This is always my favorite time of year... I love October... The crisp fall air, the pumpkins, watching the combines work in the field (although I don't particularly enjoy what the grain dust does to my allergies) but all in all - harvest time is amazing. Here is a picture on my way home yesterday from a corn field that had an irrigation system and has since been harvested. Guess what else is this time of year... Well, October specifically... National Pork Month! I <3>
Here are some fun facts for National Pork Month (you can use this trivia to impress your friends).
- During the war of 1812 a New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped U.S. on the docks and it was quickly said that the "U.S." stood for Uncle Sam, whose large shipment seemed to be enough to feed the entire Army. This is how "Uncle Sam" came to represent the U.S. Government.
- The saying "living high on the hog" came from enlisted men in the U.S. Army who would receive shoulder and leg cuts of pork while officers received the top loin cuts. So "living high on the hog" came to mean living well.
- The phrase "pork barrel" politics is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of distributing salt pork to slaves from huge barrels. By the 1870's, Congressmen were referring to regularly dipping into the "pork barrel" to obtain funds for popular projects in their home districts.
- Harry Truman once said "No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs."
- It takes 74 million bushels of corn to feed Illinois market hogs each year.
- There are 4.4 million pigs in Illinois.
- The pork industry contributes $1.7 billion dollars to Illinois' economy each year.
- DeKalb County leads the state of Illinois in pork production.
As you can see the "pig" is vital to not only American political history... but to our economies and our daily lives as well. Now, the question is... Have you hugged a pig today?
Remember to support your local pork producers - because everything is better with bacon!
We're still going strong with our 1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour... Later this week we'll be in Mason City at the Mason City elevator. Keep checking the website for all the details of where we're headed each week.