Wuebker Farms LLC, of Versailles, recently received the 2010 Ohio Pork Producers Council's Environmental Stewardship Award at the Ohio Livestock Coalition's 13th Annual Meeting. The annual award recognizes the many accomplishments made by family farmers to protect Ohio's land, air and water quality and conserve the state's natural resources.
"Wuebker Farms has raised hogs for decades and has consistently demonstrated that their commitment to quality extends not only to the animals they raise, but also to the environmental practices implemented daily on the farm," says David White, OLC executive director. "The farm is an exemplary representation of the goals that the Coalition has for all livestock farmers."
Wuebker Farms raises more than 40,000 hogs each year. The farm has taken several proactive measures to protect the environment. One example is that the farm has switched to no-till practices and has utilized reduced tillage on all corn acres for best management of manure and nutrients. Additionally, the Wuebkers use local manure resources from other farmers on their rented ground farther away to lower their carbon footprint. Wuebker Farms also is very involved in their local community and continually works to educate the general public about agriculture.
Maken Bacon Farm, of Nevada, received the 2010 OLC and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Neighbor of the Year Award. The annual award recognizes two rural residents – one farmer and one non-farmer – who have positively developed and enhanced relationships between neighbors in Ohio's farm communities.
"Being a good neighbor means being responsible, courteous and respectful of others," says White. "While there were many solid nominations this year, Maken Bacon Farm was chosen because they continually seek to go above and beyond what's expected of them."
Nominated by the Ohio Pork Producers Council, Maken Bacon Farm is committed to being a responsible hog farmer and a leader in the local community. The farm is respectful of their neighbors and makes it a priority to keep their farm looking clean and presentable at all times. In addition, the farm avoids hauling manure on weekends and holidays to reduce odors when neighbors are home.
Maken Bacon Farm also is very active in their local community. The farm has participated in Operation Main Street, which is a National Pork Board program to encourage hog farmers to tell the industry's story of innovation, quality and stewardship to civic groups and community leaders. The farm routinely hosts open houses and tours to educate legislators and neighbors. They donate pork and sausage to churches and school events each year. For the past year, the farm has also donated hogs to OPPC's statewide effort, Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Ohio, which hopes to donate 500,000 meals to foodbanks across the state by Oct. 31, 2010.