(CLIVE, Iowa) - The Iowa Pork Producers Association has looked to Buchanan County for one of its 2017 Master Pork Producers.
IPPA honored Mark Dolan of Masonville with the coveted brass belt buckle, emblematic of the award, at the Iowa Pork Congress Banquet last night in Des Moines. The honor included a brief multi-media presentation of his swine business.
Mark and his wife, Beth, finish approximately 20,000 pigs per year with a majority originating from their 600-head sow farm in Buchanan County and the remaining coming from sows in Colorado managed by Purina. Mark is responsible for 7,000 pig spaces and the remaining are overseen by a farm employee. They market their pigs to either Tyson in Waterloo or JBS in Marshalltown. The Dolan's sow unit utilizes open pen gestation, which enables them to participate in a special JBS program.
Dolan takes great pride in managing herd health through biosecurity measures and working closely with his veterinarian. In addition to all-in all-out flows, they manage off-farm traffic by composting mortalities and hauling their own manure.
Mark currently farms about 300 acres of corn and soybeans. Following his manure management plan with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources he utilizes nutrients from barns on his corn and soybean acres. In 2011, the Dolan's began incorporating a rye cover crop on their fields. They have steadily increased the number of acres in the program and have the goal of including all their acres this year.
A 2003 graduate of Iowa State University, Mark is a member of the Buchanan County Pork Producers and served on the board from 2006 to 2015. He also served on the District Four Nominating Committee for IPPA. In his free time, Mark enjoys volunteering with the local little league.
The Dolans and their two children also are active church members.
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.