Smithfield Foods

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina is the second-largest pork producer in the United States.  The importance of the industry to the state’s economy – and by extension to the thousands of people whose livelihood it supports – is undeniable.  This is the third edition of CoastLine in our series on hog farming in the state.  In each episode, we’ve narrowed the focus to one aspect of hog production.  We’ve looked at the economics of it as well as questions around environmental justice.  We’ve explored why some scientists say Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFOs – negatively impact water qual

Wendee Nicole / Environ Health Perspect 121:A182-A189 (2013). [online 01 June 2013]

The business of pork production in North Carolina employed nearly 13,000 people in 2012.  That’s according to a Duke University report.  The swine industry is a key component of North Carolina’s economy.  But there are claims of negative impacts on the environment – specifically on bodies of waters that are in close proximity to concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs.  And there are questions about the industry’s impact on human health. 

But the business of hog farming has evolved over the last several decades. 


More money is coming down the pike for the North Carolina Coastal Federation.