Each year the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) recognizes individuals who have contributed time and effort to improving the pork industry in Illinois through the Very Important Pork Promoters (VIPP) awards program. Winners are nominated by county organizations and other pork producers and selected by a committee of producers. The winners were recognized at the IPPA awards banquet at the Illinois Pork Expo held this week in Peoria.

The 2012 IPPA award winners are as follows:

Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Bob Easter, former Dean of the College of ACES & Interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois

Dr. Bob Easter’s illustrious career has included conducting leading edge swine related research projects, teaching students and others around the world about ways to improve pig production and has provided outstanding leadership to the College of ACES and to the University of Illinois in administrative positions. His strong desire to promote and better the pork industry is centered on his belief that the transfer of science-based information in the Illinois pork industry will be essential in keeping pork producers’ businesses viable in a competitive global marketplace. This award is given annually by IPPA to a dedicated, sincere, and respected leader whose enthusiasm is evident through their tireless service to the organization and industry.

Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year – Scholl Family Farms – Polo, IL

The 2012 Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year is the Scholl family, which includes LaVerne and Irv, Brent and Kathy and their children Samantha and Garrett and Bruce and Julie and their sons Matt and Scott. Brent and Bruce are fifth-generation farmers and they are hoping the sixth generation follows in their footsteps. The Scholls have a truly diversified grain and livestock farm in Lee and Ogle County where they raise row crops and livestock including corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle and sheep. The Scholl family has been active in all aspects of the pork producer organization including the county, state, and national levels. The award is sponsored by Elanco Animal Health.

Pork Promoter of the Year Award – Bill Fisher – Pesotum, IL

Bill has been instrumental to the success of many IPPA activities and has freely given of his time and assisted in whatever way possible. Bill has served as an active Board Member of the Illinois Pork Producers Association for the last 12 years. Bill has been instrumental in helping with the Birthing Center at the IL State Fair. Bill has also been very active in the National Pork Board “Operation Main Street” having given 86 presentations. This award recognizes an individual, couple, or family who has done an outstanding job promoting pork and/or the pork industry on a local, regional, or state level during the calendar year.

Source: IPPA