Individuals nominated for Belle Ringer and Hog Wild awards show highest qualities of leadership, dedication and commitment.

February 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Iowa State Fair

The men and women involved in Iowa’s pork industry are both enthusiastic and dedicated to the work they do to promote pork and pig production in the state, as well as providing leadership to their county organizations. That’s why the Iowa Pork Producers Association tips its hat each year to these local leaders.

The nominees and state winners were announced at the Iowa Pork Congress in late January.

Belle Ringer award winners

Three women from across Iowa were nominated for the state Belle Ringer award. Each was recognized for the key role she plays in her county pork producer organization.

  • Buchanan — Kalynn Cavanaugh, Oelwein, has served on the Buchanan County Pork Producers board of directors for three years. She assists with many promotional activities, including at the pork producers food booth at the Buchanan County Fair; the Iowa Eats Food & Drink Festival in Waterloo; and pork grilling events.

  • Delaware — Kelley Ries, Manchester, has served on the Delaware County Pork Producers board of directors for more than six years. She plays a vital role in the contests for county pork queen and other youth royalty; helps with annual pie-baking contests; assists with pork educational efforts; and serves pork meals to area residents.

  • Washington — Jaelyn Hesseltine, Washington, has served on the Washington County Pork Producers board of directors for three years, including as vice president and president. She strives to keep all members better informed about activities. She led the effort to organize volunteers for the Iowa Pork Tent during the 2023 Iowa State Fair; opened a WCPP Instagram account and posts about the industry; grilled at local events; and helped with presenting pork facts to attendees at the annual Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere Foundation outing in Riverside.

Hesseltine was named the winner of the state Belle Ringer award, presented by IPPA.

Hog Wild award winners

Four men from across Iowa were nominated for the top Hog Wild Award. Each of the nominees was recognized for the key role he plays in his county pork producer organization.

  • Buchanan — Lucas Cavanaugh, Oelwein, is a three-year member of his county board of directors. Like his wife Kalynn, who was nominated for the Belle Ringer award, he is active with promotional activities, including at the Buchanan County Fair pork producers food stand; the Iowa Eats Food & Drink Festival in Waterloo; and pork grilling events.

  • Cherokee — Rod Parker, Cherokee, has served for 19 years on his county’s board of directors, including as vice president and grilling chairman. Parker has helped coordinate many projects, and participated with activities like grilling at the Iowa Pork Tent during the Iowa State Fair.

  • Delaware — Jim Shover, Hopkinton, has been on his county board of directors for many years, including three as president. Shover has served as pork superintendent of the Delaware County Fair, and represented pork producers on the fair livestock sale committee. He works with 4-H and FFA youth during the fair and throughout the year.

  • Plymouth — Andy Schroeder, Le Mars, has served on his county’s board of directors for 10 years, including four as president. He has coordinated many projects, including donating hams to area food pantries during the holidays, as well as to local service members, police officers, medical professionals, and firefighters. He helps with promotions during October Pork Month, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and the Plymouth County Fair; educates college students about meat processing; and actively communicates industry voices to legislators.

Schroeder was selected as the state winner of the Hog Wild Award, presented by IPPA.

The individuals nominated for both the Belle Ringer and Hog Wild awards show the highest qualities of leadership, dedication and commitment to the activities that promote the Iowa pork industry. The IPPA promotion committee selects the nominees and winners of the state awards.

The county organizations that nominated the state winners each received $250; the county organizations nominating the others each earned $100.

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