The Pork Checkoff has selected four pork production operations to receive the 2006 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Awards. These operations have demonstrated their commitment to protecting the environment while conducting their day-to-day activities.
This year's honorees are:
- Braun Farms of Le Sueur, Minn.,
- Harrison Creek Farm of Auxvasse, Mo.,
- Bobcat Farms of Clinton, N.C., and
- Hord Livestock of Bucyrus, Ohio.
The environmental stewards were selected by judges drawn from pork producers, academia and environmental organizations. The judges looked for pork producers from throughout the country who were representative of the pork industry's commitment to minimizing its footprint on the environment. Farms were evaluated on their manure management systems; water and soil conservation practices; odor-control strategies; farm aesthetics and neighbor relations; wildlife habitat promotion; innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.
To be eligible, producers completed an application or were nominated by their state pork association.
"Every year we get an exceptional group of producers apply or be nominated for the Environmental Steward Awards," says Lynn Harrison, a member of the environment committee and a pork producer from Elk Mound, Wis. "This year was no different. These producers go to great lengths to farm responsibly, protecting the resources and their environment, nurturing relationships with their neighbors and their community and helping us improve the image of our industry.
"Each one of the award winning operations deals with a different environment, different inputs, different type of soil, different regulations, etc. Each one of them employs sound environmental management practices to deal with its particular situation," says Harrison who is a past environmental steward award recipient. "We believe this commitment and responsibility is representative of all U.S. pork producers."
Award recipients will receive the recognition of their peers at the 2007 National Pork Industry Forum in Anaheim, Calif.
"As pork producers, we recognize all the work involved in managing an operation. These producers go the extra mile to protect the environment, promote wildlife, nurture community and enhance our industry's image," says Harrison. "It is appropriate that a group of their peers recognize them for their efforts."