One of the nation’s largest pork production companies in North Carolina has filed for bankruptcy and is expected to probably liquidate its 30,000-sow operation as the hog industry continues to struggle to survive.

Clinton, NC-based Coharie Hog Farm was ranked as the 22nd-largest pork producer in the country by Successful Farming magazine.

“Coharie Hog Farm did in fact file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which calls for an orderly liquidation of all the animals and the assets of the company,” says Curtis Barwick, acting land and environmental manager for Coharie Farms.

The Fayette Observer quoted court papers saying the company will attempt to reorganize and continue operating. But if sufficient credit isn’t available, it will liquidate. The Raleigh News and Observer quoted owner Anne Faircloth as saying she plans to liquidate the company and lay off some of its 170 employees.

Faircloth is the daughter of Lauch Faircloth, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina who founded the company in 1972.

The North Carolina company produces 190 million pounds of pork annually and contracts with 101 farm families in North Carolina and Indiana to raise hogs, according to the Observer. Bankruptcy documents say the company lost $13.3 million in 2008 and $17 million so far this year.