Editor's note: The following article was originally published in the January/February issue of PORK Network

In our fourth article honoring the five winners of the Honoring Caregivers award, we look at winner Dan Reetzke: 

“Passionate” – that is just how Dan's peers described this 35-year pork industry veteran. He currently works as a production manager for Genus PIC Dogwood Ridge in Adolphus, Ken., a 1,150-sow, sire-line nucleus farm. Among the five people who nominated him for the award, Jer Geiger describes Dan as a “committed and hard-working member of the pork industry.”

He continues, “Dan’s staff members are able to look to him as an example of outstanding animal handling and husbandry skills. His years of commitment to raising healthy pigs is evident in every aspect of his career.” Even when accepting the award, Dan turned the spotlight on others.

“Even though I try to set an example of proper pig care for others, it’s really a team effort. Without my team, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the excellent level of pig care we give here,” he says.

Dan’s leadership and animal welfare priorities expand far beyond Kentucky. Dan was asked to travel to China for six months to train employees at a start-up farm, which he accepted without a second thought. His incredible leadership training allowed him to take the extended leave of absence while trusting his employees to carry out their daily responsibilities to his standards while he was away.