The Pork Checkoff, along with its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, has selected two pork farms to be honored as the 2014 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 20th year, recognizes producers who are dedicated to safeguarding the environment and contributing to their local communities.
The 2014 award recipients are:
• Bruce and Jenny Wessling, Grand Junction, IA
• David and Sharon Stephens, Malta Bend, MO.
The judges for the 2014 award represented pork producers and environmental organizations from across the country. The committee reviewed applications from pig farmers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment.
The applicants' farms were evaluated based on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics and neighbor relations, and wildlife habitat promotion. The applicants also authored an essay on the importance of environmental stewardship on their farm and how they implement innovative ideas to create tangible actions to safeguard and protect the environment.
"The 2014 Stewards clearly understand the comprehensive approach that producers need to take in raising pigs today," said Lynn Harrison, chair of the Environmental Stewards selection subcommittee and former president of the National Pork Board. "These farms clearly show how bright ideas can become innovative solutions. From relying more on solar power to giving back to their communities, the 2014 Stewards have put their own stamp on raising high-quality pork for customers."
Like past Stewards, the Wessling and Stephens families manage their farms with an eye on sustainability and on their local communities. And they do so while adhering to the U.S. pork industry's We CareSM ethical principles.
The 2014 Environmental Stewards will be recognized by their peers at the 2015 National Pork Industry Forum next March in San Antonio, Texas. Videos featuring their farms can be viewed now on pork.org.