Pork Processing

pork on a shackleOverview

When it comes to pork processing, one of the inherent problems is there is not a great deal of difference between the best yielding hog and a low yielding hog, especially when compared to beef.  July 2012 ...  Pork Processing



  • American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) - Representing more than 1,300 small- and medium-sized meat, poultry and food businesses.
  • Beef & Pork Whole Animal Buying Guide, Iowa State University Extension, 2009 - This consumer-oriented guide explains how to buy a whole or half portion of a pork and beef processed at a meat locker. It includes marketing terms and information on storage and handling, meat inspections, weight and common retail meat cuts.
  • Current issues for Country Cured Hams, National Pork Board and American Meat Science Association, 2002.
  • Guide to Designing a Small Red Meat Plant, Iowa State University, 2009 - This guide offers insight and formulas for planning the layout of a small-scale locker-type red-meat processing plant.
  • Implementing a Recall Program for Small Processors, National Pork Board and American Meat Science Association - This research-based fact sheet outlines how to implement a product recall program.
  • The Jerky Journal, American Association of Meat Processors - A 225-page guide for the production of jerky is available for purchase from the American Association of Meat Processors.
  • North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) - A nonprofit trade association that provides information and technical services to the meat processing industry.
  • Packing House Byproducts, Iowa State University, 2003 - Large packing plants have found markets for the "last squeal" of the pig. How can smaller operations compete without the quantity of animals? This paper looks at small and medium-size beef and pork slaughterhouses and the alternatives for the major by-product categories.
  • Pork Fact Sheets, American Meat Science Association - Topics related to post-harvest pork safety and pork quality are linked here. 

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Heritage Acres Pork - This natural pork company in Missouri is cooperatively owned by 52 independent family farmers.
  • LaQuercia, Norwalk, Iowa - This produces prosciutto, a thinly sliced dry-cured ham. Other products include speck, pancetta, coppa, guanciale and lardo.
  • Nahunta Pork Center - The largest all-pork retail displayer in the Eastern United States. The meat is processed in-house. It has two locations.
  • Webster City Custom Meats, Inc. - This North Central Iowa meat processor buys fresh hams, bellies and loins from packers and creates smoked value-added pork products. In addition to its own private label, the company processes for other firms.

Links checked December 2013.