Top Counties Recognized for Their Efforts
Iowa counties with organized and active local pork groups were recognized at the 2022 Iowa Pork Congress for their efforts in 2021 to grow membership and increase local activities.
Aaron Juergens, the Carroll farmer who is chairman of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) membership/leadership committee, reminded local leaders that “The Iowa Pork Producers Association is only as strong as the county organizations and their producer members across the state. Membership is truly the backbone of our organization.”
IPPA membership in 2021 was stable at more than 4,500 members.
County membership accomplishments
The membership award for most county members went to Washington County Pork Producers, which reported 386 members. This is the 16th consecutive year that the county earned that title.
The Chickasaw County Pork Producers recorded the most new members, 158. This bounced their total membership to 240 members.
The organized county with the largest percentage of membership growth over goal was Clayton County Pork Producers, which was 71 percent over their goal.
There were 31 other county organizations that also increased membership over their goal level.
Those counties include (alphabetically): Adams, Allamakee, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Clayton, and Delaware. Also, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Howard, Ida, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Linn, and Lucas. Lyon, Monona, Muscatine, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Sac, Shelby, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Woodbury round out the group.
Carroll County Pork Producers were also recognized for reorganizing their group to active status and supporting local activities again.
County Involvement Winners
In addition to growing membership, IPPA also recognized 23 county pork groups that held several local events to create an active presence in their communities during 2021. The County Involvement Awards were measured through a points system on activities to promote the pork industry. Such activities could include grillings, supporting youth activities, advertising in local papers, and other pork promotions.
Each county with 2,000 points or more received $500 from IPPA to help support their activities. The top five counties of this group received an additional $500 for their achievements for a total of $1,000.
Those top five counties (listed first through fifth) earning the $1,000 award were Delaware, Lyon, Buchanan, Story, and Plymouth.
The remaining counties (listed alphabetically) are Adair, Boone, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Grundy, Hamilton, Ida, Jones, Kossuth, Marshall, O’Brien, Page, Polk, Sioux, Tama, and Washington.
“It is exciting to see so many counties participating in promotional and educational event across the state,” Juergens said.
Promotion and Education Winners
Key activity areas for the Pork Checkoff, which all pork producers pay, are promotion and education. “Pork promotional and educational efforts are so important to the pork industry,” said Rod Leman of Fort Dodge. Leman is a member of IPPA’s promotion committee.
Each year, this IPPA promotion committee selects the top county promotion programs and activities.
Plymouth County Pork Producers got the nod for top program in 2021 as they enhanced an existing program with local 4-Hers called Adopt-A-Pig. While Adopt-A-Pig has helped youth understand more about raising swine, in 2021 the county pork producers expanded the program to teach about carcass fabrication, food safety and cooking pork to provide a full farm-to-table experience.
For their top place, Plymouth County Pork Producers received $250 to continue their promotion and education efforts.
Other counties receiving recognition for their promotion and education projects were:
- Delaware County – supported their Youth Team in giving educational presentations about pigs and pork to more than 150 grade school students in the county.
- Grundy County – sent thank you cards with pork coupons to 280 people in the county who are youth activity volunteers. The notes thanked these volunteers for their time and efforts to build the next generation of leaders for both Grundy County and Iowa.
- Jones County – hosted their 3rdannual side-by-side Porker Ride through the county. The event is a scholarship and swine show fundraiser. The ride attracted 350 people to join the 50 pork producers who share information about pork production.
- Lyon County – held its first Swine Livestock Event so 4-H and FFA members had a chance to show their pigs. The Lyon County Pork Producers donated gates and a scale for the show.
- Plymouth County – in a second project of the county, they served more than 2,400 ‘pork chops in a glove’ to RAGBRAI riders and provided information to the riders about pork production. Proceeds from their work were donated to the FFA Alumni Foundation for scholarships.
Each of these counties received $100 to continue their promotion and education efforts.
IPPA President Kevin Rasmussen told the county leaders at the event “Your county and local efforts are the backbone of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The projects we see are examples of what a collective group of people can accomplish.”