By Darcy Maulsby
When it comes to community, it’s important to be a good representative of pork production and agriculture in general. This motivates Jenny Wessling and her husband Bruce, who are pork producers from Grand Junction, Iowa.
“It’s essential for any business to have the trust of their community,” she said. “And of course, trust is always earned. One way to earn it is to work to support others and their endeavors.”
“Pork producers have the added challenge of reminding the public that we are families and want the same things that they want for their families.”
– Jenny Wessling, Iowa
There are so many ways to get involved, Wessling said. Her family supports the community by grilling for the high school football team and at Relay for Life, donating to prom, volunteering at the county fair and being members of BOOST (Bringing Optimism and Opportunities to Students and Teachers). The group raised money so Greene County school teachers can provide supplies, field trips and wish-list items that may not be possible otherwise.
“Pork producers have the added challenge of reminding the public that we are families and want the same things that they want for their families,” Wessling said. “We raise our children on this farm and hope they may one day want to live here also. That means we’re looking for the best way to ensure the longevity of our communities.”
Wessling has organized fun ways to promote wellness in her community, including teaching a women’s fitness class.
“We not only work on our strength and flexibility, but we solve the world’s problems while we do it,” she said. “It’s a great way to stay in touch with the public and discuss issues of the times.”
The Wesslings also continually participate in events to educate the public about the benefits of buffers, trees and terraces, as well as their jobs as pork producers.
“Promoting safe, responsible pork production isn’t a once-and-done project; it’s ongoing,” Wessling said. “The respect we show family and neighbors is without a doubt carried through to our pigs and the care they receive. As farmers, we need to let people get to know us and trust that we do what is honest and sincere.”
Producers affirm their obligation to contribute to a better quality of life in their communities.
- Recognize being welcomed and appreciated by the community is a privilege that must be earned and maintained.
- Acknowledge that their practices can affect the trust a community has in pork production and in pig farms.
- Operate in a manner that protects the environment and public health.
- Play an active role in building a strong community.
- Acknowledge community concerns and address them in an honest and sincere manner.