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We Do Not Talk Enough About the People

December 5, 2022 | Letters

Author: Nicole Olynk Widmar, Associate Head and Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Candace Croney, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging & Director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University

Without a doubt, the topic of livestock housing, especially for pigs, is a contentious topic today. We’ve explored a variety of aspects of these conversations, mostly in the context of politics via the marketplace, but Malcolm DeKrgyer reminded us that while there are a variety of pig-centric discussions to be had, we often leave out the people involved in these systems.

“I don’t think that we are sharing the reality of our people very well. … I think that our people are kind of forgotten in this whole [animal] welfare conversation.” Malcolm DeKryger, April 6, 2022 in the Consumer Corner Micro-Course Consumer-Driven Changes in Ag Market Channels

Livestock industries are navigating social pressures on a variety of fronts, but are we sharing the reality of our people within our agricultural systems? Malcolm shares candidly his thought process in considering penning systems for pigs in the context of both the animals and their needs, but also the safety and welfare of the humans working within these systems.