The various strains of Landrace swine are the descendants of the famous Danish Landrace hogs that were developed in Denmark. The development of the breed began in about 1895. It resulted from crossing the Large White hog from England with the native swine. It was largely though the use of the Landrace that Denmark became the great bacon-exporting country, with England as the chief market.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture received a shipment of the Danish landrace in 1934 from their native country. Many of those hogs were used in cross breeding by the Department and by Agricultural Experimental stations to which they were made available, and became ancestors of a number of new breeds. The foundation stock of the American Landrace were those hogs that were bred pure or carried a small infusion (one-sixteenth to one-sixty-fourth) of Poland China blood. The Department of Agriculture followed its policy of selling desirable seed stock to private individuals. Thirty eight head of boars and gilts were imported from Norway that carried Norweigan, Danish and Swedish Landrace blood. Their blood is being blended into the American Landrace and gives a broader genetic base to the breed.
There were 3,990 Large White swine registered in England in 1981, ranking them as the top breed of their native country. Furthermore, it is easily the leading breed of the world if one considers that swine called Yorkshires in the United States and Canada are the direct descendants of the Large White. Virtually every country in the world that values swine has made importations of the Large White. The extent of importation seems to reflect the importance placed on swine production by the various countries.
Large Whites are distinguished by their picturesque bearing, erect ears, slightly dished faces, white color, pink skins, and long deep sides. They have been valued for their bacon production since the inception of the breed. As their name suggests, they are characterized by large size.