Recently, ractopamine-free swine production became a market specification through much of the U.S. pork packing industry. Although ractopamine (sold under the trade names Paylean® or Engain® for swine) is an approved product used to increase lean growth rate, it has been banned in many international pork markets. In short, ractopamine-free means that a pig has never been fed or exposed to ractopamine – from the time of birth to the time of market.
In response, the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio State Fair have collaborated to put a comprehensive plan in place, which can be referenced at https://ohiopork.org/ractopamine-free/.
Because ractopamine has been banned in international markets, swine exhibited at the 2020 Ohio State Fair are required to be ractopamine-free. To ensure that exhibitors follow this protocol, the Ohio State Fair will require verification that animals are ractopamine-free at the time of entry. In addition, upon arrival at the Ohio State Fair, all exhibitors will be required to sign an affidavit which states that the pigs exhibited by their showman have not been offered ractopamine during the time of their ownership (youth exhibitors under age 18 must have their affidavits signed by a parent or legal guardian) . A sample affidavit developed by The Ohio State University can be found here: https://ohiopork.org/ractopamine-free/.
County fair managers should work with their local packer to enact their plan for 2020.
At any exhibition level, youth swine projects reflect the entire swine industry’s commitment to the WeCare® principles that provide the basis for consumer trust in the way pigs are raised and the safety and wholesomeness of the pork they purchase.
All of these informational resources can be accessed online at https://ohiopork.org/ractopamine-free/. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Steven Moeller, Professor/Swine Extension Specialist, The Ohio State University at Moeller.firstname.lastname@example.org, or 614-565-6344. The Ohio Pork Council can also be contacted at email@example.com, or 614-882-5887.
Date posted: February 13, 2020