Source: Fairmount Sentinel
Prop 12 is a California 2018 proposition that sets new minimum requirements on farmers to provide more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. Fairmont Veterinary Clinic Vet Partner Andy Kryzer discussed what Prop 12 entails and how that relates specifically to pig livestock and what that looks like in Martin County.
The proposition will go into effect on the swine side on January 1, 2022. What that entails is that pork sold into California as of that date has to be born from a farm that is compliant with the rules of Prop 12.
The rules are that there is a 24 square feet per cell minimum for each swine. The swine can only be confined during the gestation process for no more than 24 hours in those 30 days. There can be no sick leave for four hours in a day and a combined 24 hours in 30 days.
According to Kryzer, there are producers in Martin County and surrounding counties that have built structures that are Prop 12 compliant. That means that these producers meet the California standards and that these producers can access the California market.
There are different ways that the infrastructure can be made to fit Prop 12 compliances. Kryzer described that in one particular infrastructure is the idea of free access stalls. The stalls can be locked in order to care for a swines’ health and then if necessary the swine can be treated.
The infrastructure also can be used as protection. In some cases, there is a boss or bully of the bunch of swine that wants to fight a more timid swine. This infrastructure allows the ability for the swine to get into a safe place away from the aggressor.
For feeding purposes the infrastructure needs power. They can feed the swine through the feeders and they are designed to feed the swine at specific times. There will not need to be a computer program or software needed to make this happen, but there will need to be ongoing maintenance.
In Minnesota, you will not really notice any differences in pork whether that comes to taste, quality, or how the pig is grown. The only difference is California voted that they would like the pork that they’re consuming to come from a swine that has been housed in a certain manner.
Martin County is the number one pork producer in the state of Minnesota. There are some facilities that are Prop 12 compliant and some that are in the process of converting.
“Martin County is the top-five producing counties within the U.S. which is impressive because producers here are made up of independent family farms,” Kryzer said. “And for those that have facilities that are Prop 12 compliant it allows them an opportunity to provide a value-added product to the California market.”