The National Pork Board on Wednesday announced an expert judging panel that brings a wide range of interests into the task of selecting its first-ever America's Pig Farmer of the Year.
The five members of the panel include Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association; Carlos Saviani, vice president of the World Wildlife Fund's U.S. food team; Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert to the Kansas City Royals; Chris Soules, a farmer from Arlington, Iowa, and television star from The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars; and Dr. Jodi Sterle, an associate professor of animal science at Iowa State University and nationally known youth advisor in livestock exhibition.
"We are very pleased to have such a diverse and impressive group of experts to judge the finalists in the very first America's Pig Farmer of the Year Award," said Derrick Sleezer, National Pork Board president and pig farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. "It was important to our farmer leaders that we create a unique judging panel that was not only objective, but brought a whole new level of diversity of views to the table. And with this group, we think we accomplished that goal."
"As an animal lover and the leader of the country's first national humane organization, I am honored to have been asked to serve as a judge for America's Pig Farmer of the Year," Ganzert said. "American Humane Association celebrates all those, including our nation's farmers, who care for animals and work hard to ensure they are treated humanely."
The entire expert panel of judges will gather in Chicago to fulfill their duties. They will judge an on-farm video produced at each of the four finalists' farms and then conduct an in-person interview with each one.
The public can view each finalist's video and cast its vote for its favorite farmer from Sept. 1 through 10 by going to the America's Pig Farmer website. The final winner will be announced Oct. 7.
Source: National Pork Board