Illinois Farmer Named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year

Patrick Bane receives 2018 award from Pork Checkoff

HOUSTON – October 4, 2018 – Patrick Bane, a pig farmer from Arrowsmith, Illinois, has been named the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM by achieving the highest combined score from a third-party judging panel and online voting. The award recognizes a pig farmer who excels at raising pigs using the We CareSM ethical principles and who connects with today’s consumers about how pork is produced.

“We are pleased to have Patrick represent America’s pig farmers. He embodies the very best in pig farming,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “It’s important that we tell today’s consumers how we raise their food in an ethical and transparent way. Patrick’s interest in sharing his farm’s story, as well as putting a face on today’s pig farming, will help us reach this goal.”

Raising pigs has been a life-long passion for Bane, whose family has been raising pigs for three generations. Bane raises 74,000 pigs on his farm in central Illinois, where he focuses on protecting public health, hiring the best people and maintaining herd health.

“It’s our responsibility to show the public that we are doing the right things to care for our animals and keep them healthy,” Bane said. “We need to foster an increased understanding about how food is raised using today’s modern technology. It’s not only good for us as farmers, but it’s good for consumers. You can’t drive that point home enough. We have a lot of good, positive stories to share.”

Bane was named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year following a third-party audit of his on-farm practices and after taking part in a series of written and oral interviews by subject-matter experts. He has achieved excellence in all aspects of pig farming, including animal care, environmental stewardship, employee work environment and outstanding community service.

The panel of expert judges, who met in late August with the four finalists, were Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Sarah Hendren, RDN, nutrition and quality assurance manager at Culver’s; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range®, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; J. Scott Vernon, professor, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Cal Poly; and Leon Sheets, 2017 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year from Ionia, Iowa.

To learn more about Bane and the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Award, visit americaspigfarmer.com.

Download photo of Patrick Bane.


The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at pork.org.