The Swine to Soil Connection with Jamie Burr

When you think about soil health, you might picture a soybean field or a corn field. 

It may not be immediately apparent how many other industries rely on soil health, like pork. National Pork Board Chief Sustainability Officer Jamie Burr joins us to share about the importance of soil health, conservation, and sustainability to the pork industry. He’s been in this particular role for about six months, but has spent most of his life in the pork industry. 

“The reason that the pork board is so involved in that is if you look at all of our footprints, whether it be carbon, land or water, a vast majority of our footprint has to do with making feed. So those crops are as much as 60 to 70 percent of each one of those footprints.” – Jamie Burr

Prior to the pork board, Jamie spent almost 24 years at Tyson Foods in various environmental and sustainability roles, most of which were on the live production side in both pork and poultry. Jamie shares how he defines sustainability, why the pork board prioritizes soil health for people, planet and pork, how the industry is striving forward in key areas of sustainability and conservation, and how they’re leveraging data to tell that story to consumers. 

“The goal that we have as a pork industry is a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. And that’s the farm gate emissions. So that would be from the time the grain is grown til the pigs leave the farm gate…So we have stood up a platform to begin collecting that data so that producers can enter data and then we can start publicly reporting on those metrics from a transparency perspective. Without that data, it’s hard to tell a story.” – Jamie Burr