Bacon business

A pig looks at visitors to one of the Silky Pork farms in Duplin County. 

From staff reports

The WSU Student Swine Cooperative (SSC) is selling bacon as a fundraiser for their organization this semester.

Technology Officer for the SSC Camille Ogdon said they are running the bacon fundraiser until March 4.

The SSC is self-funded and the profits of the bacon fundraiser will go to the cooperative for expansion. Ogdon said the cooperative wants to use the profits to advance their operations, either through getting more pigs to raise or buying a sow for reproducing.

“We sold around 200 pounds last semester and we’re trying to beat that this semester and sell 300 pounds,” Ogdon said.

SSC student adviser Natasha Moffitt said the bacon they are selling has a thicker cut than most bacon and is cut, dry-cured, and smoked by SSC members at the WSU Meats Lab.

Moffitt said people can use the order form on their website and pay with cash or a check either in advance or when they pick up the bacon. Moffitt said people have to pick the orders up themselves because shipping is not yet a cost-worthy option.

The SSC ran the fundraiser for the first time last semester and had a lot of success, Ogdon said.

Moffitt said the pork belly used by the SSC to make the bacon is ordered from a meat packer in Spokane.

Ogdon said the SSC also makes money by raising 10 pigs each semester from 120 pounds up to market weight (250 pounds) and then slaughtering and selling them either as a half or as a whole ($275 and $425 respectively).

Ogdon said the SSC previously had a swine center that was closed in the fall of 2013 because it was going to cost too much for the building to be refurbished.

Moffitt said the lack of a swine center has made it more difficult for members to get the full experience of working with pigs and the industry, but it hasn’t stopped them.

“At the swine center, they were able to do everything from birth to reproducing,” Moffitt said, “They still get the education members deserve but there’s just not as much hands-on experience as before.”

Moffitt said the SSC is holding their current 10 pigs at the WSU Cattle Feeding Lab.

The SSC will hold the fundraiser again in the fall 2016 semester.

The bacon customers order should be available by Mom’s Weekend in April. The cooperative is charging $6.50 per pound of bacon.

Reporting by Dennis Farrell