The Pork Checkoff, along with its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, honored the 2014 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards at the 2015 National Pork Industry Forum held in San Antonio, Texas, last week. The award, in its 20th year, recognizes producers who are dedicated to safeguarding the environment and contributing to their local communities.
The 2014 award recipients are:
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,” says 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, these stewards have put their own stamp on raising high-quality pork for customers.”
Like past Steward Award recipients, 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 Care ethical principles.
The Environmental Stewards Award program ends its 20-year run with this class. A new award from the NPB, America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, is set to begin on April 1, which builds on the foundation of the longtime Stewards Award. More information on this new program can be found at americaspigfarmer.com and pork.org.