Fisher Hog Farms, a pork production operation near Middletown, Mo., has received the 2011 Missouri Environmental Steward Award.
 
The honor is bestowed on one Missouri pork producing operation thathas demonstrated a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and the communities that surround them. This is the first year for the award, which is sponsored by the Missouri Pork Association.
 
Fisher Hog Farms was founded in 1957 by Ed and Helen Fisher. The farrow to wean operation is now run by sons Jim and David, and has grown to cover 1,000 acres and house 2,600 sows. They also background about 200 head of cattle. They rent out the 550 acre row crop operation, with the agreement that the renter can utilize the effluent and must apply it. While Ed is now retired, he and Helen still live on the farm and help manage and feed the calves every day.
 
The Fishers work to protect their environment through the use of no-till/minimum till, buffer strips around creeks, and waterways and terraces in the fields. Jim tests the soil around the farm to best apply nutrients. Water resources are supplied by five wells, which are monitored frequently. They work to reduce water usage by checking water nipples and water trough floats daily, and being conservative when washing the buildings.
 
Within the last few years, the Fishers have planted trees around the farm and in front of building fans to help with odor abatement and noise reduction. Approximately 1,300 trees were planted around the perimeter of the farm using EQIP funding, and they planted an additional 50 trees on their own.
 
The farm has an abundance of wildlife, including quail, turkey and deer. They leave hedge rows and wooded areas between fields for habitat.

Applicants were judged on manure management systems, soil and water conservation practices, reduction of odors/improvement of air quality, wildlife management practices, and community outreach. MPA will work with Fisher Hog Farms to apply for the National Environmental Steward Award.