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Isabelle Patterson

Recently the Minnesota Ag in the Classroom team had the opportunity to work with a few University of Minnesota Agricultural Communications and Marketing students with a few MN AgMag projects. Meet this week’s guest blogger, Isabelle, as she introduces herself and her passion for National Pork Month.


Hi there, I am Isabelle Patterson, a student at the University of Minnesota. Currently I am a sophomore studying Agricultural Education and Animal Science. Throughout life I have found a passion for people and agriculture and I couldn’t think of anything more fitting to study when I came to college!

October is one of my favorite months of the year for a couple of reasons. Number one, it is during fall (who doesn’t love this season?!) But more importantly, October is National Pork Month! Growing up on a pig farm I have always had a deep love for pigs. I personally know what it is like to live a day in the life of a pig farmer.

From start to finish, watching pigs grow is an amazing process. But, as simple as it may seem, there are many steps to putting bacon on your breakfast plate. Sows, or mother pigs, farrow* piglets and almost three weeks later these little pigs are weaned and moved to a nursery barn. In this heated barn, piglets spend about five weeks of their life eating, napping and growing. Then at about eight weeks, or 40-60 pounds, the nursery pigs are moved into a finishing barn where they stay until they are ready to go to market.

Just like some of us, pigs move from one house to the next. These different buildings provide them the necessities they need to survive. Food, water, air and shelter. For students to get a hands on learning experience building a model pig barn, check out the Build Your Own Pig Barn – A Great Project for Kids. You can also check out the Matrix Lesson Pigs on the Farm to incorporate something different for National Pork Month this October.

*farrow- give birth (to piglets)

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