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2017 Pig Farmer of the Year finalists announced

Finalists are Bill Luckey, Maria Mauer, Leslie McCuiston and Leon Sheets.

Four finalists have been announced in the 2017 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year contest. Each year, the National Pork Board program honors a U.S. pig farmer who excels at raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and is committed to sharing his or her story.

“The four finalists represent the diversity of the pork industry in the United States,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “They exemplify the best in pig farming and in taking the lead on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.”

The 2017 finalists:

  • Bill Luckey – Columbus, Nebraska
  • Maria Mauer – Greensburg, Indiana
  • Leslie McCuiston – Columbus, Nebraska
  • Leon Sheets – Ionia, Iowa

The four finalists are meeting today (Aug. 30) with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago. The judges will view videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will interview each of them.

Through Sept. 8, 2017, the public can vote once a day per person per email address for their favorite finalist at The winner will be announced Oct. 3, 2017,  based on the judges’ scores and the online voting. 

Meet the expert judges

Members of the five-member panel include:

  • Brittni Furrow, Walmart’s senior director of sustainability;
  • Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane;
  • Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm;
  • J. Scott Vernon, professor, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Cal Poly; and
  • Brad Greenway, the 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year and chairman of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

Source: The National Pork Board

TAGS: Farm Life
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