(CLIVE, Iowa) — A long-time swine seedstock farmer from Nevada who passed away in January 2016 has been named the winner of the 2016 Master Seedstock Award by the Iowa Purebred Swine Council and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Members of the Engler family accepted the award on Dan’s behalf at the 45th annual Iowa Pork Congress Banquet in Des Moines last night.
Dan and his wife, Marcia, started raising market pigs together in Story County more than 40 years ago. They focused more on the show ring side the last 30 years as their children became interested in junior projects such as 4-H and FFA. All of the Engler children showed pigs for several years and several of his grandchildren have carried on the tradition.
The Engler operation focused on having five to eight high quality purebred females that he bred for several state fairs and National Swine Registry shows. Many of these females trace back to a Hampshire gilt that Dan bought in 2012.
Dan was very passionate about improving the Hampshire breed and making pigs better in every way. He never wanted to raise the most pigs, he wanted to raise the best pigs. This tied into another passion for helping children who wanted to show. It wasn’t uncommon for Dan to travel across the state or keep in touch with people who bought his stock.
Engler's hard work paid off in considerable success at shows across the country. At the 2016 Iowa State Fair, he had the Hawkeye Market Show Reserve Champion Hampshire Market Pig, the Grand Champion Hampshire Boar in 2014, the Reserve Champion Crossbred Truckload in 2013, the FFA Grand Champion Hampshire Market Hog in 2011, the 2010 Grand Champion Pen of three Derby Pigs, the FFA Reserve Champion Yorkshire Market Hog and FFA Grand Champion Yorkshire Boar in 2009, the FFA Grand Champion Commercial Gilt in 2008, and the 2004 Hawkeye Barrow Show Grand Champion. Engler had many division and class winners at the Indiana State Fair, National Barrow Show, Ak-Sar-Ben, National Swine Registry shows, and several county fairs across Iowa.
The operation was run solely by Dan, Marcia and any visiting grandchildren. It is truly a family operation and any visiting children would quickly be put to work whether it was to help process baby pigs or clean barns. Although Dan had lots of help, he made all of the feeding and breeding decisions.
Dan passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 28, 2016. He will be remembered as a soft-spoken, humble and hard-working man who was an excellent role model. He found great joy in his family, especially his grandchildren, and supported children of the community through his participation in 4-H and FFA.
The Iowa Purebred Swine Council has sponsored the Master Seedstock Award since 1958 and has selected one Master Seedstock Award recipient each year since then. Its purpose is to recognize significant contributions to the Iowa and national purebred industries and for evidence of genetic improvements within their selected breeds for the benefit of Iowa, the nation and, in many cases, internationally.