The 2015 South Dakota Master Pork Producer winners were announced at the 47th annual South Dakota Pork Congress banquet held on January 13, 2016 in Sioux Falls, and this year’s winners were Justin Rothschadl from Tyndall, S.D and the Craig Andersen family from Centerville, S.D.

About the Winner

While relatively young, Justin Rothschadl has been involved with pork production almost his whole life. As soon as he could, Justin was out in the barns helping his dad Keith with their farrow-to-finish operation. After graduating high school in 2006, he went to SDSU, but after a year in Brookings, Justin realized that his passion was farming so he returned home and became a pork producer custom feeding for Parkston Grain & Feed. In 2010, he remodeled his dad’s gestation/farrowing barn into a 1200 hd nursery, and began getting weaned pigs and finishing them to market weight. Initially he finished the pigs in a 1200 head finishing barn owned by his partner Scott Schuurmans, and in a 600 head, open-fronted barn on his dad’s place. However, to provide a better environment for his pigs and to improve performance, Justin built a new 1200 head finishing barn in 2014. He buys his weaned pigs from Robert Rasmussen of Hurley, SD, and appreciates their quality, as well as getting a lot of good advice from Robert. Sioux Nation helps with the nutrition and health, and the feed comes from Parkston Grain & Feed.

Through great management and a focus on every pig as an individual, Justin’s operation has consistently exhibited excellent performance. Mortality in the nursery and finishing barns are 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively, both well below industry averages. In the finishing barns, the pigs gain at 2.4 lbs/day, and have a feed efficiency of 2.65 lbs of feed per lb of gain. Just because some of his barns are older, Justin doesn’t let that be an excuse for poorer performance. He just works especially hard in the older nursery barn making sure his pigs get off to a great start. Another thing that impressed the selection committee was that Justin’s always learning and trying to improve every day. He runs trials in his own barns to see what works best in his specific situation. Due to his excellent production records, great husbandry skills, and commitment to improving every day, Justin Rothschadl was recognized as one of the two 2015 SD Master Pork Producers.

Justin standing outside one of his barns.