The National Pork Board is accepting applications for its 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award through March 13 at americaspigfarmer.com. The award recognizes a U.S. pork producer who demonstrates excellence in raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and in sharing his or her story with the public.
“It has been an honor to represent America’s Pig Farmers,” said Keith Schoettmer, a pig farmer from Indiana and the first America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. “I encourage people to nominate excellent pig farmers who want to represent their farm and our industry.”
Schoettmer has participated in several events since being named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in October. This has included taking part in a media tour in New York City and speaking at a congressional briefing in Washington, DC, hosted by the American Humane Association.
Third-party judges again will help determine the final award recipient, with the winner announced during National Pork Month in October. The U.S. public also will play a role in the final outcome by viewing short video clips of the award finalists on their farms at americaspigfarmer.com and by voting for finalists through the Pork Checkoff’s social media outlets.
“This award brings to life the National Pork Board’s commitment to building consumer trust through on-farm transparency and accountability,” said National Pork Board President Derrick Sleezer, who is a pig farmer from Cherokee, IA. “The ideal candidate will have a focus on environmental sustainability, as well as animal welfare, production efficiency, the adoption of best practices and a commitment to continuous improvement. I encourage pork producers to consider nominating an outstanding candidate.”
While nominations are being accepted now through March 13, any U.S. pig farmer who is 30 years of age or older on Jan. 1 can apply Feb. 1 through March 13. Instructions and frequently asked questions can be found at americaspigfarmer.com or via a link on pork.org. Specific details also will be available through state pork associations.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management.