S.D. Pork Producers honor Yankton engineer

Farm Forum

The South Dakota Pork Producers Council has honored Todd Van Maanen for contributions to their industry. Van Maanen was named the 2012 Honorary Master Pork Producer at the group’s annual conference in Sioux Falls on Thursday, Jan. 10. The award is given annually to someone who is not directly involved in pork production, but who actively supports the swine industry in the state.

Van Maanen is a Professional Engineer and the Vice President and co-owner of Eisenbraun & Associates, a civil engineering firm in Yankton. He has been actively involved in the design and permitting of more than 150 livestock facilities throughout South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. Van Maanen has also managed the design of facilities in the Ukraine and China.

SDSU Swine Extension Specialist Dr. Robert Thaler presented the award and said, “Without his support, we would not have seen as much growth in the South Dakota swine industry as we have had in the past 10 years.”

According to Thaler, Van Maanen’s engineering expertise is especially valuable at county commission and zoning board meetings.

“Todd has a calm demeanor under pressure,” said Thaler. “He presents science-based data and explains current state and federal regulations, sometimes in a hostile environment. His work has led to the approval of many operations.”

Thaler said Van Maanen understands the importance of maintaining and enhancing the state’s agricultural economy. “He promotes environmentally sound facilities that support ag producers and increases rural employment opportunities,” said Thaler.

Van Maanen’s partner Dan Eisenbraun, President of Eisenbraun & Associates, agrees. “Todd spends a lot of time promoting South Dakota and promoting agriculture,” said Eisenbraun. “It’s important to all of us to foster this industry and these opportunities. Todd’s efforts encourage sustainable economic development in rural South Dakota.”

Past winners of the Honorary Master Pork Producer Award include SDSU faculty members, veterinarians, nutritionists and John Morrell & Co. of Sioux Falls.

Van Maanen has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Wyoming and a Construction Management degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He also is a graduate of Class III of South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership, Inc. Van Maanen and his wife, Michelle, live in rural Yankton.