National Pork Board announces finalists for America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award

Farm Forum

DES MOINES, IOWA –The National Pork Board has announced the four finalists who are vying for the title of its new America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award program. The goal of the program is to honor the U.S. pig farmer who best excels at raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and is best able to share his or her farming story with the American public.

“The four finalists represent the diverse pork industry in the United States,” said National Pork Board President Derrick Sleezer, a farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. “They all have shown a focus on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.”

The 2015 finalists are:

• Steve Kerns – Clearfield, Iowa

• Marti Knoblock – Rock Rapids, Iowa

• Keith Schoettmer – Tipton, Indiana

• Lauren Schwab – Somerville, Ohio

The four finalists are meeting today with an expert panel of judges in Chicago. The judges will view on-farm videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will conduct an in-person interview with each of them.

Starting September 1 through Sept. 10, the public can vote once a day per person/email address for their favorite finalist at The winner will be announced Oct. 7.

The award, in its inaugural year, is part of the National Pork Board’s commitment to grow consumer trust in all aspects of U.S. pork production.