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NPB: Various Honours Awarded for 2008 Announced

by 5m Editor
9 March 2009, at 10:45am

US - The National Pork Board has given recognition to the latest class of Environmental Steward Award winners at the National Pork Industry Forum in Dallas, Texas held on Friday (6 March 2009). These winners exemplify excellence in environmental care and conservation in pork production.

"The National Pork Industry Forum provides a great opportunity for these producers to be recognized by their peers," said Steve Weaver, a producer from Elk Grove, California, and National Pork Board president. "It is important to recognize the positive environmental impact pork producers can have. Honoring these producers at Forum allows other producers to get excited about this program."

To be honored this year at the ceremony are:

  • Enterprise Nurseries of Madrid, Nebraska, represented by John Csukker and Jill Goedeken;
  • Oetting Farms of Concordia, Missouri, represented by Sharon and Steve Oetting;
  • O'Neel Farms of Friend, Nebraska, represented by Terry and Diane O'Neel and family
  • Veldkamp Farms of Jasper, Minn., represented by Jim and JoAnn Veldkamp.

Environmental steward award winners receive a plaque in recognition for their strong environmental ethics. Their stories were featured in National Hog Farmer magazine, which co-sponsors the awards program, in the Pork Checkoff Report and in an educational video produced and distributed by the National Pork Board.

"The environmental stewards are the greatest spokespeople for the pork industry and the environment," said Weaver. "I would encourage all producers to find out how to participate in the environmental stewards program. The program will allow them to become involved and to make a difference."

Sam Hines Honoured with Distinguished Service Award

The Pork Checkoff honoured Sam Hines of Holt, Michigan, as the winner of its Distinguished Service Award. Hines is the executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. He was to be recognized at the National Pork Industry Forum in Dallas, Texas, March 5-7, 2009. The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to recognize the lifelong contribution to the pork industry of an outstanding leader.

"Sam's hard work and passion for the pork industry benefited not only Michigan producers, but the industry as a whole," said Steve Weaver, a pork producer from Elk Grove, California, and National Pork Board president. "Sam has many accomplishments to his credit, including playing a role in pseudorabies eradication and being a member of the leadership group that established the National Pork Board's permanent office in Des Moines. He has always been there, leading the way, and using his gifts and knowledge to lead others to move the pork industry forward."

Another important accomplishment that many people credit Sam with is working to make the Pork Checkoff what it is today, even when circumstances arose that challenged it. Those circumstances included legal challenges to the constitutionality of the Pork Checkoff.

"The Checkoff could easily have ended through any one of those court decisions," said Jim Meimann, executive vice president, governance and operations for the Checkoff. "And yet Sam and the Michigan pork producers were always there making sure things were done right. I think without Sam's attention to this effort, we may not have a Checkoff today."

Producers also Honoured During Annual Meeting

The National Pork Board honored two retiring producer members and its outgoing president during the National Pork Industry Forum March 5-7 in Dallas, Texas.

Steve Weaver, a pork producer from Elk Grove, California, was recognized for serving as president of the National Pork Board. Weaver will continue to serve through August, leading the nation's pork producers in overseeing Checkoff investments.

"As president, Steve led the industry during a particularly difficult time," said Tim Bierman, a pork producer from Larrabee, Iowa and National Pork Board vice president. "Steve brought the business perspective to the Board in a time when producers were struggling to remain profitable because of the highest feed costs in history; animal rights advocates took aim at production practices; the national economy presented the greatest challenges since the Great Depression. He never wavered from his belief that pork producers working together can surmount almost any challenge."

In addition to serving as president, Weaver serves on the Compensation Committee, and the Administrative Committee.

Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Truman, Minnesota, and Dennis Michael, a pork producer from Yankton, South Dakota, were honored for six years of service to the National Pork Board.

Bettin, a producer who has 350 sows and markets 6,000 pigs annually, serves on the Demand Enhancement Committee, Nutrition Committee, Audit Committee, Pork Safety Committee and the Plan of Work and Budget Task Force.

Michael, a producer who operates a farrow-to-finish hog operation and is 50 per cent partner of BPM Seedstock, a 250 sow, farrow-to-finish, seedstock operation, serves on the Producer Services Committee and the Administrative Committee. He also has served on the Audit Committee and the Demand Enhancement Committee.

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