2012 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award-winning Dahl Family Farms uses cutting-edge technology to improve the environment for both people and pigs. "We don't want to be just another name on that abstract," Wayne says. "We want to leave a legacy. Wayne and his wife, Laura, combine a love of the land with their passion for pigs on their Minnesota farm.
Enjoy this photographic tour of Dahl Family Farms. Learn more about the operation by reading the story, "Living for the Legacy," published in the Sept. 15, 2012 issue of National Hog Farmer . Take a video tour of the farm in the Video Section of the National Hog Farmer Web site.
1. Leaving a Family Legacy
The extended Dahl family includes four grandchildren who enjoy their frequent visits to the farm. "It is because of them that land stewardship means so much to us," Laura Dahl says. "It will be their generation and the ones that follow who will enjoy the rewards of good stewardship and the beauty and entertainment that only nature can provide."
2. Welcome to Dahl Family Farms
Visitors to the Dahl farmstead are welcomed by a variety of whimsical characters that provide a fun-loving touch to the many gardens that Laura maintains.
3. Gardens Attract Birds
Intricate gardens add color to the Dahl farmstead while attracting a variety of birds.
4. Pork Production with an Eye Toward Conservation
Make no mistake, this is a serious pork production operation. Just north of the farm's well-established grove of windbreak trees is a 4,400-head nursery and four finishing barns that house 1,100 head each. Pigs are grown on contract for Mill Farm.
5. Tree and Windbreak Plantings Border the Farm
Under the Conservation Stewardship Program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Dahl family incorporated new tree and windbreak plantings on the north and west side of their hog buildings.
6. Electrostatic Particulate Ionization (EPI) Aids Indoor Environments
A cutting-edge technology called Electrostatic Particulate Ionization (EPI) sprays trillions of negatively charged ions into the air every second to help reduce dust levels in buildings and maintain a healthy environment.
7. Technology Helps Reduce Dust
The Dahls say technologies such as electrostatic particulate ionization mean fewer odor-carrying dust particles are leaving the barns through the ventilation systems.
8. Native Grasses Are Part of the Conservation Plan
Tree and windbreak plantings, areas of native grass and generous grass buffer strips along drainage ditches illustrate the emphasis the Dahl family places on environmental stewardship.
9. Welcoming Wildlife
Native grasses and wide buffer strips support a variety of birds and other wildlife.Laura has been building a birder's paradise since the first day she and Wayne took over the farm.
10. Growing Corn and Soybeans
Wayne teams up with his brother, David, to grow 1,800 acres of corn and soybeans.
11. Keeping Things Tidy
The Dahls maintain a generous area of crushed gravel around their nursery-to-finish site.
12. Welcoming Visitors
A neat, tidy appearance welcomes visitors to this facility in Lac Qui Parle County, MN.
13. Wayne and Laura Dahl are 2012 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award Winners
Congratulations to Wayne and Laura Dahl, 2012 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award Winners!