms are going to survive the COVID-19 crisis, and that will have repercussions felt far past the farm gate.

“Veterinarians, our hardware stores, our feed mills, there are greater impacts beyond the farm gate if hog farms do have a reduction in economic activity,” said Roberts.

She estimates that even a 15 percent drop in production would lead to a loss of an estimated 2,100 jobs.