The Poland China pig, named after the Hankinson Farm in Blue Ball, Warren County, Ohio where it was first bred in 1816, is a distinguished American breed renowned for its meat production prowess. Hailing from the Miami Valley, Butler, and Warren counties in Ohio, these pigs boast a commanding presence with their big-framed, long-bodied, lean, and muscular build, earning them a leading role in U.S. pork production in pounds of hog per sow per year. Notably, they hold the distinction of being the oldest American breed of swine.
Derived from a blend of various swine breeds including the Berkshire and Hampshire, Poland China pigs typically sport a striking black coat, occasionally adorned with six white patches. Their large size is legendary, epitomized by Big Bill, the largest hog ever recorded at a staggering 2,552 lb (1,157 kg), proudly bearing the Poland China lineage.
The historic roots of the Poland China hog trace back to the Hankinson Farm, where the breed was meticulously developed. A testament to this milestone is a monument erected near the site of the original breeding ground, symbolizing the breed's enduring legacy. Although the farm was eventually sold for the development of the Towne Mall in Middletown, Ohio, in the early 1970s, the monument was carefully relocated across the street on Cincinnati Dayton Road, serving as a reminder of the breed's storied origins.
While the Hankinson Farm claims credit for the breed's inception, competing claims suggest that David M. Magie, residing at the Austin-Magie Farm near Oxford, Ohio, was the true pioneer of Poland China breeding. Despite these differing narratives, the Poland China pig remains an enduring symbol of American swine breeding excellence, cherished for its remarkable contributions to the pork industry.