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Ohio hog operation recognized for environmental stewardship

by 5m Editor
6 December 2006, at 12:52pm

OHIO - The National Pork Checkoff Board has selected Hord Livestock of Bucyrus to receive the 2006 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award. Hord Livestock and three other farms from around the country were selected to receive the award for demonstrating their commitment to protecting the environment while conducting their day-to-day activities.

Hord Livestock is the 11,000 sow operation belonging to the Hord family. The Hords also operate a 4,500 acre row crop operation and a feed mill. Pat and Janel Hord, their management team and a group of contracted producers have partnered to form a business respected in their community for their professionalism and commitment to the environment and the animals in their care.

Manure from the swine operations is transported to nearby fields in spring, summer and fall. Manure and soil samples are used to determine prescription variable rate programs for nutrient application. GPS technology is used to grid and map all fields for soil sampling. Hord Livestock has installed grassed waterways and filter strips along ditches and roads.

They have planted trees along the front of some of the farms to help dissipate odors and to beautify the surroundings. To maintain good relations with the community, Hord Livestock produces a neighbor newsletter, a corporate DVD and Web site through which the company communicates with neighbors and others about their activities at the swine operation. Pat Hord considers himself a true environmental activist because he is truly active about protecting the environment.

The environmental stewards are selected by judges drawn from pork producers, academia and environmental organizations. The judges look for pork producers from throughout the country who are representative of the pork industry’s commitment to minimizing its footprint on the environment. Farms are evaluated on their manure management systems; water and soil conservation practices; odor-control strategies; farm aesthetics and neighbor relations; wildlife habitat promotion; innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.

“Every year we get an exceptional group of producers apply or be nominated for the Environmental Steward Awards,” said Lynn Harrison, vice president of the National Pork Board and a pork producer from Elk Mound, Wis. “This year was no different. These producers go to great lengths to farm responsibly, protecting the resources and their environment, nurturing relationships with their neighbors and their community and helping us improve the image of our industry.

“Each one of the award winning operations deals with a different environment, different inputs, different type of soil, different regulations, etc. Each one of them employs sound environmental management practices to deal with its particular situation,” said Harrison who is also a past environmental steward award recipient. “We believe this commitment and responsibility is representative of all U.S. pork producers.”

Award recipients will receive the recognition of their peers at the 2007 National Pork Industry Forum in Anaheim, Calif.

“As pork producers, we recognize all the work involved in managing an operation. These producers go the extra mile to protect the environment, promote wildlife, nurture community and enhance our industry’s image,” said Harrison. “It is appropriate that a group of their peers recognize them for their efforts.”

The Pork Industry Environmental Steward Awards are cosponsored by the Pork Checkoff and National Hog Farmer magazine.

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor