With the latest “smart home” technology, we can control our lights, cars, garage doors and kitchen appliances using connected apps on our phones.

Pig farmers have also embraced these innovations. Modern livestock barns run like smart homes to keep farm animals safe, healthy and comfortable in all kinds of Midwest weather.

For example, pig farmers use smart farm technology to control the lighting and temperature in the barns, automatically opening or closing ventilation curtains to adjust air circulation.

Farmers receive an alert on their phone if, for example, in the middle of the night the temperature in the barn isn’t optimal for the pigs.

In addition, sensors track how much the pigs eat and drink. If a pig stops eating, it could be an early sign that the animal isn’t feeling well and needs treatment.

Scientists have also created microphones to record pigs’ coughs and thermal cameras to measure body temperature. This helps farmers promptly identify, treat and isolate potentially sick pigs, ensuring the herds’ health.

Farmers take seriously their responsibility to meet the growing demand for healthy, high-quality food while also providing the best possible care for farm animals.

In the near future, we will have access to emerging innovations – such as augmented reality and blockchain traceability – offering consumers more transparency about their food’s journey from farm to plate.

Farmers share our same values and work every day to ensure that the food we buy for our families is safe, nutritious and sustainably grown.

To learn more about how farmers work to ensure meat quality, food safety and animal well-being, visit the “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat” website.

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Learn more about author Teresa Bjork here.

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