South Dakota celebrates pork industry leaders

Awards honor individuals, families and stakeholders for their part in helping state’s pork industry succeed.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

January 28, 2021

4 Min Read
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Darwin Brandis/iStock/Getty Images

The South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC) recently awarded several awards, celebrating individuals, families, and stakeholders for their part in helping the state’s pork industry succeed.

Shane Odegaard of Lake Preston, S.D., was honored with the 2020 Pork All-American Award at the Master Pork Producers Banquet during their 52nd annual Pork Congress in Sioux Falls.

Through the Pork All-American award, the SDPPC acknowledges pork producers or industry members who have established themselves as dedicated, involved businesspeople and leaders in their communities.

Odegaard is part of Odegaard Family Farms in Lake Preston, which is made up of himself, Justin & Jenna Odegaard, Randy & Glenda Odegaard, Michelle Malone, Shaun & Kristi Odegaard and his mother Sharon Odegaard. They also have essential team member Ashley Pederson who is a key employee and part of their family farm.

Odegaard Family Farms is a diversified farm that consists of a 700-sow farrow to finish operation, 4,000 head contract nursery, cow/calf and feedlot operation. They also grow corn and soybeans.

Shane stays very active on the local level as he attends zoning hearings in support of legislation. He is serves on the Lake Preston Development Board. He is a past board member of Prairie Ag Partners and past president of the SD Custom Harvesters Association. He is a member of the Lake Preston UCC/UMC church. Also, he is a part of the South Dakota and Kingsbury Cattlemen’s Association, SD Corn Growers and SD Soybean Association. Shane is also representing SDPPC on the Ag United for South Dakota board of directors. Also, was a part of Class VI for SDARL and went through NPB’s PLI program. Shane also participates with legislative events such as Ag Fest in Pierre and Washington D.C. LAC.

Shane is currently serving on the SDPPC executive board as first vice president and will take presidency in January 2021. He also sits on executive committee, annual meeting & trade show committee, producer education and outreach, budget committee, personnel committee and chairman of public policy & regulatory committee.

Family of the Year

The Ferlyn and Karen Hofer Family were celebrated as the 7th annual Family of the Year Award.

The award was created to honor a pork-producing family who has contributed to the long-term success of the industry through leadership and pork promotion on the local, state or /and national level.

Ferlyn Hofer grew up on the family farm East of Canistota where his parents had a Farrow to Feeder pig, and eventually a farrow-to-finish farm. After graduation from Canistota High School in 1978, he started his own 75-sow farrow-to-finish operation using outside finishing lots one mile north of his parents’ farm. In the early 1980's, even with high interest rates, he expanded his hog operation to 150 sows, built a new farrowing, nursery, and finishing barns. 

Ferlyn and Karen were married in 1987 and over the years working together grew their sow herd to approx. 350 sows. In 1991 they purchased the original family farm where Ferlyn grew up and now the Gestation and Farrowing is located at the home farm and the Nursey and Finishers are at the farm Ferlyn started. They also raise corn and soybeans where they grind their own corn in their feed mill for feed for the sows and pigs.

Both Ferlyn and Karen are active with SD Pork Producers Council with Ferlyn serving on the executive board and committees and as past president. Karen is also active on the trade show committee and helps out with pork promotions. Ferlyn is currently a supervisor for Greenland Township, past Cenex board member and they are members of United Church of Canistota where they have both served on Church Council.

Pork Promoter of the Year

Robert Rasmussen of Hurley was awarded the 7th annual Pork Promoter of the Year Award

“This is the seventh year for this award that South Dakota Pork Producers Council is offering to recognize their peers. The award was designed to recognize an individual or family, organization, company or county group who has done an outstanding job promoting pork and/or the pork industry on a local, state or regional level. We are proud to honor Robert with this award, he is willing to go above and beyond to help promote pork,” commented SDPPC executive board member and association services and membership committee chairman, Greg Feenstra of Huron.

Robert Rasmussen runs a family farm near Hurley, South Dakota with his two brothers. They have a diversified farm consisting of row crops, feeder cattle and hogs. He currently has 3 sow farms and a finishing site. Robert raises Berkshires and Duroc pigs and they go through the Heritage pork system.

Robert is very active in the Viborg community and Turner County area and also serves with the Turner County Pork Producers. He is also a part of the Swine Breeders Association and have helped make big improvements to the South Dakota State Fair swine barn.

Robert is currently serving on the South Dakota Pork Producers Council executive board, chairman of the DE Committee and sits on the budget committee, production and profitability committee and swine health advisory committee. He has also served on several committees at National Pork Board.  

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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