Curious about #RealPigFarming?
Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and no one knows the answers better than real pig farmers, says Claire Masker.
As public relations manager for the National Pork Board, Claire’s main responsibilities are to create positive outreach materials for the U.S. Pork Industry and Pork Checkoff programs. Last month Claire invited me to talk about #agvocacy with a pioneering group of pig farmers from across the nation, who are participating in The Pork Checkoff’s new social media outreach program through #RealPigFarming.
“We want to empower producers to have meaningful, impactful conversations on social media with consumers about what happens on their farms,” explains Claire. “The hashtag (#) before Real Pig Farming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations.”
#RealPigFarming brings together pig farmers, academics, youth, veterinarians and allied industry members to discuss key topics in modern pork production. Everyone with a passion for agriculture or a positive story to share about real pig farming is invited to use the #RealPigFarming in status updates, tweets, Instagram photos, blogs, vlogs and other social media updates. Visit www.facebook.com/RealPigFarming, or follow @RealPigFarming on Twitter.
“I have a passion for helping farmers and those involved in the food and agriculture industries tell their story,” says Claire. “We have a great story to tell about what farmers are doing to raise food for neighbors. As Kid President says ‘Create something that will make the world awesome,’ and I like helping farmers show the world all the awesomeness they create every day on their farms.”
Claire also puts #RealPigFarming into action. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMasker and on Instagram @ClaireMasker. Growing up the second of five kids on her family’s farm in Neola, Iowa, she always has a story to tell.
“My siblings and I had the ‘opportunity’ to work on our family farm. We raised row crops, cattle, hogs and sometimes had chicken and turkeys.I’ve done just about every job on the farm from walking beans and scooping out bunks to feeding livestock. I’ve also tried my best to operate a tractor and grain cart. There were times that I was jealous of all my ‘city’ friends. Now I look back at everything I learned and realize how blessed I am. I learned about hard work, as well as learned to respect animals and the land.”
After graduating from high school, Claire attended Iowa State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education – Communications Option and Animal Science. She also earned a Masters of Science in Agriculture Education. While earning her masters, Claire worked for the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence. She then went to work for the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board as the communications manager where she managed the I-LEAD program and assisted with the Collegiate Advisory Team.
Today Claire is promoting the industry she loves by sharing one of her family’s favorite #pork recipes with us. Enjoy this recipe and remember to #ThankAFarmer! If you’d like to learn more about #RealPigFarming, here are links to a few blogs that I enjoy following:
Pork Chop and Potato Casserole
- 4 medium size pork chops (can use butterfly chops)
- Potatoes (about 6 large potatoes)
- Sliced onion
- Butter (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 can Cream of Celery soup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 1 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Peel and slice enough potatoes to comfortably fill the baking dish.
- Melt butter in cooking pan on stove. Add sliced onion and pork chops; cook until onions are thoroughly cooked and meat is browned.
- Remove onions from pan and place on plate.
- Add both cans of soup to drippings and cook through.
- Pour soup mixture over potatoes.
- Add onions and then top with browned pork chops.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are tender, which usually takes 1½ hours.