The Iowa pork industry has a long history of honoring producers who excel in the production of hogs and this is another significant award that has been handed out since 1958.
Sponsored by the Iowa Purebred Swine Council, the Master Seedstock Producer Award is designed 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.
That initial 1958 class consisted of Wilbert Meinhart of Hudson, Wallace Lang and his son, Tom, of Brooklyn and Bernard Weed and sons of Ute.
Over the years, recipients of the Master Seedstock Producer Award have become a virtual “Who’s Who” of seedstock producers in Iowa purebred circles — the Friedows of Kanawha, the Hirsches of Indianola, the Stewarts of Waverly, the Eddie brothers of Storm Lake, the Conover family, Curtiss of Churdan, the Olsons, the Huinkers, the Christians and so many other distinguished producers.
With thousands of people involved in pork production in Iowa, it is a rare honor to receive the award and more than 100 Master Seedstock Producers have now been recognized since the award’s inception.
2016 Master Seedstock Producer
The Master Seedstock Award is presented annually by the Iowa Purebred Swine Council to recognize outstanding seedstock producers who exemplify integrity, leadership and success in the production and promotion of the purebred swine industry.
The late Dan Engler
Nevada, Story County
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.