The sustainable nature of modern agriculture is reflected in the four farms that have been honored as the 2013 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards.
“The forward-thinking 2013 Stewards focus on innovative solutions and ideas on their farms,” said Lynn Harrison, chair of the Environmental Stewards selection subcommittee and former president of the National Pork Board.
The Pork Industry Environmental Stewards award, now in its 19th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities.
You can view the videos of this year’s award winners, who include:
Russell Brothers LLC, Monticello, Iowa. Jason and Sarah Russell are building on a family legacy that can be traced back to the Civil War when the Russell family established its roots in Linn County, Iowa. They farm with Jason’s brother, Eric, and raise pigs, corn, soybeans and hay on 390 owned acres and 160 custom-farmed acres. They market more than 14,000 hogs a year as part of The Maschhoff production network. A 50-kilowatt wind turbine helps the farm conserve electric energy by generating 60 to 80 percent of the farm’s needs.
Bacon Hill Farm, Dodge, Neb. Fifth-generation family famers Danny and Josie Kluthe seamlessly mix pork production and cutting-edge technology. An anaerobic manure digester on site uses natural gas to supplement fuel for their farm’s vehicles and help provide electricity to area homes. The Kluthes have six 1,000-head finishing barns and market about 15,000 finisher hogs annually. They grow corn and soybeans on 280 acres and raise 100 chickens every year for family and friends. Being good environmental stewards is key to all of their endeavors at Bacon Hill.
Krikke Pork, Greenwich, Ohio. Howard and Jane Krikke raise replacement gilts for Kalmbach Swine Management, based in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Since 2006, Krikke Pork has been home to two 2,500-head wean-to-finish buildings, bordered on the south and west by 30 acres of native hardwoods. State-of-the-art technology is the watchword in the two barns, which house 5,000 wean-to-finish pigs. This includes tunnel ventilation, drop curtains, self-contained pits, flip-to-clean feeders and Integra-link feed tank monitoring.
Blue Mountain Farm, Milford, Utah. Blue Mountain site 42304, located in the high desert of southern Utah, produces 55,000 hogs annually in 10 feeder-to-finish barns. The farm, a Murphy-Brown subsidiary and offshoot of Smithfield Foods, takes steps to minimize its environmental footprint and give back to the community, says Jim Webb, environmental, safety and public affairs manager for Circle Four. Blue Mountain farm supplies manure to Alpental Energy Partners, which uses anaerobic digesters and large Cat engines to produce electricity.
Ethical Principles Enhance High-Quality Pork
The Pork Industry Environmental Stewards winners were chosen earlier this year based on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics, neighbor relations, wildlife habitat promotion and innovative ideas used to protect the environment. The judges represented pork producers and environmental organizations.
The 2013 Environmental Stewards will be recognized at the 2014 National Pork Industry Forum next March in Kansas City, Mo.
These farms join other pork operations across the country in their commitment to protecting natural resources while minimizing the environmental footprint, Harrison said.
“From turning manure into fuel to operate farm vehicles, to generating enough power to light up to 3,000 homes, the 2013 Stewards are putting their own stamp on raising high-quality pork for customers. Like other farms, they are doing all while adhering to the industry’s We CareSM ethical principles.”