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Five honored for exceptional commitment to pig care

Article-Five honored for exceptional commitment to pig care

Zoetis is honoring five exemplary pig caregivers with the Honoring Caregivers award for their contributions to the pork industry. The recipients were selected from 250 nominations.

“We received outstanding nominations for this year’s Honoring Caregivers awards. Each year, the nominees raise the bar,” says Mike Kuhn, Zoetis U.S. Pork Technical Services director. “It’s so rewarding to hear these great stories of people who are committed to the health and well-being of pigs. These honorees set examples for others who work with pigs and we’re excited to honor them for their efforts.”

The 2015 Honoring Caregivers award recipients are:

  • Amilcar Duarte, a breeding production assistant at KMAX Paradise Pork in Austin, Minn., works tirelessly to ensure pigs are well cared for. He often visits the barn in the evenings during extreme temperatures to make sure all the pigs are comfortable. Duarte makes responsible treatment for sick pigs a top priority; ensuring pigs are treated at the right time for the right condition. 
  • John Finn, a site manager for a farrow-to-wean unit at HC Feeders Inc. in New Hampton, Iowa, is held in high regard by his team. His leadership has resulted in a 50% reduction in employee turnover. Finn believes proper animal handling is one of the keys to raising healthy pigs. He was instrumental in improving farm facilities to create a better environment for pigs and farm employees.
  • Marian Lehman, a contract grower of finishing pigs for Country View Family Farms in Bloomsburg, Pa., makes raising pigs a family affair with the help of her husband and two daughters. Her biosecurity protocols are closely followed to minimize disease and prevent pigs from getting sick. Their farm continues to score at the top of the chart for biosecurity audits for Country View Family Farms.
  • Tim Morgan, a sow farm manager with AMVC in Audubon, Iowa, feels that approaching pig care on an individual basis is key to ensuring sick pigs are treated with the right product at the right time. He works diligently with his staff to ensure all caregivers can recognize signs of illness quickly to address any health concerns.
  • Dan Reetzke, a farm manager for PIC USA Inc. in Kentucky, manages three separate sites: farrow-to-finish, nursery and finishing. Along with veterinarians and his additional caregivers, Reetzke has been working attentively to eliminate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae from the herd.

The five award recipients will be honored during a reception at Zoetis headquarters in Florham Park, N.J., this month. Each honoree also will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

An independent panel of judges evaluated the nominees based on their demonstration of commitment to the three pillars of superior pig care.

  • Proper treatment — commitment to the responsible use of antibiotics to protect both animal and human health
  • Proper disease prevention — commitment to maintaining proper biosecurity, hygiene and vaccination protocols to prevent disease
  • Proper pig handling — commitment to proper pig handling techniques to ensure pig well-being

For more information on the Honoring Caregivers award including the official contest rules, visit

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