Judy Hinck's passion for animals began at an early age. She would take her homework into the farrowing barn as she monitored sows at her family's farrow-to-finish operation in Iowa. She showed animals in 4-H and FFA. And now, as farrowing manager at CD Bell in Belleville, Ill., she is one of five winners in the national Honoring Pork Caregivers program.
"We are pleased to recognize the Honoring Pork Caregivers winners for their vigilant pig care and their dedication to making positive improvements to on-farm practices," says Benjamin Church, senior marketing communications manager at Pfizer Animal Health, sponsor of the Honoring Pork Caregivers program.
Nearly 50 pork professionals from production systems across the United States were nominated for the program, which was initiated this year to recognize individuals who consistently put forth the extra effort to exceed expectations. Winners received an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City and a $1,000 cash prize.
After graduating from Iowa State University, Hinck managed an outdoor sow farm, and from there, she managed a 1,200-head sow farm in southern Illinois. In her present position, Hinck makes it a point to check every one of the 2,600 sows at CD Bell at least once a day. She is detail oriented and incorporates production practices that are safe and efficient. Hinck also takes pride in being a good manager, teacher and leader when it comes to teaching new employees about production practices on the farm.
"Judy is the first one to come early and the first one to stay late," says Clare Schilling, manager at CD Bell. "She is an absolute joy to work with, and because of her, I have become a better and more conscientious manager and person."
Hinck constantly strives for excellence. She enjoys trying new production techniques and keeping records of the results. In addition, she attends seminars, visits with fellow herdsmen and reads articles on the industry for continual improvement.
"Judy and the other Honoring Pork Caregivers award winners are helping assure a high standard of herd health management for their respective operations," adds Church, "and they provide a benchmark for the rest of the industry to achieve."
Visit PfizerPork.com/SalutetoProducers for expanded profiles and photos of the 2012 Honoring Pork Caregivers award recipients.