(CLIVE, Iowa) - The Iowa Pork Producers Association has selected a pig farming couple from Jefferson County as 2016 Master Pork Producers.
Joe and Michelle Burgmeier of Lockridge were honored at the Iowa Pork Congress Banquet in Des Moines last night. IPPA presented the couple with the award emblem, the brass Master Pork Producer belt buckle. A brief multi-media presentation of the family's pork operation also was shown.
The Burgmeiers own and operate Pitch Black Ranch. Joe has been in the pig farming business for nine year and custom farrows about 220 sows for a niche roaster pig company in New Jersey. He farrowed 372 litters in 2015. Whiteline sows and Large Black boar semen are used in production. The genetics, feeding and production methods are designed to deliver a "butter ball" roaster pig.
In addition to the niche hog production, the Burgmeiers have a 360-head stock cow herd. They also farm 310 acres of row crops and 100 acres of hay. Joe uses the manure nutrients from his swine and beef enterprises to fertilize the crops.
Michelle earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University and owns a mixed animal clinic in Fairfield.
Joe is an active member of the Jefferson County Pork Producers and helps with grilling and other promotional events. He also serves on the Jefferson County Farm Bureau Board and is currently the president of their local church council.
Joe and Michelle have three 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.