(CLIVE, Iowa) - A pork producing family from Delaware County has been named Master Pork Producers for their production excellence and success.
Jon and Becky Ries and their sons, Adam and Tony, received the coveted brass belt buckle, emblematic of the award, from the Iowa Pork Producers Association at the Iowa Pork Congress Banquet in Des Moines last night. A brief multi-media presentation of the family's swine business also was shown.
Jon and his wife, Becky, both grew up on livestock farms and began farming on their own near Manchester 44 years ago. They initially had beef and dairy cattle in addition to pigs, but recently decided to focus mainly on pigs and create opportunities for their sons to return to the operation.
Today, Jon manages the feeder/finishing aspect of their operation. Adam handles the crop production and transportation of grain and livestock while Tony owns and manages a 900-head sow unit producing approximately 18,000 pigs per year. Tony maintains replacement gilts on the farm and buys genetics from a nearby boar stud where he owns all the boars on site. Tony mills feed for his sow farm on-site, and they work with local toll mills to provide feed to the finishers. The Rieses work with eleven local Delaware County farmers to rent space to finish their pigs to market. Most of their animals are marketed through JBS in Marshalltown.
Record keeping is a very important part of the Ries farm and the family utilizes three separate systems to track inventory, feed intake, age, location and profitability of each group as well as the farrowing operation.
The Ries Family is true community supporters. Adam, Tony and Becky volunteer to educate local elementary school children about the pork industry. They even furnish piglets to give students the chance to see pigs first-hand. Tony serves as 4-H swine project leader in Delaware County and Adam serves on the Delaware County Grilling Team. The Ries family has collectively served on the Delaware County Pork Board for 15 years. Jon and Becky stay very active in their local church where Jon serves on the finance and building and grounds committee whereas Becky enjoys time as a lector and signing in the choir.
Jon and Becky also have one other adult son.
Nominated by their neighbors and peers, Master Pork Producers are recognized for their innovation, attention to quality, efficiency and production records within their farm enterprise. They are considered industry leaders who are committed to producing the highest quality pork products. Their operations are environmentally sound, they care about the livestock, are good neighbors and active in their community.
IPPA and Iowa State University have carefully selected Master Pork Producers every year since 1942.