Each year the Iowa Pork Producers Association tips its hat to those in Iowa's pork industry who are enthusiastic and dedicated to the work they do to promote pork, as well as pig production in the state.
Here’s a roundup of the producers recognized by IPPA at the recent 2020 Iowa Pork Congress:
State Belle Ringer Award winner. Five women vied for the top Belle Ringer award. All received the local Belle Ringer designation for the key roles they play in their county pork producer organizations. Cherokee County's Janet Sullivan was named the state winner.
Sullivan, of Aurelia, has served on the Cherokee County Pork Producers board in numerous positions and committees. For more than 20 years she’s been a catalyst for getting projects done. She coordinates the county fair pork producers’ food stand, golf outing, annual banquet, Ag Day and pork grillings that happen every Friday through the summer. She even designed the pork trailer that is used for these events.
She also helps with the Cherokee County Pork Producers scholarship pie auction. Her outreach to younger students includes facilitating on-farm tours for fifth graders and Ag Safety Day for fourth graders. At the state level, Sullivan serves on the Iowa Pork Tent committee and works several days at the Iowa State Fair. She also served on the IPPA promotion committee for several years.
Other local winners of the Belle Ringer award are Karen Dreager, Nodaway; Danielle Hrdlicka, Rock Rapids; Abby Jaeger, Worthington; and Beth Schulte, Earlville.
State Winner of Hog Wild Award. Six men vied for the top Hog Wild award during Iowa Pork Congress. All received the local Hog Wild designation for the key roles they play in their county pork producer organizations. Jeff Monk of Allamakee County was named the state winner.
Monk, who lives near Waukon, is president of the Allamakee County Pork Producers, an organization that was just reactivated last year. He spearheaded that effort. Reactivating an organization is more than just asking for memberships, it's also about sharing his passion for Iowa's pork production by organizing events and promoting pork.
Monk coordinated many events, as well as helped with grilling pork at the county fair, an area corn maze and football games at the three county high schools. At the state level, Monk assists with the Iowa Pork Tent at the Iowa State Fair, helps at ag-in-the-classroom events, and serves on the public relations and membership-leadership committees.
Other local winners of the Hog Wild award are Adam Decker, Wyoming; Duane Dreager, Nodaway; Jeff Hrdlicka, Rock Rapids; Jordan LeClere, Manchester; and Ralph Lents, Menlo.
“The individuals nominated for both the Belle Ringer and Hog Wild awards show the highest qualities of leadership, dedication and commitment to the activities that promote the Iowa pork industry,” says Trent Thiele, immediate past president of IPPA. The IPPA promotion committee selects the nominees and winners of the state awards.