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Michigan Hog Farmer

Erin Ehinger

“We are blessed in the United States with the pigs that we have, and we want to be able to feed the world with the products that we produce.”

Erin Ehinger
Hog Farmer

Name: Erin Ehinger
Location: Holland, Michigan
Years farming: I have been on the farm my whole life and can remember helping pick up rocks in the corn fields when I was only old enough to point out the big ones. In high school, I started to work with the pigs on a regular basis. Six years ago after college, I started working full time and I’m looking forward to many more years on the farm.
My family: My parents, Bob and Lorrie Dykhuis, started the farm more than 30 years ago with my grandpa, Jim Dykhuis. My siblings and I are all invested in the farm and own farm land. My brother Joe and I are working full-time on the farm, while my sister Jenna and sister-in-law Heather work part-time on the farm. My sister Rachel is a nurse while still staying connected to the farm and my sister Cara is studying to become a veterinarian. My husband Matt works in finance and I have a two-year-old daughter, Lucy.
How I came to be a farmer: Growing up on the farm taught me the value of hard work. However, if you‘d asked me as a teen if I would work on the farm long term, I would have emphatically said, “No!” After two years of college, I realized my love for working with animals and the people who care for the animals. My last two years of college, I changed my major to animal science and after graduation starting to oversee the sows during pregnancy and the sows with their litters. There is something really special about working with animals.
The best thing about being a farmer: The best thing about being a farmer is that I get to do what I love every day. I love working with pigs, and I love how we are able to support our community by providing jobs and producing pork.
My personal philosophy on farming: We are so blessed in America to have the resources and land for farming. Farmers have the great responsibility of caring for our animals and the environment while feeding the world. It is a privilege to be able to impact so many people’s lives by providing safe, nutritious and affordable food.

Pork Production in Michigan and the United States
  • Pork production contributes to more than 3,000 jobs for Michigan residents.
  • Pork production provides more than $15 million in state and local taxes.
  • Hog farmers’ livelihoods depend on the well-being of their livestock.
  • There are eight cuts of pork with less than 200 calories per serving.
  • Through participation in the Pork Quality Assurance Program, Michigan’s pork producers are proactive in improving food safety.
  • By raising pigs indoors pork producers are able to keep their pigs warm during frigid winters and cool in the summers.

 

For more information about pork production in Michigan, please visit www.mipork.org

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