The Symbol of Excellence program was initiated in 1984 as a joint effort between the MSU Extension Service and Montana Pork Producers Council as a means of recognizing youth and swine breeders who select and raise market hogs that meet carcass merit standards and who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in producing quality pork products. Data collected on over 1200 head annually demonstrates the dramatic progress that has been made in the quantity and quality of pork obtained from modern hogs.