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South Dakota's Master Pork Producers

South Dakota's Master Pork Producers
These pork producers beat industry averages for mortality, average daily gain and feed efficiency.

Justin Rothschadl, Tyndall, S.D., and the Craig Andersen family, Centerville, S.D., received the 2015 South Dakota Master Pork Producer awards at the 47th annual South Dakota Pork Congress.

Craig Anderson family
Craig Andersen has been involved in pork production his whole life. Growing up, he helped his dad Vernon on their farrow-to-finish, and after graduating from South Dakota State University, Craig returned to the family farm and raised pigs, cattle, and crops.

Wean pigs crowd a feeder. Both South Dakota Master Pork Producers finish pigs.

The pork operation today consists of two double-curtain finishing barns with deep pits for a total of five different rooms. Two of the rooms hold 500 pigs each and the other three rooms hold 450 pigs, for a one-time capacity of 2,350 pigs.

Craig’s wife, Gail and their children, Tyler, Jacob and Emily, are all actively involved in the family's operation. They finish pigs for Brentwood Colony, Faulkton, S.D. and utilize Standard Nutrition and Parkston Grain and Feed for their nutritional program. The pigs are sold to Smithfield in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Andersons’ mortality rate is less than 2.5%, and average daily gain and feed efficiency are 1.91 pounds and 2.72 pounds of feed per pound of gain, respectively. All are above industry averages. They also add pit additives to reduce odor and to increase the nutrient value of the manure for their crops.

Craig continues his family's legacy of leadership in the community and pork industry. His father was instrumental in establishing the Lincoln County Pork Producers and his mother, Beverly, was president of the South Dakota Porkettes. Craig has been active in the South Dakota Pork Producers Council, serves on their executive board, and in January was elected as their second vice president. He has also chosen to go through the national Pork Leadership Institute. Craig’s and Gail's daughter Emily was chosen to be the 2016 South Dakota Pork Producers Youth Ambassador. Craig also is on the Lincoln County Planning and Zoning Board and the Centerville School Advisory Board, serves as a deacon at Komstad Covenant Church, and is a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Justin Rothschadl

Justin Rothschadl also has been involved with pork production almost his whole life. As soon as he could, Justin was out in the barns helping his dad Keith with their farrow-to-finish operation. After graduating high school in 2006, he went to South Dakota State University, but after a year in Brookings, Justin realized that his passion was farming so he returned home and became a pork producer custom feeding for Parkston Grain and Feed. In 2010, he remodeled his dad's gestation/farrowing barn into a 1,200 head nursery, and began getting weaned pigs and finishing them to market weight. Initially, he finished the pigs in a 1,200 head finishing barn owned by his partner Scott Schuurmans, and in a 600 head, open-fronted barn on his dad's place. However, to provide a better environment for his pigs and to improve performance, Justin built a new 1,200 head finishing barn in 2014. He buys his weaned pigs from Robert Rasmussen of Hurley, S.D., appreciates their quality, as well as getting a lot of good advice from Robert. Sioux Nation helps with the nutrition and health, and the feed comes from Parkston Grain and Feed.

Through great management and a focus on every pig as an individual, Justin's operation has consistently exhibited excellent performance. Mortality in the nursery and finishing barns are 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively, both well below industry averages. In the finishing barns, the pigs gain at 2.4 pounds per day, and have a feed efficiency of 2.65 pounds of feed per pound of gain. Just because some of his barns are older, Justin doesn't let that be an excuse for poorer performance. He just works especially hard in the older nursery barn making sure his pigs get off to a great start. Another thing that impressed the selection committee was that Justin's always learning and trying to improve every day. He runs trials in his own barns to see what works best in his specific situation.

About the award
The South Dakota Master Pork Producers organization is comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The producers are judged on performance records, management level and industry activities. They are not judged on the size or type of their operation.

Source: South Dakota Pork Producers

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