The 2015 class of Master Pork Producers was formally introduced by the Iowa Pork Producers Association at the 44th annual Iowa Pork Congress Banquet in Des Moines last night.
This 74th class features 10 Iowa hog farmers or production company employees who were selected and recognized by their peers for excellence in pork production. A slide show highlighting each new Master Pork Producer's operation was shown and the coveted brass belt buckle, emblematic of the award, and a certificate of achievement was presented to each producer.
The 2015 Master Pork Producers are:
- Tom and Kathy Langel, Le Mars, Plymouth Co.
- Leon Puhrmann, Paulina, O'Brien Co.
- Marv and Helene Rietema, Sioux Center, Sioux Co.
- Jim and Lisa Boyer, Ringsted, Emmet Co.
- Alan Bormann, Livermore, Kossuth Co.
- Mike Kuhlemeier, Rockwell, Cerro Gordo Co.
- Keith Wilgenbusch, Winthrop, Buchanan Co.
- Matt and Courtney Gent, Wellman, Washington Co.
IPPA created the Master Pork Partner Award in 2014 to recognize pork production company employees who don't have active daily roles at a specific production site, but have demonstrated positive impacts in their production systems and a commitment to the pork industry's We Care ethical principles.
- Master Pork Partner - Ed Koedam, Larchwood, Lyon Co.
- Master Pork Partner - Bill Steenstra, Independence, Buchanan Co.
Nominated by their peers and neighbors, all of the award winners are recognized for their expertise in their segments of the production cycle and understanding of current industry issues, quality assurance, animal identification and well-being and their production efficiency.
There is considerable diversity and specialization in pork production in Iowa today and it's evident in the 2015 class of Master Pork Producers. The majority of hog farming is still done primarily by farm families and the production diversity helps maintain the strength of the Iowa pork industry and enables Iowa producers to compete successfully in the domestic and international commodity and specialty markets.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa State University co-sponsor the Master Pork Producer program, which began in 1942, to demonstrate the character and breadth of Iowa pork production.