DES MOINES, IOWA – Niman Ranch, a subsidiary of Perdue Farms, recently released an economic analysis by Iowa State economist Dave Swenson that stated its meat network creates 50% more economic value for the local Iowa economy than the conventional hog industry, per 100,000 hogs.
Swenson’s study said Niman Ranch created more than 150% more jobs in 2019 than traditional hog systems in the same year and generated more than $20 million toward the local economy.
“Local economies would prosper if more adopted Niman Ranch’s approach instead of conventional production,” Swenson said of his findings. “This is the Main Street effect. The small farmers in Niman’s network hire more people, spend more regionally and their employees also spend their money closer to home.”
Swenson analyzed data on the overall Iowa hog industry contributions and compared it to Niman Ranch-specific inputs and outputs of the company’s 195 Iowa-based farmers. He used the IMPLAN Inc. modeling system for his analysis.
Later in his findings, Swenson also found that Niman Ranch’s farms created 339 jobs in the state during 2019. He also explained that for every $1 million in direct sales, Niman Ranch farms produce 14 jobs and generate an additional $2.03 million in other economic inputs, including labor income and value-added spending.
The Iowa network of farms also created nearly $50 million in total output of hogs and over $20 million in added economic value for local communities.
“This study proves that there is significant value in these smaller, diversified farms,” said Chris Oliviero general manager of Niman Ranch. “We’re never going to feed the world, but the Niman Ranch business model brings real resources and opportunities into rural communities. We’re a small part of the food chain, but our farmers have an outsized positive impact.”
The findings of Swenson can be viewed here.
Swenson presented the analysis findings at Niman Ranch’s 23rd Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Celebration. The meat company awarded $170,000 in scholarships to the young farmers at the event.