The National Pork Board has announced the four finalists who are vying to become 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. The program honors a U.S. pig farmer each year who excels at raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and is committed to sharing his or her farming story with the American public.
“The four finalists represent the diversity of the pork industry in the United States,” said National Pork Board President Jan Archer, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “They exemplify the best in pig farming and in taking the lead on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.
The 2016 finalists:
-Craig Andersen – Centerville, South Dakota
-Jarrod Bakker – Dike, Iowa
-Brad Greenway – Mitchell, South Dakota
-Maria Mauer – Greensburg, Indiana
From Sept. 1 through Sept. 10, the public can vote once a day per person per email address for their favorite finalist at www.americaspigfarmer.com. The winner will be announced Oct. 11.
About the Finalists
Craig Andersen – Centerville, South Dakota
Farming is a family tradition for Andersen, who grew up and now lives on his family’s Century Farm. He and his wife, Gail, and children, Tyler, Jacob and Emily, raise pigs in modern barns and market 6,000 pigs annually. Andersen Farm also raises corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and cattle.
Jarrod Bakker – Dike, Iowa
Raising pigs has been a life-long passion for Bakker, who grew up on a farrow-to-finish pig farm. Bakker, along with his brother, Jordan, and wife, Shari, own Bakker Bros. Genetics. The 50-sow farm markets 1,000 pigs annually. Bakker also works for Fast Genetics, where he sells breeding stock to farmers across the country.
Brad Greenway – Mitchell, South Dakota
Focusing on doing what’s right has been Greenway’s goal in raising pigs for the past 40 years on his family farm. Greenway and his wife, Peggy, own two 2,400-head, modern wean-to-finish pig barns. They also have a cow-calf operation and raise corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. The Greenways are also part owners in a 4,000-head sow farm where they source their pigs.
Maria Mauer – Greensburg, Indiana
Providing sows with a clean, comfortable environment is step No. 1 for Mauer at Smiley Brothers, Inc. Marketing 18,000 pigs per year, Smiley Brothers is a farrow-to-finish operation. Mauer also believes in the importance in teaching her five-year old son life lessons by bringing him to the barn with her to care for the sows.
About the Expert Judging Panel
Members of the five-member panel are Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; Justin Ransom, senior director, supply chain management at McDonald’s USA; Jodi Sterle, an associate professor of animal science at Iowa State University; and Keith Schoettmer, the 2015 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.
Source: National Pork Board