Bacon Hill Farms, owned by Danny and Josie Kluthe of Dodge, is one of four U.S. hog farms selected by the Pork Checkoff as 2013 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards.
Bacon Hill Farm was recognized on how it seamlessly mixes pork production and cutting-edge technology, according to the Pork Checkoff, which announced the winners.
The operation is well-known for its anaerobic manure digester that 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, according to a Pork Checkoff news release.
Other producers honored are Russell Brothers LLC, Monticello, Iowa; Krikke Pork, Greenwich, Ohio; and Blue Mountain Farms, Milford, Utah.
The farms are focused on protecting natural resources while minimizing their environmental footprint.
"From turning manure into fuel to operate farm vehicles to generating enough power to light up 3,000 homes, the 2013 stewards are putting their own stamp on raising high-quality pork for customers," says Lynn Harrison, chair of the Environmental Stewards selection committee.
The four farms are also adhering to the pork industry's We Care ethical principles in raising their animals.
Winners were chosen based on a range of factors, including their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor control work and farm aesthetics.
The Kluthe's alternative energy enterprise, called Olean Energy, is operated as a separate company. It is Nebraska's first on-farm generator powered by manure methane.