The National Pork Board announced that Bailee Arnold from North Carolina, Ben Luebbering from Missouri and Ben Wikner from Iowa have been named the 2019 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow. They were recognized at the 2019 National Pork Industry Forum in Orlando.
“It is important for the Pork Checkoff to recognize the future leaders of the pork industry,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pork producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We are excited for these young farmers to share their unique stories with consumers.”
The 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 CareSM ethical principles. The winners will speak at Pork Checkoff events and provide content on #RealPigFarming, which is the pork industry’s social media program.
Arnold is a sow farm manager for Goldsboro Milling in North Carolina. She manages nine employees to provide care for sows and piglets on her farm near Vanceboro, North Carolina.
“Working in the pork industry is a rewarding career,” Arnold said. “What most excites me about being a Pig Farmer of Tomorrow is the chance to share my story and educate those who have questions about how their food is grown.”
Luebbering and his family own Profits Point Farm near St. Thomas, Missouri. They farrow and finish pigs, as well as raise cattle.
“My family and I care for each pig individually,” Luebbering said. “Raising healthy pigs is important to us, and I’m excited to share our story with consumers, especially on social media. As farmers, we must share what we do on our farms every day to provide the best care for our pigs.”
Wikner is a second-generation pig farmer. With his family, Wikner owns and operates a farrow-to-wean farm and also raises corn and soybeans near Farmersburg, Iowa.
“It is important for people in the pork industry to speak up so that our story gets told correctly,” Wikner said. “The connections we make help dispel misconceptions about our farming practices and show consumers how much we care about raising healthy pigs.”
An industry panel of judges selected the 2019 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow, who all have had a Common Industry Audit completed on their farms.