America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in Review

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America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in Review


Don Wick


Brad Greenway, Pork Producer & America's Pig Farmer of the Year, South Dakota




Don Wick:  00:04  From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa, it’s Pork Pod.  Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion, and consumer information projects.  This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Brad Greenway, a pork producer from Mitchell South Dakota and America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. His year’s coming to an end in with that title. And Brad let’s start with that.  Can your recap, review this past year for us?

Brad Greenway:  00:32  You know it really has it’s been it’s been an exciting year.  It’s been a busy year and honestly it’s been very enlightening to myself.  It’s going around and visiting with consumer groups and I think the goal of the Pork Board, when they come up with this, was to get in front of audiences that you think have got a lot of influencer influence.  And some of the examples of what I did is, you know, going to the North American Meat Conference where you have all the retailers.   There’s 200 food service and retail and meatpacking companies and present to them, talk about what we do on our farm.  And going out to Stanford University, meeting with their food service people.  One of the highlights also was at the Taste of Elegance. Every state has a Taste of  Elegance or there was 27 chefs that won the pork Taste of Elegance around the country.

Brad Greenway:  01:20  And to be able to go out to the Culinary Institute in California and talk about what we do on our pig farms every day. And hopefully that will inspire or answer some questions to them and let them ask questions about what we do. So them are the kind of audiences that I was exposed to this year and I hope the goal was just to have some influence that you know what this is what we do on pig farms every day,  all pig farmers, and we’re open about transparency and try to answer your questions.

Don Wick:  01:48  Brad, sometimes I think with consumers it can be a fear of the unknown.  It must be important to be able to open the barn door, so to speak.

Brad Greenway:  01:56  You know I really think it does, and a lot of them, the very large percentage of consumers, or the customers. if you say, they just got good questions,  you know, how do you treat your animals each day. How are you using antibiotics and how will you use it going forward or why did you put your pigs indoors. So all good questions.  Then I think so many of us pig farmers, we maybe take for granted that people understand that and they really don’t. And so it’s just stuff like that, just being a resource for them to be able to ask the questions to I think is a great great thing.  And that was kind of the goal is you know what if they’ve got questions go to the source, go to the person that’s raising the crops or in this case, raising the pigs and ask those the questions to them.

Don Wick:  02:35  You’ve done a lot of social media. Tell us about that.

Brad Greenway:  02:38  You know I really is and again I think my wife, Peggy, it was kind of a team effort this year and I’ve always said that to every group that I go talk to or every producer group and that’s been kind of fun too! I’ve been invited over the last year to go visit with producer groups and I think the goal when I’m talking to them is you know what, everybody’s got a story to tell. Let’s try to do that, and so social media plays a big part in that. You know you can get to so many people, the good and the bad is out there.  And so we need to have more of the good or more of the stuff that’s actually happened. And the other neat thing is through the Pig Farmer, they actually about monthly or every six weeks, they wanted to do a Facebook Live and so I would go into the barn or Peggy and I would go in the barn or us with their granddaughter or employee would be in there talking to what we do and people can real time ask questions.  And literally a month ago we live streamed it out to a retailer out on the West Coast. So they were sitting in the boardroom, 25 or 30 people, and they could ask questions and we were transmitting what happens in our barn and out to the west coast and let them see for themselves and ask questions as we were in the barn.  And so its social media is a big player. Technology is a big thing going forward. There’s a lot of ways you can get what we do every day on the farm out there and technology is going to play a big part in that going forward.

Don Wick:  03:56  Of course Brad, your America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, but that’s really something everybody can do.  Open up their lives really to everybody else and help educate consumers and their customers.

Brad Greenway:  04:05  It really is and I think honestly and I’m truly honored and I hope this last year that I’ve represented all pig farmers. I’ve tried to do that  and I always say if there’s one thing that I hope I accomplish.  There’s always going to be issues out there Don whether it’s talking about antibiotics or pig animal care. You know I hope that we know there’s going to be things going forward but maybe the next generation, there will be one less thing they have to have to think about. If we’ve had a good conversation right now.  So many people, and that’s what I encourage them, you know, where there’s social media, whether they’re just talking to your neighbors, don’t assume that everybody knows what you do right next door to you anymore because farms are continually changing and so don’t assume that.  So every farmer can play a part in getting our message out.  We’ve got a great story to tell,  whether sustainability, how we deal with the environment, we’re a part of the community.

Brad Greenway:  04:52  Every pig farmer can do something, whether social media or whatever it is, I encourage it. And the more you do, the more results you’ll see, the more questions you’ll have.  And I honestly think you get excited about sharing your story because people truly are interested in what we do every day.

Don Wick:  05:05  Brad Greenway America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit