Wednesday night was a night of celebration for the South Dakota swine industry, as leaders were recognized during the South Dakota Master Pork Producers Association Recognition Banquet during that state’s Pork Congress in Sioux Falls.
Edwin Wipf and the Shannon Colony hog team from Winfred was honored as one of three Master Pork Producers. Also honored were Evan and Krina Schoenfelder of Dimrock and Joe Hadley of Brookings. Bob Thaler, South Dakota State University Extension swine specialist, narrated a slide show of each of the Master’s hog operations.
John Wipf of the Oaklane Colony near Alexandria was presented the state’s Pork All-American Award. The award is given by the South Dakota Pork Producers Council to acknowledge pork producers or industry members who have established themselves as dedicated, involved business people and leaders in their community.
SDSU President Barry Dunn was presented with the Dedicated and Distinguished award, which recognizes an individual who provides outstanding and dedicated services to South Dakota’s pork industry. “President Dunn has certainly demonstrated this type of service,” says Mark Fuoss, SDPPC executive board member from Armour. “We are proud to honor him with this award.”
Thaler was honored as the Friend of the Industry, for his continued support of the state’s pork industry.
The pork industry would be nothing if consumers didn’t eat the finished product, and the product doesn’t just sell itself. Matt and Karen Moeller of Wessington were named Pork Promoters of the Year for their active role in telling the pork story. Once a year they open their farm up to the freshman ag class from a nearby high school. They also spend a lot of time traveling with the SDPPC to grill pork products at locations throughout the state in the summer. In his spare time, Matt will also grill pork for graduations, weddings and school functions. In his acceptance, Matt implored others to get involved in promoting pork.
Brad Greenway of Mitchell has been involved in the pork industry at the Davison County, state and national levels. That involvement takes him away from his farm and barns, but the pigs still need to be cared for in his absence. That family involvement is what earned Brad and Peggy Greenway the Family of the Year honors.
SDPPC staff member Stacey Sorlien received the Honorary Pork Producer award for her “passion” for her job as the organization’s program and communications director.
Backyard Grill of Brookings and Sioux Falls was named the Restaurant of the Year, for their efforts in preparing and promoting quality pork products.