The competition to find the 2016 American Pig Farmer of the Year is open, but only to those over the age of 30. Now in its second year, the annual award seeks to promote industry best practices and pork producers will have to demonstrate they adhere to the National Pork Board’s strict ethical principles.
These include: promoting animal wellbeing; producing safe food; protecting public health; safeguarding natural resources and protecting the environment; providing employees with pork education; and giving something back to the community.
Recognise pork progress
“As an animal lover and the leader of the country’s first national humane organisation, I am honoured to have been asked to serve as a judge for America’s Pig Farmer of the Year,” said Dr Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association.
“The American Humane Association celebrates all those, including our nation’s farmers, who care for animals and work hard to ensure they are treated humanely.
“Today, more than ever, it is important not only to point out where progress is needed, but to recognise when we get it right. I look forward to learning about these farmers who are working to give America’s families food that is safe, affordable, abundant, and in line with their values.”
Bridge a knowledge gap
The award’s first-ever winner, Keith Schoettmer from Indiana, has encouraged other pig farmers to apply for the award too.
“This is a much-needed program that allows us to open our barn doors and show consumers what is really happening on pig farms across the US,” he said.
The award has created somewhat of a buzz in the niche US pork farming community. The hashtag #RealPigFarming has been used hundreds of times, with pork producers sharing their farming practices on Twitter.