The National Pork Board has selected four pork production operations to be honored as the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities.

This year's award recipients are:

  • Golden Circle Pork, Woodward, Iowa
  • John M. Langdon Farms, Benson, N.C.
  • Wuebker Farms, Versailles, Ohio
  • Cleveland Pork, Elysburg, Pa.

The Environmental Steward award winners were selected by judges represented by pork producers and environmental organizations. The judges reviewed applications from pork producers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment. Their operations were evaluated on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics and neighbor relations, wildlife habitat promotion, innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.

"The winners of this prestigious award consist of yet another great group of pork producers," said Lynn Harrison, chair of the Environmental Stewards selection subcommittee and former president of the National Pork Board. "The 2011 Stewards are real-world examples of how producers demonstrate the ‘We Care’ principles every day as natural protectors of the environment and as good neighbors in their communities."

The award recipients will receive the recognition of their peers at the 2012 National Pork Industry Forum next March in Denver, Colo.

The following is a short description of the 2011 Environmental Stewards' operations. 

Golden Circle Pork - Woodward, Iowa

Rod and Missy Bice produce 6,600 wean-to-finish pigs annually on their farm set amid 1,400 acres of corn and soybeans near Woodward, Iowa. They and their children continue the farming tradition that began more than a century ago by both sides of the family. The Bices were also named Environmental Stewards for Iowa in 2010.

John M. Langdon Farms - Benson, N.C.

John and Eileen Langdon produce 20,000 finishing pigs per year on their 205-acre farm near Benson, N.C. They, along with their three grown children, also maintain 65 brood cows on the same farm that's been in the family for 70-plus years. The Langdons also were named Environmental Stewards for North Carolina in 2010.

Wuebker Farms - Versailles, Ohio

Jeff and Alan Wuebker raise nearly 43,000 weaned pigs per year on their diversified farming operation near Versailles, Ohio. The brothers, together with their families and employees, tend to not only the pigs, but to about 50 head of cattle and more than 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.

Cleveland Pork - Elysburg, Pa.

Joel and Sarah Knoebel, along with Joel's father and brother, produce feeder-to-finish pigs in their 4,400-head, tunnel-ventilated building on the 500 acres they farm near Elysburg, Pa. The couple has started a scholarship at the local high school to help students who wish to pursue an agricultural career.

Source: National Pork Board