Four pork production operations have been selected to represent the industry as 2008 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Awards. The Pork Checkoff and its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, have awarded this honor to four U.S. pork producing operations that have demonstrated a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and the communities that surround them. This year's award recipients are:
• Enterprise Nurseries of Madrid, Neb.
• Oetting Farms of Concordia, Mo.,
• O'Neel Farms of Friend, Neb., and
• Veldkamp Farms of Jasper, Minn.,
The environmental steward award winners were selected by judges drawn from pork producers and environmental organizations. The judges reviewed the applications of pork producers committed to minimizing the pork industry's footprint on the environment. Their operations were evaluated on their manure management systems; water and soil conservation practices; odor-control strategies; farm aesthetics and neighbor relations; wildlife habitat promotion; innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.
"We receive a great set of pork producer applications and nominations every year. These operations are committed to doing things right for the environment, for their families and for U.S. agriculture," said Randy Brown, chair of the environmental stewards selection subcommittee and member of the National Pork Board. "Pork producers generally chose to do things right. Farming is their livelihood and protecting the natural resources is part of doing business and part of every day life. These producers went one step further because they chose to represent the industry and apply for this award," he added. Randy Brown's family operation received the environmental steward award in 2005.
Award recipients will receive the recognition of their peers at the 2009 National Pork Industry Forum in Dallas, Texas.