Source: National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has opened voting on the 2018 America's Pig Farmer of the Year program with four finalists in the running. The program honors a U.S. pig farmer who excels at raising pigs following the We Care ethical principles, and is committed to sharing their farming story with the public.
Steve Rommereim, president, NPB, noted that the four finalists "demonstrate how pig farmers embrace the We Care ethical principles as their daily standard of care. They represent these principles by being the best in pig farming."
The four finalists include Patrick Bane, Arrowsmith, Ill.; Bill Luckey, Columbus, Neb.; Brad Lundell, Kiron, Iowa; and Kevin Rasmussen, Goldfield, Iowa.
As part of the program, the four finalists will meet with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago. The judges will view videos produced at the finalists' farms and will interview each. The judges include Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Sarah Hendren, RDN, nutrition quality assurance manager, Culver's; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principle of Range, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm, J. Scott Vernon, professor, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Cal Poly; and Leon Sheets, 2017 America's Pig Farmer of the Year.
Through Aug 29, the public can vote once per day per person per email address for their favorite finalist at americaspigfarmer.com. The winner will be announced the week of Oct. 1 based on judges' scores and online voting.
Learn more about the finalists:
Patrick Bane, Arrowsmith, Ill. – Bane's family has been raising pigs for three generations. He has 74,000 pigs on his farm in west-central Illinois.
Bill Luckey, Columbus, Neb. – Luckey is a fourth-generation farmer and along with his wife and three sons markets 10,000 pigs per year. They also raise cattle, corn and soybeans.
Brad Lundell, Kiron, Iowa – Lundell is a fifth-generation producer who hopes consumers see why pig farming is family oriented. In addition to pigs, the Lundell family raises turkeys, corn and soybeans.
Kevin Rasmussen, Goldfield, Iowa – Rasmussen markets 26,000 pigs a year from his farrow-to-finish operation. The fourth-generation producer considers employees who work for him as family.