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Farmer to address need for innovation to grow healthier food

How are farmers using innovation and technology to grow healthier food? What's the impact on our food, animal care and the environment?

Those questions will be answered on Tuesday, August 6, at the regularly scheduled Long Prairie Rotary Club meeting. Pam Gierke of Gierke Farms in Villard will address the group at noon at the American Legion Hall located at 714 Commerce Road in Long Prairie.

Titled "Farming and Food" the speech by Gierke will highlight how ongoing advancements in agricultural science are helping farmers raise better food while using fewer natural resources than ever before. "Farmers who raise pigs have been able to make great progress in animal health, food safety and protecting the environment," said Gierke. "And farmers know they must always keep learning and working to get better at what they do." Farmers now use 41-percent less water and 78-percent less land to raise pigs than they did 50 years ago.

"Modern barns, a focus on nutrition and animal care mean pigs live healthier lives than ever before," said Gierke. "And, healthy pigs mean healthy food. For example, pork tenderloin today is as lean as a skinless chicken breast and is certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food. I'd like to thank the Long Prairie Rotary Club for giving me an opportunity to share what farmers are doing to make sure safe and healthy food gets to your dinner table today and in the future."

Minnesota pork production generates $7.8 billion of economic activity in the state, and provides Minnesota residents with over 22,500 direct and support jobs.