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WPA Honors Producers, Industry Members during Expo

The Wisconsin Pork Association recently recognized producers and industry members for their dedicated service at the 2014 Pork/Corn/Soy Expo, held on February 6-7 in Wisconsin Dells. 

Producer Honoree Award
Each year, the Wisconsin Pork Association presents a Distinguished Service Award to a fellow individual whose contributions to the Wisconsin swine industry merit special recognition.

The 2013 WPA Producer Distinguished Service award was presented to Howard Roth, Wauzeka.    Howard began his career in the pork industry with a B.S. degree in farm management in ag engineering in 1962.  He started farming by raising feeder pigs in Crawford County, and the enterprise continued to build until he was operating four farms in Wisconsin and four in Iowa.  The farms consisted of between 400 to 700 sow farrowing units.  He said the key to growing his operations was having good employees.

Over the years, he was involved in a number of organizations, including:  Crawford County Pork Producers; Wisconsin Pork Association, serving as treasurer for two terms; chairman of the agriculture committee for the Wisconsin Republican Party; and a 20-year board member of the Gays Mills bank, now the Royal Bank.

He is proud of his family, having had two daughters that were state pork queens, and now his son, AV, continues the family tradition of raising feeder pigs and expanding the hog production.  Howard and his wife, Karen, like to travel.  Since his partial retirement, they spend several months in Texas each year, but return home to the farm when spring comes!

Industry Honoree Award
The pork industry is fortunate in having many industry representatives who are dedicated to promoting and serving the industry.  The Wisconsin Pork Association honors these individuals and companies by presenting them with the Distinguished Service Industry Honoree Award.  The recipient of the award for 2013 is Craig Culver.
Craig along with his wife, Lea, and his parents George and Ruth Culver took a vision and created a niche-market restaurant which features burgers and frozen custard.  By wearing several hats, he has built his career through a commitment to doing what’s right for his guests, team members, franchisees and his family.  Today, there are nearly 500 Culver’s restaurants in 21 states.  As CEO, Craig is actively involved with the business as a coach, cheerleader, and mentor to all franchisees and their teams.

WPA is honored Craig and the Culver’s team for their support of farmers and the FFA organization.  Their “Thank You Farmers” campaign raised over $200,000 for the National FFA organization.  They say on their web site:  “Culver’s wouldn’t be what it is today without the family farms that grow and produce the wholesome, delicious food we so proudly serve.… It’s important to us to make sure farm families across the nation clearly see how thankful we are for their hard work and dedication. Our big, blue barn featuring the “Thank You Farmers” message (on Hwy 151 near Beaver Dam), is just one of many ways we’re showing our gratitude.   Culver’s also remains committed to sourcing the finest ingredients America’s growers have to offer.  So now, through our partnership with the National FFA Organization, we are giving back to today’s farm families, while helping ensure the future of the next generation.”

Each year, WPA acknowledges the efforts of individuals in the ag industry to communicate with others.  Dennis Frame is the recipient of this year’s Agri-communicator award.

Frame joined UW-Extension in 1982 as the dairy and livestock agent in Wood County; transferring to Brown County and finally became the agriculture agent in Trempealeau County in 1987. This area has a rich conservation history and soon he became active in soil and water conservation education. When the nutrient management standard was being proposed, Frame and a group of Trempealeau County producers looked at the impacts of these rules and regulations on this part of the state.  Since 1994 he has focused his educational programming on environmental rules and regulations, developed a nutrient management-training program and designed and developed the UW – Discovery Farms Program.

Dennis and his family live on a small farm in northern Trempealeau County where they maintain a herd of beef cattle and spend time fishing in western Wisconsin.  He has served on numerous boards, committees, and panels that help provide direction to producer groups, regulations, and agency personnel. Dennis recently retired from Discovery Farms, but is still an active participant and consultant to the industry.

Distinguished Public Service
Each year, WPA presents the Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes a legislator who provides outstanding support to the pork industry.  Governor Scott Walker was presented the award this year.

Since Governor Walker began his term, both the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have focused on customer friendly services for pork producers and farmers in general. DNR has continued to focus on helping to make farmers better stewards of the environment. DATCP has assisted efforts to keep Wisconsin’s incidence of animal health issues that affect our pigs at a low risk.  Both agencies are allowing for expansion of the pork industry in Wisconsin.

Governor Walker’s support for the $42 million Meat Science and Muscle Biology building will provide modern facilities for the next generation of meat industry leaders in Wisconsin and around the globe.  In addition, Governor Walker has continued to oppose efforts to weaken Wisconsin’s use value assessment program and has provided ongoing support for expanding agriculture exports both interstate and globally.

The Wisconsin Pork Association’s mission is to insure the future success of the Wisconsin pork industry.  WPA represents the interests of the pork industry members with a strong emphasis on social issues, public and government policies, environment, animal welfare and safety.

Source: Wisconsin Pork Producers Association

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