(CLIVE, Iowa) - The Iowa Pork Producers Association introduced its 2017 class of Master Pork Producers last night and a Wright County pork producer was one of the honorees.
Stuart Swanson of Galt received the coveted brass belt buckle, emblematic of the award, from IPPA at the Iowa Pork Congress Banquet in Des Moines. The honor included a brief multi-media presentation of Swanson's swine business.
Stuart helped his father with his 25-sow herd growing up and after earning an agricultural business degree from Iowa State University, he returned to the family farm. In 1992, he started his own farrow-to-finish enterprise with 50 sows and now has a 60-sow herd.
This is a closed operation utilizing semen from SGI to produce market animals, show pigs and replacement breeding stock. He farrows 12-15 sows every six weeks and utilizes outside lots for small group gestation. To manage herd health in a pig dense area, Stuart utilizes all-in all-out farrowing and nursery flow into a 400-head finisher. Most pigs produced on the farm are marketed through an area locker. In addition to his swine enterprise, Stuart grows corn and soybeans and grinds and mixes his own feed on-site.
Educating the public about pig production has been very important to Swanson. He has opened his farm to tours on many occasions and has enjoyed sharing his operation with consumers and community members. Last year, he worked with the Iowa Soybean Association's Food and Family Project to host a group of 40 consumers from across the country to help connect them to the food they eat and the families that work hard to produce it.
A past president of the Wright County Pork Producers, Stuart volunteers as a local 4-H club leader. He also helped form the Wright County Pork Interest Group, which exposes youth to the responsibilities of raising and providing care for pigs.
Swanson and his wife, Lori, have four children.
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.