Iowa pig farmer named 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM finalist

Iowa pig farmer named 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM finalist

Public encouraged to vote at

Bakker Social Image 2The National Pork Board has announced that Jarrod Bakker, a pig farmer from Dike, is one of the four finalists vying to become the 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM.

Raising pigs has been a life-long passion for Bakker who currently sits on the Iowa Pork Producers Association Board of Directors. He grew up on a farrow-to-finish pig farm and now, along with his brother, Jordan, and wife, Shari, owns Bakker Bros. Genetics, a 50-sow farm that markets 1,000 pigs annually. Bakker also works for Fast Genetics, where he sells breeding stock to farmers across the country.

“Jarrod represents some of the best in pig farming,” said Iowa Pork Producers Association President Al Wulfekuhle, a pig farmer from Quasqueton. “He exemplifies Iowa pig farmers who have taken the lead on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.”

The goal of the program, administered by the National Pork Board, is to honor the U.S. pig farmer who best excels at raising pigs using the We CareSM ethical principles and is best able to share his or her farming story with the American public.

The other 2016 finalists are:

  • Craig Andersen – Centerville, South Dakota
  • Brad Greenway – Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Maria Mauer – Greensburg, Indiana

The four finalists are meeting today with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago. The judges will view on-farm videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will conduct an in-person interview with each of them.

Members of the five-member panel include Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range®, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; Dr. Justin Ransom, senior director, supply chain management at McDonald’s USA; Dr. Jodi Sterle, an associate professor of animal science at Iowa State University; and Keith Schoettmer, the 2015 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.

The public can vote once a day per person, per e-mail address for their favorite finalist at until Sept. 10. The winner will be announced on Oct. 11.

The National Pork Board created the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year contest in order to recognize the best in pig farming. This honor will be awarded annually to the pig farmer who demonstrates and lives by the We Care ethical principles.