The National Pork Board announced that Kyle Coble from Minnesota, Logan Thornton from Idaho and Madison Schafer from Minnesota have been named the inaugural Pig Farmers of Tomorrow. They were recognized at the 2017 National Pork Industry Forum in Atlanta, Ga.
“It is important for the Checkoff to recognize the future leaders of the pork industry,” said National Pork Board President Jan Archer, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “We are excited for these young farmers to share their unique stories with consumers.”
The new award recognizes farm leaders, ages 18-29, who intend to make pig farming their life’s work and who are committed to raising pigs using the pork industry’s We Care ethical principles. The winners will speak at Pork Checkoff events and provide content on #RealPigFarming, which is the pork industry’s social media program.
Coble is the senior manager of production strategies and a swine nutritionist with New Fashion Pork in Jackson, Minn. New Fashion Pork, a leading producer of high-quality pork, has farms in Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
“I’m excited to introduce the public to different types of pig farmers,” Coble said. “For instance, I use math and statistics every day to help our team decide which production practices help us provide a safe, wholesome, affordable protein.”
Schafer is the seventh-generation of her family to farm near Goodhue, Minnesota. The Schafers operate a 1,600-sow unit, a 600-sow unit and seven replacement gilt development barns.
“It is important for all pig farmers to take every opportunity to start conversations about farming,” Schafer said. “These connections help dispel misconceptions about our farming practices and show consumers how much we care about raising healthy pigs.”
Thornton runs Flying Pig Farm, a farrow-to-finish farm near Kuna, Idaho. Flying Pig Farm markets 3,000 pigs a year. The Thorntons have a farrowing and nursery barn, and use hoop barns to finish pigs and for sow gestation.
“My family and I care for each pig individually,” Thornton said. “Raising healthy pigs is important to us, and I’m excited to share our story with consumers, especially on social media.”
An industry panel of judges selected the 2017 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow, who all have had a Common Industry Audit completed on their farms and are Pork Quality Assurance Certified.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion, and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and sustainability and environmental management.